City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company

PETITIONER: City of Chicago
RESPONDENT: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company
LOCATION: Shotwell Manufacturing Co.

DOCKET NO.: 103
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 357 US 77 (1958)
ARGUED: Mar 05, 1958 / Mar 06, 1958
DECIDED: Jun 16, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 2: City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company - March 06, 1958 (103) in City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 1: Parmelee Transportation Company v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company - March 06, 1958 (104) in City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 2: Parmelee Transportation Company v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company - March 06, 1958 (104) in City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 1: City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company - March 05, 1958 (103) in City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company

Earl Warren:

Number 103, City of Chicago, Petitioner versus the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company.

Joseph F. Grossman:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

Earl Warren:

Mr. Grossman, you may proceed.

Joseph F. Grossman:

This case is here by writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The suit was instituted in the United States District Court for a declaratory judgment and injunction by 21 frontline railroads operating to and from the City of Chicago in the interstate commerce and in the intrastate commerce.

And the respondent, Railroad Transfer Service, Incorporated hereafter called “Transfer” for short, an uncertified motor carrier transferring passengers between terminal facilities of the various railroads of which there were I think eight in number in the City of Chicago.

None of the railroads pass through the City of Chicago.

There are eight terminals.

Two of them on the west side of the Chicago River and six of them on the south and east side of the Chicago River, some distance south.

The distance between the terminals vary from about a quarter of a mile to two miles distance.

The case involved the construction or in the alternative as the pleading showed, the constitutionality of a city ordinance licensing the -- and regulating the use of the city streets by a motor vehicle for hire.

The ordinance was known as Chapter 28 of the Municipal Court of Chicago which appears in the record at page -- beginning at page 171.

Parmelee Transportation Company, another uncertified motor carrier intervened in the case.

The Parmelee Company having -- have a contract of the railroads to operate at the -- the motor vehicles in the transfer of passengers in interstate commerce and intrastate commerce prior to the termination of that contract and the substitution of the Railroad Transfer Service.

At that time until -- October 1, 1955, the terminal line had a contract arrangement with Parmelee as I said to furnish their service.

But that operation was not limited to interstation service on through route railroad carriers.

It also carried passengers for cash fares between terminal stations and from substations to hotels and other places within the central business district of the City of Chicago.

Parmelee's operations were licensed as terminal vehicles under the city code relating to the public passenger vehicles, the licensing of public passenger vehicles.

At that time, referring to the ordinance, a public passenger vehicle was defined by the code as a motor vehicle which is used for the transportation of passengers for hire accepting those devoted exclusively for funeral use or any operation of a Metropolitan Transit Authority or public utility under the laws of Illinois and the terminal vehicle was defined as a public passenger vehicle which is operated under contracts with the railroad and steamship companies exclusively for the transfer of passengers from terminal stations.

Then Section 28-2 provided, it is unlawful for any person other than the Metropolitan Transit Authority or public utility to operate any vehicle or for any such person who is the owner of any vehicle to permit it to be operated on any public way for the transportation of passengers for hire from place to place within the corporate limits of the city except on a funeral trip unless it is licensed by the city as a public passenger vehicle.

Those are the pertinent provisions of the ordinance which are involved in this case.

Parmelee's operations as I said were licensed as terminal vehicles.

Early in June 1955, the terminal lines notified Parmelee that their contractual arrangement would be terminated and other provision made for the transfer of passengers on through route tickets between terminal stations in Chicago.

On July 26, 1955, the City Council passed an ordinance amending the city code by eliminating the requirement of a contractual arrangement with railroad companies to qualify terminal vehicles for license and limiting the number of such vehicles to those licensed unless after a public hearing is provided by the ordinance, public convenience and necessity require additional service of the character described.

That provision in the ordinance was the -- in 2231-1 or 28 -- no, excuse me, it was 28-31.1, Chapter 28.

It was amended at the same time that the definition of terminal vehicles was amended and also the section relating to the operation of terminal route vehicles which was limited to the central business district of the City of Chicago and it provided for a determination of public convenience and necessity prior to the issuance of any licenses for additional terminal vehicles.

Now, Parmelee was then operating of course not in the transfer of passengers on through routes either in intrastate commerce or interstate commerce.

It was operating after termination of its contract as a local public passenger vehicle.

Still under license, transporting for a cash fare, passengers who happened to be at any railroad station to the hotels and to any destination which the passenger himself directed.

The case was submitted in the District Court on the question of the construction of the contract both by the complaints and by the motion of the City of Chicago for summary judgment.