California Trucking Association

19 Cal. 3d 240 (1977), 561 P.2d 280

In an oft-cited opinion, the Court reversed a Commission decision adding exemptions from minimum rate tariffs (“MRTs”) for flattened auto bodies and empty sea vans.  The Court concluded that the Commission had failed to grant Petitioner an “opportunity to be heard as provided in the case of complaints” required by Section 1708.  The Court construed the phrase “an opportunity to be heard” as embracing more than the opportunity to file written comments on a proposal.  Section 1708, the Court held, required a proceeding “at which parties are entitled to be heard and to introduce evidence . . .”  Notably, the Court held only that the required “notice and opportunity to be heard” be provided to survive review under Section 1708.  The hearing requirement is not self-executing; in the absence of a request for a hearing, no hearing is required.  This is another decision which should be explored by the intermediate appellate courts, particularly in light of the enactment of Section 1708.5.  Is a workshop an “opportunity to be heard”? (Probably not.)

Download PDF