C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Clarkstown

511 U.S. 383 (1994)


Clarkstown (P) built a waste transfer station to collect solid waste. P enacted a flow control ordinance requiring that all solid waste from the town be deposited at the station. Carbone (D) was a private recycler who was forced to take nonrecyclable material to the transfer station and pay a fee. Without the ordinance, the nonrecyclable material would have been taken to an out of state destination at a lower cost than the fee the transfer station charged. Police found out that D was not obeying the ordinance when an accident occurred with one of the trucks. Ever vigilant, the police put D’s facility under surveillance, and they seized six more trucks leaving the facility. D was sued by P who sought injunctive relief. D sued in United States District Court to enjoin the flow control ordinance. D's injunction was granted finding a sufficient likelihood that the ordinance violated the Commerce Clause. The New York court granted summary judgment to P. The court declared the flow control ordinance constitutional and enjoined D to comply with it. The federal court then dissolved its injunction. The Appellate Division (New York’s) affirmed finding that the ordinance did not discriminate against interstate commerce, because it 'applies evenhandedly to all solid waste processed within the Town, regardless of point of origin.' The New York Court of Appeals denied D’s motion for leave to appeal. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.