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United States v. Florida East Coast Ry

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Administrative Law Keyed to Lawson

Citation. United States v. Florida E. C. R. Co., 410 U.S. 224, 93 S. Ct. 810, 35 L. Ed. 2d 223, 1973 U.S. LEXIS 137 (U.S. Jan. 22, 1973)

Brief Fact Summary. Two railroad companies (Appellees) brought this action in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida to set aside the incentive per diem rates established by the Interstate Commerce Commission (Appellant) in a rulemaking proceeding.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) states that none of its provisions limit or repeal additional requirements imposed by other statutes or law. Even though the Commission was not required to comply with Section:Section:556 and 557 of the APA, it was required to comply with the “hearing” requirement of the Interstate Commerce Act (Act).

Facts. There was a chronic freight-car shortage on the Nation’s railroads, and Congress responded by amending Section:1(14)(1) of the Act to expand the Commission’s authority to prescribe per diem charges for use by one railroad of freight cars owned by another. After an investigation, a notice of proposed rulemaking, and an informal conference at which Appellees voiced concerns, the Commission concluded that Section:1(14)(1) authorized it to impose additional “incentive” per diem charges. In December, 1969, the Commission issued a proposed rule with a notice to railroads to file statements of position within 60 days. Both Appellees filed statements objecting to the proposal and requesting an oral hearing, but the Commission overruled their requests. Appellees brought this action in the District Court to set aside the incentive per diem rates established by the Commission in a rulemaking proceeding. The District Court sustained Appellee’s position that the Commission had failed to comply with Section:553 and Section:556 of the APA; held that the language of Section:1(14)(a) of the Act required the Commission to act in accordance with the APA Section:556(d) in a proceeding such as this; and the Commission’s determination to receive submission from the Appellees only in written form violated Section:556(d) because Appellees were “prejudiced” by that determination.

Issue. Was the Commission’s proceeding governed by APA Section:553 or by Section:Section:556 and 557?

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