Clark v. Atlantic Pipe Line Co – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Clark v. Atlantic Pipe Line Co., 134 S.W.2d 322 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1939, writ ref'd), oil shippers contracted directly with Atlantic Pipe Line ("Atlantic") to ship oil from locations in Texas and other states to Texas Gulf ports where the oil was to be loaded onto ocean-going vessels and shipped to other states or foreign countries. Id. at 324-25.

Although recognizing that the phrase "business done in Texas" was "broad enough to include that segregated portion of interstate business which is wholly performed within the State," the court held that Texas could not tax Atlantic's proceeds from shipping oil in, or through, Texas because the oil's shipment would not be completed until it reached another state or foreign country. Id. at 328.

The court held as follows:

"We hold that the language, "business done in Texas," as employed in this statute was intended to mean business begun and completed in Texas, and not business begun in Texas and completed in some other state or foreign nation, or vice versa. In other words, that it means intrastate business." Id.