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Statement of the Case.
CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE AND ST. PAUL RAILWAY
COMPANY v. MINNESOTA.
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA.
No. 762. Argued January 13, 14, 1890. – Decided March 24, 1890.
The act of the legislature of Minnesota, approved March 7, 1887, General
Laws of 1887, c. 10, establishing a railroad and warehouse commission, being interpreted by the Supreme Court of that State as providing that the rates of charges for the transportation of property, recommended and published by the commission shall be final and conclusive as to what are equal and reasonable charges, and that there can be no judicial inquiry as to the reasonableness of such rates, and a railroad company, in answer to an application for a mandamus, contending that such rates, in regard to it, are unreasonable, and not being allowed by the state court to put in testimony on the question of the reasonableness of such rates; Held, that the act is in conflict with the Constitution of the United States, as depriving the company of its property without due process of
law, and depriving it of the equal protection of the laws. The State had made no irrepealable contract with the company that it
should have the right for all future time to prescribe its rates of toll, free from all control by the legislature of the State.
This was a writ of error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota, awarding a writ of mandamus against the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company.
The case arose on proceedings taken by the. Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Minnesota, under an act of the legislature of that State, approved March 7, 1887, General Laws of 1887, c. 10, entitled “An act to regulate common carriers, and creating the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Minnesota, and defining the duties of such commission in relation to common carriers." The act is set forth in full in the margin.
1 CHAPTER 10. — AN ACT TO REGULATE COMMON CARRIERS, AND CREATING
THE RAILROAD AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF MINNE-
to COMMON CARRIERS.
SECTION 1. (a) That the provisions of this act shall apply to any common
Statement of the Case.
The ninth section of that act creates a commission to be known as the “Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the
carrier or carriers engaged in the transportation of passengers or property wholly by railroad, or partly by railroad and partly by water, when both are used under a common control, management or arrangement, for a carriage or shipment from one place or station to another, both being within the State of Minnesota :
Provided, That nothing in this act shall apply to street railways or to the carriage, storage or handling by any common carrier of property, free, or at reduced rates for the United States, or for the State of Minnesota, or for any municipal government or corporation within the State, or for any charitable purpose, or to or from fairs, and expositions for exhibition thereat, (or stock for breeding purposes,) or to the issuance of mileage, excursion or commutation passenger tickets, at rates made equal to all, or to transportation to stock shippers with cars, and nothing in the provisions of this act shall be construed to prevent common carriers, subject to the provisions of this act, from issuing passes for the free transportation of passengers.
(6) The term “railroad” as used in this act shall include all bridges or ferries used or operated in connection with any railroad, and also all the road in use by any corporation operating a railroad, whether owned or operated under a contract, agreement or lease; and the term “transportation” shall include all instrumentalities of shipment or carriage.
Sec. 2. (a) That all charges made by any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, for any service rendered or to be rendered in the transportation of passengers or property as aforesaid, or in connection therewith, or for the receiving, delivering, storage or handling of such property shall be equal and reasonable ; and every unequal and unreasonable charge for such service is prohibited and declared to be unlawful.
Provided, That one car-load of freight of any kind or class shall be transported at as low a rate per ton, and per ton per mile, as any greater number of car-loads of the same kind and class from and to the same points of origination or destination.
(6) It shall be unlawful for any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, to make or give any unequal or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, company, firm, corporation or locality, or any particular description of traffic, in any respect whatsoever, or to subject any particular person, company, firm, corporation, or locality, or any particular description of traffic to any unequal or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
SEC. 3. (a) That all common carriers, subject to the provisions of this act, shall, according to their respective powers, provide, at the point of connection, crossing or intersection, ample facilities for transferring cars, and for accommodating and transferring passengers, and traffic of all kinds and classes, from their lines or tracks, to those of any other common car
Statement of the Case.
State of Minnesota," to consist of three persons to be appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate.
rier whose lines or tracks may connect with,.cross or intersect their own, and shall afford all equal and reasonable facilities for the interchange of cars and traffic between their respective lines, and for the receiving, forwarding and delivering of passengers and property and cars to and from their several lines and those of other common carriers connecting therewith, and shall not discriminate in their rates and charges between such connecting lines, or on freight coming over such lines; but this shall not be construed as requiring any common carrier to use for another common carrier its tracks, equipments or terminal facilities without reasonable compensation.
(6) That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act, to enter into any combination, contract or agreement, · expressed or implied, to prevent, by change of time or schedule, or by carriage in different cars, or by any other means or devices, the carriage of freight from being continuous from the place of shipment to the place of destination; and no break of bulk, stoppage or interruption made by such common carrier shall prevent the carriage of freight from being treated as one continuous carriage from the place of shipment to the place of destination, unless such break, stoppage or interruption was made in good faith for some necessary purpose and without any intent to avoid or unnecessarily interrupt such continuous carriage or to evade any of the provisions of this act.
(c) Every common carrier operating a railway in this State shall, without unreasonable delay, furnish, start and run cars for the transportation of persons and property, which, within a reasonable time theretofore, is offered for transportation at any of its stations on its line of road and at the junctions.of other railroads, and at such stopping places as may be established for receiving and discharging passengers and freights; and shall take, receive, transport and discharge such passengers and property at, from and to such stations, junctions and places, on and from all trains advertised to stop at the same, for passengers and freights respectively, upon the due payment or tender of payment, of tolls, freight or fare therefor, if such payment is demanded. Every such common carrier shall permit connections to be made and maintained in a reasonable manner with its side tracks to and from any warehouse, elevator or manufactory without reference to its size or capacity; provided, that this shall not be construed so as to require any common carrier to construct or furnish any side track off from its own land; provided further, that where stations are ten (10) miles or more apart the common carrier, when required to do so by the railroad and warehouse commissioners, shall construct and maiņtain a side track for the use of shippers between such stations.
(d) Whenever any property is received by any common carrier subject to
Statement of the Case.
The first section of the act declares that its provisions shall apply to any common carrier “engaged in the transportation
the provisions of this act, to be transported from one place to another within this State, it shall be unlawful for such common carrier to limit in any way, except as stated in its classification schedule, hereinafter provided for, its common-law liability with reference to such property while in its custody as a common carrier (as hereinbefore mentioned), such liability must include the absolute responsibility of the common carrier for the acts of its agents in relation to such property.
Sec. 4. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act, to enter into any contract, agreement, or combination with any other common carrier or carriers for the division or pool. ing of business of different and competing railroads, or to divide between them the aggregate or net proceeds of the earnings of such railroads, or any portion thereof; and in case of an agreement for the pooling of their business aforesaid each day of its continuance shall be deemed a separate offence.
SEC. 5. That if any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, shall, directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other device charge, demand, collect or receive from any person or persons a greater or less compensation for any service rendered, or to be rendered, in the transportation of passengers or property subject to the provisions of this act, than it charges, demands, collects or receives from any other person or persons for doing for him or them a like and contemporaneous service in the transportation of passengers or property, such common carrier. shall be deemed guilty of unjust discrimination, which is hereby prohibited. and declared to be unlawful.
Sec. 6. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, to charge or receive any greater compensation for the transportation of passengers or of like kind or class and quantity of property, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, the shorter being included within the longer distance; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, to charge or receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance.
Provided, however, That upon application to the commission appointed under the provisions of this act, such common carrier may, in special cases, after investigation by the commissioners, be authorized to charge less, for longer than for shorter distances, for the transportation of passengers or property; and the commission may from time to time prescribe the extent to which such designated common carrier may be relieved from the operation of this section of this act.
SEÇ. 7. (a) That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, to charge or receive any greater compensation, per ton, per mile, for the contemporaneous transportation of the same class
Statement of the Case.
of passengers or property wholly by railroad, or partly by railroad and partly by water, when both are used under a
of freight for a longer than for a shorter distance over the same line, in the same general direction, or froni the same original point of departure, or to the same point of arrival; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier, subject to the provisions of this act, to charge as high a rate per ton, per mile, for a longer as for a shorter distance.
(6) Whenever any railway company doing business in this State shall be unable, from any reasonable cause, to furnish cars at any railway station. or side track, in accordance with the demands made by all persons demanding cars at such stations or side tracks for the shipment of grain or other freight, such cars as are furnished shall be divided as equally as may be among the applicants until each shipper shall have received, at least, one car, when the balance shall be divided ratably in proportion to the amount of daily receipts of grain, or cther freight, to each shipper, or to the amount of grain offered at such station on side tracks.
(c) There shall in no case be more than one terminal charge for switching or transferring any car, whether the same is loaded or empty, within the limits of any one city or town. If it is necessary that any car pass over the tracks of more than one company, within such city or town limits, in order to reach its final destination, or to be returned therefrom to its owner or owners, then the company first switching or transferring such car shall be entitled to receive the entire charge to be made therefor, and shall be liable to the company or companies doing the subsequent switching or transferring thereof for its or their reasonable and equitable share of the compensation received, and if the companies so jointly interested therein cannot agree upon the share thereof which each is entitled to receive, the same shall be determined by the board of railroad and warehouse commissioners, whose decision thereon shall be final and conclusive upon all parties interested, and the said board are authorized to establish such rules [and] regulations in that behalf as to them may seem just and reasonable and not in conflict with this act.
Sec. 8. (a) That every common carrier; subject to the provisions of this act, shall, within sixty (60) days after this act shall take effect, print and thereafter keep for public inspection, schedules showing the classification, rates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers and property of all kinds and classes which such common carrier has established, and which are in force at the time, upon its railroad, as defined by the first (1st) section of this act. . This schedule printed as aforesaid by such common carrier shall plainly state the places upon its railroad between which property and passengers will be carried, and shall contain "classification of freight” in force upon each [of] the lines of such railroad, a distance tariff, and a table of interstation distances, and shall also state separately the terminal charges, and any rules or regulations which in anywise change, affect or determine any part of the aggregate of such aforesaid rates, fares and