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INLAND MOTOR FREIGHT v. UNITED STATES

October 17, 1956

INLAND MOTOR FREIGHT, Inc., a corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant. Interstate Commerce Commission, Intervenor, Sites Freightlines, Inc., and Consolidated Freightways, Inc., intervenors



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LINDBERG

The controversy developed with the filing of a complaint on September 29, 1953 by Portland-Pendleton Motor Transportation Company and Consolidated Freightways, Inc. against Inland under Section 204 of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C.A. 304, charging Inland with engaging in unauthorized transportation. The proceedings thus instituted were conducted under modified procedure. *fn1" Joint Board No. 45, the matter having been referred to it by the Commission, *fn2" and June 28, 1954 entered a report and order in which it found that Inland lacked authority to engage in the transportation complained of and recommended that a cease and desist order be entered against it, and thereafter on March 9, 1955 Division 5 of the Commission entered a report and order *fn3" wherein it likewise found that Inland had been engaging in transportation in excess of its authority and ordered it to cease and desist therefrom. Inland filed a 'Petition for Reconsideration' and an 'Alternate Petition for Rehearing', both of which were denied by order dated July 18, 1955 although before entering said order the Commission, by Division 5, on July 14, 1955, apparently for the purpose of clarification, modified its findings in its report of March 9, 1955. *fn4"

 On August 31, 1955 Inland instituted this proceeding to set aside the orders of the Commission, alleging *fn5" 'That the interpretation by the Interstate Commerce Commission in its several Orders of the authority conferred by the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity upon the plaintiff is in error as a matter of law and that the denial of plaintiff's Petition for Rehearing is in violation of the due process clause of the Constitution of the United States.'

 In presenting its case before us the plaintiff, Inland contends that the order of the Interstate Commerce Commission should be set aside because:

 (1) The commission has erroneously construed Inland's Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, particularly misconstruing the meaning of the restriction involved and erred in holding that it may not transport (a) explosives, and (b) other commodities between Seattle, Washington and the Umatilla Ordnance Munitions Depot in northeastern Oregon;

 (2) It is void in that it rests its finding in part on evidence not in the record;

 (3) A fair hearing has been denied by the refusal to grant a rehearing as required by Section 7(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.A. 1006(d);

 (4) The order as modified is ambiguous and confusing and does not inform plaintiff what acts in issue it may perform and what acts in issue it must refrain from performing.

 It would appear that plaintiff's contentions 2 and 3 are alternative and based upon the same grounds.

 Plaintiff relies principally upon its first contention of error.

 An admittedly true copy of the Certificate is set out as Exhibit 'A' attached to the Petition. It consists of eight sheets and is too lengthy to set forth herein in full. The following is a brief but sufficient description of the pertinent parts. Under the heading 'Regular Routes' appearing on the first page of the Certificate there are set forth on the first four sheets of the Certificate thirty-four individually-described routes. The first is between specified points in Idaho; the second through the twenty-first from and to specified points in the State of Washington; the twenty-second through the twenty-fourth between Spokane, Washington and specified points in Idaho; the twenty-fifth between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho; the twenty-sixth between Seattle, Washington and the Junction of U.S. Highway 410 and 730 (which route meets the twenty-fifth route at said junction); the twenty-seventh route between Portland, Oregon and Buena, Washington; the twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth and thirty-first between named points in Washington and named points in Idaho, the thirtieth, thirty-second, thirty-third and thirty-fourth between named points in Idaho.

 The two routes upon which Inland relies to perform the service here in question are the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth listed routes (hereinafter respectively referred to as the Portland-Lewiston route and the Seattle-Junction route) are set forth in the Certificate as follows:

 Between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho:

 From Portland over U.S. Highway 30 to Umatilla, Oregon, thence over U.S. Highway 730 to junction U.S. Highway 410, and thence over U.S. Highway 410 to ...


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