County of Marin v. United States

PETITIONER: County of Marin
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)

CITATION: 356 US 412 (1958)
ARGUED: Apr 09, 1958
DECIDED: May 19, 1958

Facts of the case


Media for County of Marin v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 09, 1958 (Part 1) in County of Marin v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 09, 1958 (Part 2) in County of Marin v. United States

Robert W. Ginnane:

May it please the Court.

(Inaudible) of civil rules does apply in appropriate circumstances to the amendment of a complaint seeking review of an administrative order.

We submit that there was no abuse of discretion on the part of the three-judge court in this case in denying the appellant's motion to amend because again, this was not a routine motion to amend filed at an early stage in the proceedings, rather it came so late that it amounted to a deliberate attempt to split up to what would normally be a single review proceeding, a single day in court into a piecemeal review of an administrative order because the appellant stated candidly to the three-judge court that they would seek to amend their complaint.

If the one question under Section 5, which they had raised in their original complaint, if that question was resolved against them, then they would like to amend to -- to litigate some further questions.

And raising -- raising the question on amendment that late is essentially the same, we submit, in terms of the wasting of judicial time and the harassment of parties, as if they had actually waited until the three-judge court had rendered its decision and judgment upon the one point raised in the complaint.

Now, such repetitive review, such piecemeal review of Commission orders, we submit, is repugnant to the whole pattern of arrangements which Congress has provided and indeed which this Court has impart provided for the review of administrative orders.

Some years ago in the United States v. Griffin, this Court had occasioned to analyze the review provisions provided for the review of Interstate Commerce Commission orders.

And the Court specifically adverted to the fact that Congress sought to avert the delays incident to litigation.

And in many recent regulatory statutes, almost typically, Congress has specified a period within which proceedings for judicial review of particular types of administrative orders must be brought, such periods are typically 30 or 60 days.

But this whole pattern of congressional purpose and the purpose of this Court were reasonably expeditious review of orders for a single day in the Court for those that want to challenge regulatory orders is thwarted.

If this new theory of a piecemeal ruling review of orders and the guides of amendments to complaints is accepted, if this -- in many respects, we view this aspect of the case as more important than the subsequent law aspect because in these rate cases in particular, and I emphasize I -- this is no reflection on the parties to this case, I'm just speaking generally, in these rate cases, delay is typically worth a great deal to one side or the other.

Delay is precious to the carrier if it has rate -- if it has rates in effect.

Delay is precious to the protesters if the carrier can't get rate -- can't get rates into effect.

And if, by a theory of amendments to complaints, orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission and other orders of federal regulatory agencies can be subjected to this kind of piecemeal review, then they'll -- then it -- that there will have been created a unique procedure for dilatory tactics.

Hugo L. Black:

Why do you say this would have delayed the carrier?

I can understand your argument that you will not be allowed (Inaudible)

Robert W. Ginnane:

Well, may I review the posture of the case?

A complaint filed --

Hugo L. Black:

I understand that.

Robert W. Ginnane:

-- responsive pleadings, briefs, briefs on the merits of the one question under Section 5, which the appellant raised in their original complaint, counsel for the parties, assemblance San Francisco before the three-judge court, argument is held on the merits of the one question raised in the original complaint.

And in the course of that argument for the first time, the Court has told, the defendants are told by the appellants that if this one question raised by them in their complaint is resolved against them by the three-judge court, then they'd like to amend their complaint to litigate some further questions.

And we submit that that sort of --

Hugo L. Black:

(Voice Overlap) delay in this particular case?

Robert W. Ginnane:

It would have been --

Hugo L. Black:

What delay would have been brought about?

When was the case -- when did they ask him and when did the case decided?

Robert W. Ginnane:

Well, the case was argued in -- on February 23.

On February 28, they filed this motion for leave to amend.

Now, in this -- in this particular case --

Hugo L. Black:

Beginning what year?