The opinion of the court was delivered by: BOLDT
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
American Farm Lines (AFL) made an application under the provisions of Section 210a(a) Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C.A. Section 310a(a)
and Ex Parte No. MC 67, Motor Carrier Temporary Authorities, 98 M.C.C. 483, 49 C.F.R. 1131, et seq., to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for a Temporary Authority to provide single-line motor carrier service. The application appeared in the Federal Register June 8, 1968. The thirty-five motor carrier plaintiffs in this action, twenty-eight intervening rail carrier plaintiffs and many other carriers, protested the application. The Temporary Authorities Board of the Commission (TAB) by order dated July 12, 1968, denied the application. AFL filed a petition for reconsideration, appealing the decision of TAB. Division 1 of ICC, acting as an Appellate Division, by order dated September 3, 1968, vacated the order of denial issued by TAB and granted the application.
Some of the plaintiffs and other carriers filed petitions for reconsideration, which were not authorized by the applicable rule, Ex Parte No. MC 67, Motor Carrier Temporary Authorities, 98 M.C.C. 483, at page 496 (49 C.F.R. 1131.6), since neither of the conditions authorizing such petitions was present:
"(a) Petitions for reconsideration. - Pursuant to and in accordance with the Commission's General and Special Rules of Practice, petitions for reconsideration of orders of (1) the Temporary Authorities Board, and (2) Division 1 initially granting or denying temporary authority in proceedings not subject to prior determination by the Temporary Authorities Board, may be filed by any interested person."
Plaintiffs' complaint was filed in this court on September 26, 1968, together with a motion for an order to stay the going into effect of the ICC order of September 3, 1968.
This motion was argued October 2, 1968 before Judge Boldt per Title 28, Section 2284(3) and (5). After considering oral and written evidence and the argument of counsel, the Court entered an order staying the going into effect of the ICC order of September 3, 1968, and declaring it to be otherwise inoperative pending determination in this Court of the issues presented in this proceeding, or until further order of this Court. At that hearing, counsel for ICC did not challenge the administrative finality of the ICC order of September 3, 1968. By its order of October 9, 1968, ICC recognized the stay order of this Court.
On October 16, 1968, the Department of Defense filed with ICC a reply to the petitions for reconsideration, and on October 17, 1968, AFL filed a combined reply to the petitions for reconsideration and a petition to reopen. Many plaintiffs filed motions to strike these pleadings on the ground they were not authorized by ICC Rule 49 C.F.R. 1131.6, nor by any other rule.
On November 12, 1968, ICC filed in this court a "Motion to Stay Further Proceedings Herein," stating therein that on November 5, 1968, on its own motion, ICC had reopened the proceeding before it and requested a stay of further action in the case before this court. By their prompt opposition to this motion, plaintiffs contended that ICC was not authorized to reopen its proceeding because this court had taken jurisdiction of the matter. Also, plaintiffs asserted that even if the court had not taken jurisdiction, the ICC Rules precluded reopening of the proceeding. No action has ever been taken to note the ICC motion for hearing or to otherwise procure the stay sought by the motion.
The same contentions were presented to ICC in plaintiff's motion for vacation of the reopening order.
Since the ICC order of November 5, 1968 recited that a verified statement from the Department of Defense would be received, and no ruling having been made on their petitions to vacate the order of November 5, plaintiffs responded to the Caputo verified statement submitted by the Department of Defense. These responses asserted plaintiffs had satisfactorily performed all services previously requested of them and their willingness and ability to perform any service requested of them by any shipper, including the Department of Defense.
On December 19, 1968, ICC issued a new order in the same docket granting AFL the same temporary authority previously granted by the ICC order of September 3, 1968 as to which the stay order of this court was and still is in full effect.
On December 31, 1968, pursuant to Fed. Civ. R. 15(d), plaintiffs filed in this court a "Supplemental Complaint Setting Forth Transactions or Occurrences or Events Which Have Happened Since the Date the Original Complaint was Filed Herein" and a motion to stay the going into effect of the ICC order of December 19, 1968.
Following extended argument, on January 6, 1969 Judge Boldt entered an order restraining the going into effect of the ICC order of December 19, 1968 and ordering it to be inoperative until further order of this court. Full hearing on the ...