Denver Union Stock Yard Company v. Producers Livestock Marketing Association

PETITIONER: Denver Union Stock Yard Company
RESPONDENT: Producers Livestock Marketing Association
LOCATION: Shotwell Manufacturing Co.

DOCKET NO.: 106
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 356 US 282 (1958)
ARGUED: Mar 10, 1958
DECIDED: Apr 28, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Denver Union Stock Yard Company v. Producers Livestock Marketing Association

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 10, 1958 in Denver Union Stock Yard Company v. Producers Livestock Marketing Association

Earl Warren:

Number 106, Denver Union Stock Yard Company, Petitioner, versus Producers Livestock Marketing Association, and Number 118, Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture, Petitioner, versus Producers Livestock Marketing Association.

Mr. Brooks, you may proceed.

Neil Brooks:

If the Court please.

The centric issue in the case is whether certain regulations issued by the stockyard owner in Denver pursuant to the Packers and Stockyards Act are invalid as a matter of law or stating the question in the language used by the Court of Appeals.

The question is whether the regulations in the absence of evidence are illegal on their face.

These regulations were issued by the stockyard owner with respect to the furnishing of what the statute calls reasonable stockyard services.

The Denver Stock Yard has been posted for regulation under the Packers and Stockyards Act since 1921.

And the market agent says and the dealers at that Stock Yard are also subject to the regulatory terms of the statute.

This litigation had its origin in a complaint which was filed with the Department of Agriculture by a market agency at the Denver Stock Yard.

A market agency is by statutory definition, a person engaged in the business of buying or selling livestock on a commission basis at a posted stockyard.

A complaint in this case was filed by the Producers Livestock Marketing Association, a corporate entity which is registered with the Secretary of Agriculture as a market agency at this stockyard.

That is to say the complainant is engaged in the business of buying and selling livestock on a commission basis at the Denver Stock Yard.

It is alleged in the complaint that certain regulations issued by the stockyard owner are for various reasons invalid.

And the prayer of the complaint is that the Secretary of Agriculture, after an adjudicatory proceeding, set aside the Stock Yard Company's regulations or as the complaint terms it, annulled those regulations.

Before explaining the regulations --

William O. Douglas:

The stockyard initiates and filed the regulations?

Neil Brooks:

Yes, Your Honor.

William O. Douglas:

Is there a hearing on those regulations?

Neil Brooks:

Not at that time.

The hearing may come later, Your Honor.

William O. Douglas:

There's no hearing unless there's an objection.

Neil Brooks:

That's right, Your Honor.

William O. Douglas:

-- Secretary on his own (Inaudible).

Neil Brooks:

He can indeed.

The statute expressly so provides.

William O. Douglas:

Was there any objection here by anybody?

Neil Brooks:

There was an objection here by the market agency, the complainant in the administrative proceeding.

That objection was filed properly after these regulations were filed with the Department of Agriculture.

Perhaps, it will be helpful too, Your Honor, if I explain at once two or three of the statutory provisions which are at the very center of this case, statutory provisions which are cited in the complaint and which are relied on by the complainant now as well as then.

The Packers and Stockyards Act imposed certain duties on a stockyard owner and a market agency.