United States v. J. B. Montgomery, Inc.

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: J. B. Montgomery, Inc.
LOCATION: Cumberland Hospital

DOCKET NO.: 66
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 376 US 389 (1964)
ARGUED: Jan 08, 1964
DECIDED: Mar 23, 1964

Facts of the case

Question

Media for United States v. J. B. Montgomery, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 08, 1964 in United States v. J. B. Montgomery, Inc.

Earl Warren:

Number 66 United States et al., Appellants, versus J.B. Montgomery, Incorporated.

Mr. Hollander.

Morton Hollander:

May it please the Court, I would like to move the admission of Mr. Frank I. Goodman, a member of the Bar, the District of Columbia as well as California for the purpose of arguing this case only.

Earl Warren:

The motion is granted.

Mr. Goodman.

Frank I. Goodman:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

These case is here on direct appeal by the United States and the Interstate Commerce Commission from a decision of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

The case arises under Section 212 (c) of the Interstate Commerce Act and involves the validity of certain restrictions which the Commission placed in the certificate of a motor carrier upon converting it from contract carrier status to common carrier status.

I think that a brief description of the legal context of which the case arises might be helpful to an understanding of the facts.

Prior to 1957, the Motor Carrier Act defined contract carriers as any carriers other than common carriers who engaged in transportation under individual contracts or agreements.

In 1957 however, at the request of the Commission, Congress tightened that definition so as to restrict the term 'contract carrier' to those who engaged in transportation under continuing contracts with one or limited number of shippers and who either allocated vehicles for a continuing period for the exclusive use of each individual customer or who performed the service designed to meet a distinctive need of each individual customer.

In addition and also at the urging of the Commission, Congress enacted Section 212 (c) a 'grandfather clause' providing for the conversion to common carrier status of those contract carriers whose operations were so extensive or so generalized that they did not fit the new amended definition of contract carrier.

Section 212 (c) provided that the Commission might revoke the permit of any such contract carrier and issue it instead a common carrier certificate authorizing transportation of the same commodities between the same points or within the same territories as is authorized by the permit.

It's against that legal background that this case arises.

Prior to 1957, J.B. Montgomery Incorporated was operating as a contract carrier under a permit issued to its predecessor in 1943 under the grandfather clause of the Motor Carrier Act.

Montgomery's permit authorized it to serve designated points within abroad mid-western area, and the carry commodities which were described by reference to the particular kinds of businesses which customarily dealt in or used those commodities.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

(Inaudible)

Frank I. Goodman:

Well --

Arthur J. Goldberg:

(Inaudible)

Frank I. Goodman:

-- in -- well, point were in terms of cities.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

City?

Frank I. Goodman:

Yes.

In general, it was from Denver to Chicago and various points in between.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

(Inaudible)

Frank I. Goodman:

No, no.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

(Inaudible)

Frank I. Goodman:

That's right Mr. Justice Goldberg.

Arthur J. Goldberg:

(Inaudible)

Frank I. Goodman:

No, I -- I don't conceived at all.

In this particular case, the -- described the points happened to be cities but in many instances, common carriers or contract carriers are limited to shipping points which are not cities but which maybe identified as plant sites for example of particular businesses or particular classes of businesses and in those instances, I would suppose --