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OFFICE EXPENSE ACCOUNT
FLORIDA RAILROAD COMMISSION.
Postoffice box rent 3 mon:bs to date.
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Express charges reports S. R. R. R.
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Live Oak Bunner for advertising Circular 29
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$2 00 2 00
8 5 00
45 1 05 in 75 7 50 2 00
25 5 00 2 00 2 00 25 00 7 87 5 00 7 50 5 00 6 25 7 50 8 55 1 55 1 05
35 2 10 4 00 10 00 5 00
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25 5 90
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65 7 00 5 00 3 75 4 20 5 00 Feb.-
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30 6 00 600
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25 35 7 00 5 00 6 50 5 00
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., March 1, 1891.
THEODORE L. MEAD,
Violation of a 1000-mile VS. South FLORIDA R. R. Co.
Coupon Ticket contract. This matter was decided by the Commission February 10, 1890. (Third annual report, page 112 )
The company had sold to Mr. Mead a 1000-mile coupon ticket at two and one half cents per mile, in which was a contract between himself and the company. “That one passage coupon shall be detached by the conductor for each mile or fraction of a mile traveled by each person named on the ticket."
Passenger Rule No. 4 provides that "ten cents as a minimum charge may be collected where the regular fare would be less than that sum." Rule No. 2 allows railroads to charge “less than the rate prescribed for the transportation of passengers provided, such a charge is not an unjust discrimination in favor of or against persons or localities,” and General Rulē No. 6, provides that "in the transportation of passengers, a fraction of a mile may be counted as one mile in the computation of distances."
For a distance of a little over one mile, the conductor detached four coupons. Upon complaint the Commissioners de cided that the company was bound by the contract. Rule 4 allowed a minimum of 10 cents, however short the distance traveled, but by the contract the company agreed to carry for 2 1-2 cents.
In May 1890, Mr. Mead complained that the company had ignored the decision of the Commission, and was still detaching four coupons for the same distance from his 1000 mile ticket.
The company replied that it understood that in their decis. ion the Commission simply took the ground that was fully agreed upon by the company;that the contract between the company and the holders of 1000 mile book, was not objectionable to the Commission, as long as the company did not violate Rule 2, and further that the attorneys of the company agreed to this view of the case. Denied disobeying the orders of the Commission, but have obeyed their Rule No. 2 in all respects. That Mr. Mead was the only one who had complained under this head, and that a large number of people were traveling daily on the 1000-mile tickets, adding that "all contracts of this character have been called in and stamped:” But it is agreed and understood that not less than four coupons shall be detached for the shortest distance traveled in accordance with the minimum rate established by the Commission."
The following extract from the decision of the Commission is given :
"It is evident that the parties here, the complainant and the railroad company, have of their own volition availed themselves of the permission granted by said last mentioned rule and made a contract respectively to pay and receive a less sum than allowed by the Commission. This it was perfectly competent for them to do, if they do not infringe the proviso of said rule, “that such a charge is not an unjust discrimination in favor of or against persons or localities." There is no allegation that the contract is a violation of the proviso. The parties were left free to make their contract and they made it, and both they and we are bound by it; they, because it was their act, and we, because we authorized it. It is insisted on the part of the road that Rule 4, allow. a minimum of ten cents where the charge would be less, should apply to the contract between the parties. We do not see how it can, where it was not made a part of it in any way, either directly or indirectly, or referred to in the contract."
“When parties and railroads make contracts under Rule 2, the Commission has no power over them except to see that the proviso as to discriminations is not infringed."
In a word the Commission was of the opinion contrary to that of the company, that the act complained of was a violation of its contract, a contract which it was competent to make, and in regard to which no question in regard to unjust discrimination as to persons or locality, arose. That the vlolation of the contract by the road was not a violation of any rule or regulation of the Commission, because, though, the making of such a contract was allowed by the Commission, (Rule 4), and has since been expressly permitted by the statute which allows the issuance by railroads of 1000-mile tickets, excursion, commutation and round-trip tickets, (Chapter 3862, section 16, approved June 7, 1889). No power was given by law to the Commission to enforce a lawful private contract as to rates, and therefore, that if Mr. Mead sustained