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4. John C. Brewer et al. vs. Railroad Commission. Appeal to the United States Supreme Court by writ of error following two decisions by the California Supreme Court affirming the order of the Railroad Commission fixing rates to be charged by the Cuyamaca Water Company in San Diego County.
CASES PENDING IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA. 1. Southern Pacific Company vs. Railroad Commission. To review an order of the Railroad Commission requiring the railroad company to construct a new passenger depot at Fourteenth and Franklin streets in the city of Oakland.
2. Live Oak Water Users Association vs. Railroad Commission. After decision by the Supreme Court annulling the order of the Railroad Commission authorizing the increase of rates by the Sutter Butte Canal Company, the court granted a rehearing and after further argument the case has again been submitted for. decision.
3. Bollywood Chamber of Commerce vs. Railroad Commission. Writ of mandate to compel the Railroad Commission to hear and determine the petition of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for an order directing the Los Angeles Railway Company to extend certain electric street railway lines into Hollywood.
4. City of Pasadena vs. Railroad Commission. Writ of review involving the validity of an order of the Commission authorizing certain increases of fares on the Pacific Electric Railroad, certain through fares being claimed by Pasadena to be in violation of the rule against through rates higher than a combination of local rates.
5. Richardson vs. Railroad Commission. Writ of review brought by the owner of a small water system in Orange County to annul an order of the Railroad Commission directing him to furnish continued service to certain consumers, the Commission having decided that he was operating a public utility.
6. Klatt vs. Railroad Commission. Similar to the case of Richardson vs. Railroad Commission.
7. Williamson vs. Railroad Commission. A review proceeding dealing with an order of the Railroad Commission fixing rates to be charged by the Natomas Water Company. This case deals with the question of whether or not the predecessor of the Natomas Company was operating as a public utility at the time certain contracts for water service were entered into.
CASES PENDING BEFORE THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION. 1. In the matter of California Express Rates, Docket No. 12093. A proceeding to secure from the Interstate Commerce Commission an order increasing express rates in the State of California 1312 per cent above the present rate, notwithstanding the denial on the part of the California Railroad Commission of an application for such increase, the clain being that the disparity between state rates and interstate rates is undoubtedly prejudicial to interstate commerce. This matter has been held in abeyance pending the decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission upon the National Express rate case.
2. In the Matter of Express Rates, 1922, Docket No. 13930. This case, as explained above, involves the general level of express rates throughout
Commission, as the representative of the National Association of Railway and Utilities Commissioners, has taken an active part in this case and sat with the examiners of the Interstate Commerce Commission throughout the hearings in various sections of the United States.
3. City of Los Angeles vs. Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad et al., Dochet No. 14778. This application on the part of the city of Los Angeles asks the Interstate Commerce Commission to make an order similar in tenor to that of the Railroad Commission in the “Los Angeles Terminal Cases," above mentioned.
4. In the Matter of the Consolidation of Railroads of Continental United States, Docket No. 12964. This proceeding, initiated pursuant to certain provisions of the Transportation Act of 1920, relates to possible plans for the consolidation of the railroads of continental United States into a "limited number of systems." The Railroad Commission appeared at hearings held in San Francisco and Los Angeles and presented evidence dealing with railroad problems in the State of California.
5. Applications of Santa Fe and Los Angeles Harbor Railroad and The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company, Finance Dockets Nos. 2434 and 2446. Applications for authority to construct a railroad between the city of Los Angeles and the harbor at San Pedro to bring the Santa Fe Railroad to tidewater at this point.
6. Pullman Surcharge proceeding, Docket No. 14785. This matter, entitled “In the matter of charges assessed passengers traveling in sleeping and parlor cars," covers not only the general rates, but the surcharge payment to the railroads now assessed against such passengers. The Railroad Commission appeared in hearings held at San Francisco and presented evidence to show that such surcharge should be eliminated.
7. Valuation Proceedings. The work of this Commission in connection with valuation proceedings, before the Interstate Commerce Commission is discussed at some length in the section of this report dealing with the transportation division of the Engineering Department. The Commission's attorney appeared and presented argument and evidence in behalf of this Commission's position at a hearing at Washington, D. C., involving the Western Pacific Railroad Company, The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Company, and the Death Valley Railroad.
CASES PENDING IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY. 1. Los Angeles Gas and Electric Company vs. Railroad Commission and City of Los Angeles. Petition for injunction to restrain the Railroad Commission from proceeding under section 47 (6) of the Public Utilities Act, to value the electric properties of the Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation, as desired by the City of Los Angeles. CASES DECIDED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA DURING THE FISCAL YEAR.
1. Motor Transit Company vs. Railroad Commission. This was a proceeding to review an order of the Railroad Commission directing an automobile stage company to refrain from operating as a transportation company between certain points, which operation the Railroad Commission had concluded to be in violation of the Auto Stage Truck and Transportation Act. The order of the Commission was affirmed.
2. McCullagh vs. Railroad Commission. Review proceeding brought by certain consumers of the Coneland Water Company seeking to annul an order of the Railroad Commission establishing increased rates and
requiring the water company to furnish a more adequate supply of water and to do other things for the improvement of its service, on the ground that petitioners private contract rights were not subject to regulation by the Commission. The order of the Commission was annulled.
3. John C. Brewer et al. vs. Railroad Commission. In this proceeding certain consumers of the Cuyamaca Water Company asked that an order of the Commission be annulled on the ground that their private contract rights were not subject to regulation by the Railroad Commission. The order of the Commission was affirmed. (This and another case of the same name, both decided on November 10, 1922, are now pending in the United States Supreme Court upon writ of error proceedings taken by these consumers.)
4. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company vs. Railroad Commission.
5. Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Company vs. Railroad Commission.
6. Southern Pacific Company vs. Railroad Commission.
In these cases the railroads sought to have annulled an order of the Railroad Commission requiring them to join in the construction of a union passenger depot in the City of Los Angeles and to put an end to certain hazardous grade crossings in that city. The court held that under the Transportation Act of 1920 full power and authority over the matter of union terminal depot facilities of interstate railroads has been vested in the Interstate Commerce Commission, and upon that ground annulled the order of the Railroad Commission. (This is the matter now pending in the United States Supreme Court upon writs of certiorari, as explained above.)
7. King vs. Railroad Commission. A proceeding to review an order of the Railroad Commission authorizing an increase of rates by the Sutter Butte Canal Company, petitioners claiming to hold contract rights not subject to regulation by the Commission. The order of the Commission was affirmed.
8. Live Oak Water Users Association et al. vs. Railroad Commission. This matter dealt with the same order involved in the case of King vs. Railroad Commission, but involved certain other consumers and slightly different problems. The order of the Commission was annulled as to such consumers, but a petition for rehearing was granted and argument has been had thereon. This case is, therefore, also listed with those now pending in the California Supreme Court.
9. City of San Bernardino vs. Railroad Commission. In this case it was sought to have annulled an order of the Commission approving the cost of maintenance and repair of a viaduct over the tracks of the railroad company between the municipality and the railroad company. The order of the Commission was affirmed.
10. Saunby vs. Railroad Commission. This was a proceeding in which certain consumers of the Southern California Edison Company sought the annulment of an order of the Railroad Commission decreasing their rates, upon the ground that the Commission had erred in limiting the argument to certain specified matters and in making its allowance for operative costs and taxes. The essential claim of these consumers was that the reduction in rates should have been larger than it was. The
11. Coast Truck Line vs. Railroad Commission. This proceeding involved an order of the Railroad Commission directing the Coast Truck Line and auto stage freight carriers to desist from certain operations held by the Commission to be in violation of the regulatory statute. The order of the Commission was affirmed.
12. Lizzie Ghriest et al. vs. Railroad Commission. This was a proceeding to review an order of the Commission fixing the just compensation to be paid by the city of Banning for an electric distributing system owned by Mrs. Ghriest and sought to be acquired by the city. The proceeding was dismissed upon the request of the petitioners.
13. Haines Canyon Water Company vs. Railroad Commission. A writ of review was asked in this case to annul an order of the Railroad Commission directing the water company to render service to certain persons. By stipulation between all parties, this matter was dismissed by the court.
14. Del Monte Light and Power Company vs. Railroad Commission. In this proceeding the Del Monte Light and Power Company sought to have annulled an order of the Railroad Commission requiring it to render service to a certain locality. This matter was dismissed without prejudice upon application by the power company.
15. Ernsting vs. Railroad Commission. A writ of review in this matter was denied upon a petition seeking an annulment of an order made by the Railroad Commission involving the operation of certain automobile stages in the Imperial Valley.
16. County of Tuolumne et al. vs. Railroad Commission. In this matter a writ of review was denied upon a petition by certain water consumers of the Sierra and San Francisco Power Company, who asserted that the Commission had erred in apportioning certain operative costs between power and irrigation departments of the company.
HISTORICAL SUMMARY. Since the reorganization of the Railroad Commission in 1911 it has made 12,297 formal orders and decisions. During that same period it has been a party to one hundred and twenty court proceedings, of which seven are still pending. Of these cases only eighteen have been decided against the Commission. Included in these eighteen cases are four which were reversed by later action of the State Supreme Court, four which were test cases and although normally decided against the Commission, in reality sustained the Commission in principle; and one which is now pending on appeal in the United States Supreme Court. This leaves a net of nine cases actually lost during those twelve years, out of the one hundred and twenty cases which have been handled. In other words, the formal action of this Commission in the regulation of public utilities in California as expressed in more than 12,000 decisions, has been reversed in but nine cases, considerably less than one-tenth of one
As stated in statistical form, the record is as follows: 12,297 decisions by the Commission since 1911; one hundred and twenty court proceedings, of which eighteen decided against the Commission. Out of the eighteen cases lost, four reversed by later decisions; four test cases sustained the Commission in principle; one pending on appeal in United States Supreme Court; leaving nine cases, net loss.
Automotive transportation is steadily becoming a more highly developed and more smoothly functioning utility. Out of the maze of poorly arranged schedules, even more faulty methods of assessing charges, and woeful lack of understanding of the duty of a common carrier to the public (due unquestionably to the fact that the earlier auto stage men were drivers of vehicles rather than transportation or public service men), there is emerging a utility of enormous value to the individual, the community and the state.
POTENTIALITIES REVEALED. The auto stage, for a period before the advent of regulation by the Commission in 1917, like Topsy, "just growed.” Misdirected, or rather, undirected, for years, automotive transportation gave a "hit and miss” kind of service to the public. Comfort and convenience were secondary considerations to "a load,” and time schedules, apparently, were made but to be ignored. War's service demands put a strain upon motor transportation that did not break it down, but on the contrary, revealed its potentialities. Quick development followed as a result of changed conditions hastened by the World conflict. The driver type disappeared; the dilapidated stage became a thing of memory, and in their stead came men of means and understanding, and equipment built to give pleasure and comfort, and speedy transportation to the rapidly growing army of travelers who found in the auto stage a satisfying mode of conveyance.
HIGHWAYS AID TO DEVELOPMENT. California's wonderful highway system, giving access to places formerly regarded as so remote as to be almost inaccessible, lent speed to the development of automotive transportation. This is evidenced by the records of the Commission which show that on June 30, 1923, there were in operation in the State of California, under the jurisdiction of the Commission, 713 carriers, divided as follows:
Passenger only, 246;
SEASONAL OPERATIONS. Operations of many carriers are seasonal, the freight lines so operating limiting their activities to the periods of time when the commodities