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AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. UNITED STATES

January 20, 1959

AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, INC., The Contract Carrier Conference of American Trucking Associations, Inc., National Automobile Transporters Association, Convoy Company, Robertson Truck-A-Ways, Inc., Hadley Auto Transport, B & H Truckaway, Western Auto Transports, Inc., and Kenosha Auto Transport Corp., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES of America and Interstate Commerce Commission, Defendants, and Pacific Motor Trucking Company and General Motors Corporation, Intervening Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KEECH

This is an action by certain motor carrier trade associations and motor carriers to set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission entered September 9, 1958, which directed the issuance under certain conditions, of motor contract carrier permits under § 209(b) of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S.C.A. § 309(b)) authorizing Pacific Motor Trucking Company of San Francisco, California, to transport automobiles and trucks, except trailers, in initial movements in truckaway and/or driveaway service, from plants of the General Motors Corporation at Oakland, Raymer, and South Gate, California, to certain named off-rail points in Nevada, and to all points in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico which are stations on the rail lines of the Southern Pacific Company.

Pacific Motor Trucking Company (hereinafter referred to as PMT) is a wholly owned motor carrier subsidiary of Southern Pacific Company (hereinafter referred to as SP), which operates an extensive railroad system in Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

 PMT since December 10, 1935, has held contract carrier operating authority from the Railroad Commission of California for intrastate operations within that State. The Interstate Commerce Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) has issued to PMT four prior contract carrier permits for transportation of new automobiles, new trucks, and new buses, in initial movements in truckaway and driveaway service (1) from Oakland, California, to the non-rail point of Hawthorne, Nevada, and Nevada rail points on the Southern Pacific (MC 78787, Sub 23, issued June 20, 1944); (2) from Los Angeles, California, to Calexico and San Ysidro, California, both on the Mexican border (MC 78787, Sub 27, issued April 21, 1950); (2) from Raymer, California, to points in the Los Angeles Harbor Commercial Zone, for transshipment by water (MC 78787, Sub 30, issued June 22, 1950); and (4) from Oakland, California, to Carson City and Minden, Nevada, both being non-rail points (MC 78787, Sub 31, issued June 21, 1955). PMT's only shipper under these permits has been GM. Thus, prior to filing of the four new applications involved in this case, the Commission had issued to PMT contract carrier operating authority from GM plants in California for physically interstate service across the state line into Nevada, and for foreign commerce physically within California.

 The order complained of grew out of extensive proceedings before the Commission following the filing of the four applications by PMT, seeking to extend its service as a contract carrier for GM in the Pacific Coast area for the transportation of a single commodity, new automobiles and trucks. In general, by the Sub 34 application, PMT sought to extend its contract carrier service from the two GM Chevrolet plants at Oakland, California, to all Oregon points which are stations on SP; by the Sub 35 application, the right to serve three additional non-rail points in Nevada from Oakland, California; by the Sub 36 application, to serve all Arizona points which are stations on SP; and by the Sub 37 application, authority to round out its service areas from the Oakland and Raymer plants to include all points in the seven states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, whether or not they are stations on SP, and to begin new service from the Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac plant at South Gate, California, to a seven-state area, namely, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Montana. The four sub-proceedings were finally consolidated in Sub 37, from which the order complained of emanated. All of the plaintiffs in this action, who had been protestants in one or more of the other sub-numbers, participated in the consolidated proceeding before the Commission.

 This action to set aside the Commission's order and for a temporary restraining order and for interlocutory and permanent injunction against issuance of the permits authorized thereby, was brought under the provisions of § 205(g) of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S.C.A. § 305(g)), § 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.A. § 1009), and 1336, 1398, 2284, and 2321 to 2325 of the Judicial Code (28 U.S.C.A. §§ 1336, 1398, 2284, and 2321-2325). The plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order was denied after hearing. On November 24, 1958, permits for the operations authorized by the order were issued by the Commission. The prayer for injunction was thereafter abandoned, and the cause is now before this statutory three-judge court for a determination on the merits.

 The plaintiffs American Trucking Associations, Inc., The Contract Carrier Conference of American Trucking Associations, Inc., and National Automobile Transporters Association are motor carrier trade associations. The plaintiffs Convoy Company, Robertson Truck-A-Ways, Inc., Western Auto Transports, Inc., and Kenosha Auto Transport Corp., are motor common carriers authorized to operate in one or more of the states affected by the extensions of Pacific Motor Trucking Company's contract operations authorized by the order. Robertson holds common carrier authority to transport automobiles and trucks, in initial movements, in truckaway service from the General Motors plants at Raymer and South Gate to points in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. The plaintiffs Hadley Auto Transport and B & H Truckaway are motor contract carriers. Hadley is authorized to transport in initial movements, in truckaway service, automobiles from points in Los Angeles County, California, which includes Raymer and South Gate, to points in Idaho and Montana, and from Oakland to points in Arizona, and automobiles and trucks from points in Los Angeles County to points in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. B & H is authorized to transport automobiles, in truckaway and driveway service, in initial movements, from Vernon, California, an incorporated community just outside Los Angeles, to points in Arizona and Nevada, and motor vehicles, except trailers, in initial movements from Vernon to points in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, serving Raymer as a point within the Vernon commercial zone.

 The United States and the Interstate Commerce Commission were named defendants. The United States was represented at the hearing on the motion for a temporary restraining order, and thereafter an answer was filed on its behalf stating:

 '* * * the United States does not participate in the defense of the Commission's order but does not oppose its defense.' *fn1"

 There has been no further participation by the United States in the proceedings.

 Pacific Motor Trucking Company and General Motors Corporation sought leave to intervene on behalf of the defendants.

 Their requests were granted, PMT, the applicant, and GM, the sole shipper involved, being the parties who would be most affected if the Commission's order should be set aside.

 The question presented by this action is, to summarize, whether the Commission erred in authorizing extension of PMT's existing contract carrier authority to serve a single shipper, GM, and to transport a single commodity, new automobiles and trucks, from three GM plants in California to points within five ...


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