ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, Brown, White, Peckham, McKenna, Holmes, Day
MR. JUSTICE BREWER, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.
The contention of the company is that this cab service is merely an extension and therefore a part of its interstate transportation; that it is not carrying on a cab business generally in the city of New York, but is merely furnishing the service to those who seek to take over its lines some interstate transportation, thus commencing the transportation from their houses instead of from the ferry landing, or like service to those who have already received such interstate transportation, thus completing the transportation to their places of destination; that the character of the business remains unchanged, although individuals may avail themselves of this service who do not intend or have not received any interstate transportation, for they who thus use the service do so wrongfully and against the wish of the company. In other words, the company, to promote its general business, seeks only to complete the continuous transportation of interstate passengers to or from their residences or hotels in New York city instead of commencing and ending such transportation at the ferry landing at Twenty-third street; the character of the service depends not on the action of the passenger, but on the purpose of the company in providing it, and the omission to include the charge for the cab service in the charges for other transportation arises from the practical difficulty of making such inclusion, and does not alter the fact that such cab service is a part of the interstate transportation.
To hold the even balance between the Nation and the States in the exercise of their respective powers and rights, always difficult, is becoming more so through the growing complexity of social life, and business conditions. Into many relations and transactions there enter elements of a national as well as those of a state character, and to determine in a given case which elements dominate and assign the relation or transaction to the control of the Nation or of the State, is often most perplexing. And this case fully illustrates the perplexities.
It is true that a passenger over the Pennsylvania Railroad to the city of New York does not in one sense fully complete his journey when he reaches the ferry landing on the New York side, but only when he is delivered at his temporary or permanent stopping place in the city. Looking at it from this standpoint the company's cab service is simply one element in a continuous interstate transportation, and as such would be excluded from state and be subject to national control. The State may not tax for the privilege of doing an interstate commerce business. Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company v. Philadelphia, 190 U.S. 160. On the other hand, the cab service is exclusively rendered within the limits of the city. It is contracted and paid for independently of any contract or payment for strictly interstate transportation. The party receiving it owes no legal duty of crossing the state line.
Undoubtedly, a single act of carriage or transportation wholly within a State may be part of a continuous interstate carriage or transportation. Goods shipped from Albany to Philadelphia may be carried by the New York Central Railroad only within the limits of New York, and yet that service is an interstate carriage. By reason thereof the Nation regulates that carriage, including the part performed by the New York company. But it does not follow therefrom that the New York company is wholly relieved from state regulation and state taxation, for a part of its work is carriage and transportation begun and ended within the State. So the Pennsylvania company, which is engaged largely in interstate
transportation, is amenable to state regulation and state taxation as to any of its service, which is wholly performed within the State and not as a part of interstate transportation. Wherever a separation in fact exists between transportation service wholly within the State and that between the States a like separation may be recognized between the control of the State and that of the Nation. Osborne v. Florida, 164 U.S. 650; Pullman Co. v. Adams, 189 U.S. 420.
As we have seen, the cab service is rendered wholly within the State and has no contractual or necessary relation to interstate transportation. It is either preliminary or subsequent thereto. It is independently contracted for, and not necessarily connected therewith. But when service is wholly within a State, it is presumably subject to state control. The burden is on him who asserts that, though actually within, it is legally outside the State; and unless the interstate character is established, locality determines the question of jurisdiction. Coe v. Errol, 116 U.S. 517, though not in all respects similar, is very closely in point. In that case spruce logs had been drawn down from Wentworth's Location in New Hampshire, and placed in Clear Stream, also in New Hampshire, to be from thence floated down the Androscoggin River to the State of Maine, there to be manufactured and sold. After they had thus been drawn down and placed in Clear Stream, a tax was imposed upon them by the State of New Hampshire. The validity of that tax was challenged on the ground that the logs were in process of transportation from Wentworth's Location in New Hampshire to the State of Maine. It was sustained by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, and also by this court. In the course of the opinion Mr. Justice Bradley made these pertinent observations (p. 528):
"It is true, it was said in the case of The Daniel Ball, 10 Wall. 557, 565: 'Whenever a commodity has begun to move as an article of trade from one State to another, commerce in that commodity between the States has commenced.' But ...