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CONTINENTAL BAKING CO. ET AL. v. WOODRING

decided: May 23, 1932.

CONTINENTAL BAKING CO. ET AL
v.
WOODRING, GOVERNOR, ET AL.



APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS.

Hughes, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Brandeis, Sutherland, Butler, Stone, Roberts, Cardozo

Author: Hughes

[ 286 U.S. Page 357]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an appeal from a final decree of the District Court, composed of three judges as required by statute, which dismissed, on motion, the bill of complaint in a suit brought to restrain the enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Act of Kansas. Laws of 1931, c. 236; Continental Baking Co. v. Woodring, 55 F.2d 347.

Plaintiffs are "private motor carriers of property," operating bakeries in Kansas and other States and making deliveries to their customers by their own trucks. They contend that the statute, by reason of the obligations it imposes, and of its classifications, violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, the provision as to the privileges and immunities of citizens (Art. IV, § 2), and the commerce clause (Art. I, § 8, par. 3), of the Federal Constitution.

The statute relates to motor vehicles, comprehensively defined, when used upon any public highway of the State for the purpose of transporting persons or property. It applies to those who are engaged in such transportation as "public motor carriers" of property and passengers, "contract motor carriers" of property and passengers, and "private motor carriers of property." "Public motor carrier" means one transporting "for hire as a common carrier having a [ sic ] fixed termini or route." "Contract motor carrier" of property means one who is not a "public motor carrier" and is engaged in transportation "for hire as a business." "Private motor carrier of property" means one transporting "property sold or to be sold by him in furtherance of any private commercial enterprise." § 1.*fn1 The Act does not apply

[ 286 U.S. Page 358]

     to (1) motor carriers operating wholly within any city or village of the State, (2) private motor carriers operating within a radius of twenty-five miles beyond the corporate limits of such city or village, (3) the transportation of livestock and farm products to market "by the owner thereof or supplies for his own use in his own motor vehicle," and (4) the transportation of children to and from school. § 2.*fn2 Public motor carriers are declared to be common carriers within the meaning of the public utility laws of the State and subject to regulation accordingly,

[ 286 U.S. Page 359]

     including that of rates and charges. § 3.*fn3 Public motor carriers, contract motor carriers, and private motor carriers of property are forbidden to operate motor vehicles for compensation on any public highway except in accordance with the provisions of the Act. § 4.*fn4 The public service commission is vested with supervision of these carriers in all matters affecting their relationship "with the traveling and shipping public" and, specifically, to prescribe regulations in certain particulars hereinafter mentioned. § 5.*fn5 All transportation charges made

[ 286 U.S. Page 360]

     by public motor carriers must be just and reasonable. § 6. Public motor carriers in intrastate commerce must obtain certificates of convenience and necessity. § 7. Contract motor carriers and private motor carriers of property "either in intrastate commerce or in interstate commerce" must obtain licenses. Application therefor must give information as to ownership, financial condition and equipment, and such further facts as the public service commission may request. The commission is required, upon receipt of this information and on compliance with the regulations and payment of fees, to issue a license. § 8.*fn6 In addition to license fees, public motor carriers, contract motor carriers, and private motor carriers of property must pay a tax of "five-tenths mill per gross ton mile," computed in the manner described, for the administration

[ 286 U.S. Page 361]

     of the Act and for the maintenance and reconstruction of the public highways. § 13.*fn7 Every motor carrier covered by the Act must keep daily records, upon prescribed forms, of all vehicles used and must certify under oath summaries showing the ton miles traveled monthly and such other information as the commission may require. § 15.*fn8 The commission is empowered to enforce the ...


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