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RAINIER BREWING COMPANY v. GREAT NORTHERN PACIFIC STEAMSHIP COMPANY.

decided: May 15, 1922.

RAINIER BREWING COMPANY
v.
GREAT NORTHERN PACIFIC STEAMSHIP COMPANY.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Author: Clarke

[ 259 U.S. Page 151]

 MR. JUSTICE CLARKE delivered the opinion of the court.

In 1917 the plaintiff in error shipped two carloads of beer from San Francisco, consigned to the American Transfer Company at Seattle, Washington, which contained 2,565 separate packages or cases addressed to separate individuals. The shipment moved by water to Flavel, Oregon, thence by a line of railway to Portland, Oregon, and thence by the Northern Pacific Railway to Seattle. It was billed in carload lots and was given a through carload rate at point of origin, which was paid.

When the cars reached Portland the Northern Pacific Company refused to accept them, claiming that it could not lawfully carry intoxicating liquors in carload lots into the State of Washington, under the laws of the United States and of that State. Thereupon the liquor

[ 259 U.S. Page 152]

     was re-billed, each package or case separately, and the railroad company carried it to Seattle and delivered it to the individual consignees.

This suit is by the steamship company to recover the difference between the carload and the less than carload rate for the shipment. The case was tried on stipulated facts and, a jury being waived, the District Court rendered judgment for the plaintiff which was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. The parties agree that only one question is presented for decision, viz: Could the railroad company have lawfully transported the beer to Seattle and have delivered it to the Transfer Company, the consignee named in the bill of lading, in carload lots?

To answer this question involves the construction and application of § 240 of the Federal Criminal Code, of the Webb-Kenyon Act (37 Stat. 699, c. 90), and of several sections of c. 1-A of Title XLVII of the Laws of Washington entitled "Prohibition and Regulation," (Remington's Codes and Statutes of Washington, 1915, vol. II, §§ 6262-1 to 6262-22, inclusive).

Section 240 of the Federal Criminal Code provides:

"Whoever shall knowingly ship . . . from one State . . . into any other State . . . any package of or package containing any . . . intoxicating liquor of any kind, unless such package be so labeled on the outside cover as to plainly show the name of the consignee, the nature of its contents, and the quantity contained therein, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars . . ."

The Webb-Kenyon Act prohibited the "shipment or transportation, in any manner or by any means whatsoever," of any intoxicating liquors of any kind from one State to another State to be received or in any manner used in violation of any law of any such latter State (37 Stat. 699, c. 90). With these laws in force at the time, the railroad company could carry the beer into Washington only when labeled as required by § 240, supra, and in

[ 259 U.S. Page 153]

     the manner allowed by the laws of that State (Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Maryland Ry. Co., 242 U.S. ...


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