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HENDERSON v. GANDY

September 28, 1942

HENDERSON, Administrator Office of Price Administration,
v.
GANDY et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GANEY

This is a bill in equity brought by the plaintiff to enjoin the defendants from violating certain sections of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix § 901 et seq., an act passed by Congress to further the national defense and security, by checking speculative and excessive price rises, price dislocations, inflationary tendencies, etc. more particularly Section 4(a) and (b) thereof, as well as violation of the Maximum Rent Regulation Number 28, passed in pursuance of said Emergency Price Control Act, and more particularly Sections 2, 3, 4(a), 4(b), 4(c), 5(b), 6(a), 6(b), and 6(d) thereof. Under Section 205(a) of the said Emergency Price Control Act, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix § 925(a), the Administrator thereof has authority to make application to any appropriate court for an order enjoining acts or practices violative thereof.

The testimony shows that the tenants, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius DeJong, first negotiated for the premises in question, 8215 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on the 29th day of May, when Mr. DeJong saw a sign in the window stating that there was an apartment for rent. The apartment was formerly a store being situate on the first floor of the premises with large store windows on two sides, and is divided into three rooms and a bath and covers in its entirety an area twenty feet by twenty feet. The partitions separating the rooms are wooden one-half way up, the other half being glass, the only ventilation being from the transom on the large store front windows. Mr. DeJong looked at the apartment and said he would return in a day or two and bring his wife and in the discussion the rental was fixed at thirty-five dollars ($35.00) per month. He came back on approximately the 6th day of June with Mrs. DeJong and after some conversation during which it was disclosed that the DeJongs had children, the rental was fixed at twelve dollars ($12.00) per week, to which the DeJongs assented. There was further testimony that the tenancy was to exist for four weeks and if the DeJongs, who were merely renting temporarily, had not secured a place by that time, the rental was to be fixed at fourteen dollars ($14.00) per week, although this is denied on the part of the DeJongs.The DeJongs then moved into the apartment at a rental of twelve dollars ($12.00) per week, including two rooms, a kitchen and bath, and paid said rental until the 3rd day of July when the DeJongs tendered one of the defendants, Mrs. Gandy, fifteen dollars ($15.00) in payment for the week's rental.Mrs. Gandy returned but one dollar ($14.00) and upon objection being raised by Mrs. DeJong, she was advised that the rental was then fourteen dollars ($14.00) per week, which Mrs. Gandy insisted was a fact from the conversation which had occurred when the rental was fixed at twelve dollars ($12.00) per week. On the 7th day of July the DeJongs made complaint to the Office of the Price Administrator and they instructed Mrs. DeJong to make tender of the sum of eight and 75/100 Dollars ($8.75) to the defendants, which they did until July 17, 1942. However, the money orders given therefor were never cashed by the defendants and after that date no further rentals were offered. Upon being given notice to vacate by the defendants on July 29th, and the tenants not so doing, the electricity was turned off by the defendants, leaving the family without light or proper refrigeration. A temporary restraining order was issued by the court, coupled with a mandatory injunction to the defendants to provide the same amount of services which had existed at the time of the leasing, which was immediately done thereafter and the matter then came before the court on final hearing. The court makes the following:

 Findings of Fact.

 (1) That pursuant to negotiations started on the 29th day of May, on the 6th day of June, 1942, a verbal arrangement was entered into between the DeJongs and the defendants for the rental of the first floor apartment at 8215 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, at a rental of twelve dollars ($12.00) per week, including electric service, which apartment was owned by the defendants.

 (2) That the apartment consists of two rooms and a kitchen and bath, embracing a floor space of twenty feet by twenty feet, which was occupied by Mr. & Mrs. DeJong, four children, two boys and two girls, a cat and a dog.

 (3) That the premises in question were occupied sometime between January 1, 1942, and May 31, 1942, at a weekly rental of eight and 75/100 Dollars ($8.75), which included electric service, although the occupant, a Mr. Harding, only actually used one room and the bath, the leasing thereof however, embracing the same apartment presently occupied by the DeJongs.

 (4) That on or about the 3rd day of July, 1942 the defendants demanded and received of the DeJongs the sum of fourteen dollars ($14.00) per week, for rent due in advance.

 (5) That a few days later, on the 7th day of July, the DeJongs upon being instructed by the Office of Price Administration, tendered the defendants the sum of eight and 75/100 Dollars ($8.75) per week as rent down until the 17th day of July.

 (6) That on July 9, 1942 the plaintiff by John E. Mulder, Attorney, advised the defendants that the maximum rental they would be allowed to charge would be twelve dollars ($12.00) per week.

 (7) That following a letter written by the defendants on July 29, 1942 to the DeJongs, asking them to vacate the premises, and they not having done so, the defendants on August 5, 1942, disconnected the electric service and refused to restore the same until ordered to do so by the court.

 (8) That the maximum rental to be charged by the defendants, pursuant to the Emergency Price Control Act, and the regulations incident thereto, is eight and 75/100 dollars ($8.75) per week.

 (9) That the habitation by six persons, a husband and wife, and four children, two boys one fourteen and one six years of age, and two girls, one ten and one five years of age, together with a cat and a dog, all within a space of twenty feet by twenty feet -- a store room with large plate glass windows on both sides of the apartment -- divided into four rooms, two of which are a ...


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