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Allied Van Lines, Inc. v. Powell

AUGUST 31, 1970.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. CREEL DOUGLASS, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.


The Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, as defendant, appeals from a judgment of the Circuit Court entered July 29, 1968, reversing an administrative decision of the Secretary. His decision approved the denial by the Office of the Secretary of State of an application by plaintiff, Ardapple Storage and Moving Company, Inc., for reciprocity plates for vehicles of the second division, and dismissal of a petition of plaintiff, Allied Van Lines, Inc., for administrative relief.

Allied Van Lines, Inc. is a not-for-profit Delaware corporation licensed to do business in Illinois, a common carrier by motor vehicle of household goods for hire in interstate commerce certificated by the Interstate Commerce Commission and also by the Illinois Commerce Commission, having a principal place of business in the Village of Broadview, Cook County, Illinois. Allied has 800 agent members domiciled in 48 adjacent states, and is owned by 500 of its agent members, each of whom holds one share of Allied's voting stock. Through Allied's standard form of printed lease, each of Allied's agent members leased to Allied one or more of its motor vehicles suitable for transportation of household goods for a term of two (2) years, and from year to year thereafter unless terminated. Allied has no right to purchase. In all cases the equipment and personnel are furnished by the agent members and expenses for the same are paid by the agent member.

The lease provides that the lessee shall have exclusive supervision and control over the operation of the vehicle, driver and helper, including the time and place of arrival, departure, detention, routing and manner of operation. The interstate operation is under the authority of Allied's certification.

Allied Van Lines, Inc. began as an association of long distance household goods haulers whose purpose was to avoid empty return hauls from long trips by cooperation in the use of facilities. The United States Justice Department, in conjunction with the Interstate Commerce Commission, set forth specific restrictions when Allied's operating authority was granted. There must be a certain technical control exercised by any certificated carrier. In the order of the Federal Commission it is provided that Allied owns no equipment, employs no drivers and must use the equipment and personnel of its members.

Ardapple is an Indiana Corporation and resident, which owns four vehicles that it leases to Allied under a standard form lease. Interstate shipments are registered with Allied and shipped under an Allied bill of lading. The vehicles are registered by Ardapple in Indiana. Each vehicle, so leased, bears Allied's name thereon.

Pursuant to the authority of chapter 95 1/2, § 3-402, subd (B) (4), Ill Rev Stats 1957, the Secretary of State of Illinois, on September 15, 1958, issued a written Declaration of Reciprocity with regard to Indiana which provided in part (Art II, § 2, subparagraph (6)):

"(6) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, if such commercial vehicle is a leased vehicle for the purpose of transporting household goods, such vehicle must be properly licensed and registered in the State of residence of the lessor and must display current, valid registration or license plates issued for such vehicle by the State of residence of the owner and display any reciprocity permit or plates and identification required by either of the states."

There has been no written revocation or amendment of the said Declaration of Reciprocity by the Secretary of State. Prior to January 1, 1967, Ardapple applied to the Secretary of State of Illinois and received reciprocity plates which it displayed on the vehicles. There was no annual reciprocity registration, but by letter of March 24, 1967, the defendant Secretary of State notified all persons claiming reciprocity in Illinois that with respect to vehicles of the second division they must, effective April 1, 1967, file an "Illinois Reciprocity Qualification Form." Ardapple submitted the form and applied for reciprocity.

By letter of May 13, 1967, the defendant Secretary of State notified Ardapple as follows:

"We are in receipt of your Application for Illinois Reciprocity Plates and according to Item #7 of your qualification form you are operating under Allied Van Lines authority.

"Vehicles which are subject to long term lease agreements must be qualified in the name of the lessee."

Allied applied to the Secretary of State for administrative relief pursuant to chapter 95 1/2, § 3-402, subd B(7), Ill Rev Stats 1967. Thereafter, Ardapple also petitioned for administrative relief. The matters were heard together. The Secretary of State ruled that Ardapple's application for Illinois reciprocity privileges was properly denied, and further ruled that Allied was not an "aggrieved" party within the meaning of such section and its petition was dismissed.

Allied was advised by the Supervisor of the Reciprocity and Prorate Division of the Office of the Secretary of State, that as of July 1, 1967, Allied, like any other carrier, would be expected to prorate in Illinois its entire fleet of vehicles based in those states with which Illinois was then reciprocal, and effective immediately all current applications for ...

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