CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Van Devanter, Pitney, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clarke
MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the court.
The Hours of Service Act (March 4, 1907, c. 2939, 34 Stat. 1415)*fn1 prohibits any common carrier by railroad engaged
in interstate commerce from requiring or permitting an employee to remain on duty for a longer period than sixteen consecutive hours. For alleged violation of this provision, proceedings were brought against the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of New York. The defendant contended that it was not a common carrier; that it was not engaged in interstate commerce by railroad; and that its employees were not "connected with the movement of any train." Upon facts which were agreed the trial court entered judgment for the Government. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment on the ground that, while the Terminal was engaged in interstate commerce and the employment in question was connected with the movement of trains, it was not a common carrier. 239 Fed. Rep. 287. The case comes here on writ of certiorari (243 U.S. 647); and the substantial question before us is whether the Terminal is within the scope of the Hours of Service Act, as being a common carrier. The essential facts are these:
1. The Terminal is a navigation corporation with an authorized capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), incorporated under § 10 of Article III of the transportation corporations law of the State of New York, which reads as follows:
"Seven or more persons may become a corporation, for the purpose of building for their own use, equipping, furnishing, fitting, purchasing, chartering, navigating or
owning steam, sail or other boats, ships, vessels or other property to be used in any lawful business, trade, commerce or navigation upon the ocean, or any seas, sounds, lakes, rivers, canals or other waterways, and for the carriage, transportation or storing of lading, freight, mails, property or passengers thereon."
In its certificate of incorporation, the corporate powers and purposes of the defendant are stated as follows:
"The purposes for which it is formed are to build for its own use, equip, furnish, fit, purchase, charter, navigate, and own steam, sail, and other boats, ships, vessels, and other property, to be used in the business of carrying, transporting, storing, and lading merchandise in New York Harbor and the waters adjacent thereto and connected therewith and the territory bordering thereon."
2. The Terminal operates a union freight station at Brooklyn under individual contracts with ten interstate railroads and several steamship companies. From the railroads it receives both carload and less-than-carload freight and transports the same from their termini to its Brooklyn docks. There, the cars containing such freight are hauled from the car floats by its locomotives and placed for unloading either on its team tracks or at its freight houses. The Terminal receives likewise from shippers both carload and less-than-carload outgoing freight originating at Brooklyn and consigned to points upon the various railroads with which it has contracts. The ...