235 US 371 Berwind-White Coal Mining Company v. Chicago & Erie Railroad Company

235 U.S. 371

35 S.Ct. 131

59 L.Ed. 275


No. 92.

Argued December 3, 1914.

Decided December 14, 1914.

Messrs. Henry T. Martin and Edward D. Pomeroy for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 372-374 intentionally omitted]

Messrs. Edward W. Rawlins, William J. Calhoun, and Will H. Lyford for defendant in error.

Memorandum opinion by direction of the court, by Mr. Chief Justice White:

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The judgment which is under review awarded demurrage on carloads of coal shipped by the plaintiff in error from West Virginia to Chicago, there to be re-consigned. (171 Ill. App. 302.) There are only two alleged Federal contentions:


1. That allowing the demurrage conflicted with the act to regulate commerce because no tariff on the subject was filed or published. The fact is that the railroad had complied with the law as to filing tariff sheets, and had also, long before the time in question, filed a book of rules of the Chicago Car Service Association, of which it was a member, relating to liability for demurrage, and a few days after had written the Commission a letter stating that the demurrage charge would be $1 per day. The argument is that such documents were not sufficiently formal to comply with the law, and hence afforded no ground for allowing demurrage. But the contention is without merit. The documents were received and placed on file by the Commission without any objection whatever as to their form, and it is certain that, as a matter of fact, they were adequate to give notice. Equally without merit is the insistence that there was no proof that the documents were posted for public inspection. Texas & P. R. Co. v. Cisco Oil Mill, 204 U. S. 449, 51 L. ed. 562, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 358; Kansas City Southern R. Co. v. C. H. Albers Commission Co. 223 U. S. 573, 594, 56 L. ed. 556, 567, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 316; United States v. Miller, 223 U. S. 599, 56 L. ed. 568, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 323.


2. Conceding that a tariff concerning demurrage was filed, it is insisted it only authorized demurrage at destination, and the cars never reached their destination, but were held at a place outside of Chicago. The facts are these: The storage tracks of the railroad for cars billed to Chicago for re-consignment were at Hammond, Indiana, a considerable distance from the terminals of the company nearer the center of the city, but were convenient to the belt line by which cars could be transferred to any desired new destination, and the holding on such tracks of cars consigned as were those in question was in accordance with a practice which had existed for more than twenty years. Under these circumstances the contention is so wholly wanting in foundation as in fact to be frivolous.