Thursday, November 14, 2013

C&A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, New York case brief

C&A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, New York case brief summary
511 U.S. 383 (1994)

Petitioner appealed a decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Judicial Department, that held a local ordinance, Clarkstown, N.Y., Local Laws No. 9 (1990), did not violate the Commerce Clause, U.S. Constitutional Article I , § 8, clause 3.


  • Respondent built a solid waste recycling center and passed an ordinance that required all solid waste generated in the town to pass through its new center. 
  • This was done so that the town could assess a handling fee and recoup its cost to build the center. 
  • Petitioner was in the business of processing solid waste and did not use respondent's facility. 
  • Petitioner was cited for violating the town's ordinance, and petitioner filed suit in federal court challenging it. 
  • The town filed a state court action, and the ordinance was ruled constitutional. 
  • The state appellate courts affirmed that ruling. 

The court reversed because the ordinance violated the Commerce Clause, U.S. Constitutional Article I, § 8, clause 3, as it favored local enterprises and discriminated against non-local entities.

The state court decision was reversed and remanded because local government could not use its regulatory powers to favor local enterprises and discriminate against non-local entities.

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