all rentals collected by them in excess of the rate of March 1, 1942. This certainly is not a good defense. It was their duty to know what the rent regulations were, and to comply with them.
The designation of Erie County, Pennsylvania, as a defense-rental area was filed with the Division of the Federal Register on April 28, 1942, and was published in the Federal Register on April 28, 1942 (7 Fed.Reg. 3195). Maximum Rent Regulation 28 covering the Erie County Defense Area was issued and filed June 30, 1942, and was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1942 (7 Fed.Reg. 4913). Section 307 of the Federal Register Act, 44 U.S.C.A. 301-314, provides that Filing of a document with the Division of the Federal Register gives constructive notice of the contents of the document to all persons affected thereby.
In addition to that, we find that the principal defendant, George Daniel Baldwin, knew before July 1, 1942, -- at least as early as June 25, 1942, -- that the rent-levels of March 1, 1942, were to apply July 1, 1942. At that time, Ruth Mallick, who was a tenant of premises No. 704 Peach Street at a rental of $35 per month, and who was leaving Erie to go into the armed forces of the United States, offered to furnish a new tenant for said premises at a monthly rental of $32 (the March 1, 1942, rent). Baldwin refused this offer, stating: "We are not going back to the March rent level because we have to make a living." R. 379, Ex. 107.
Baldwin made no effort to contact the Rent Director of the Erie District before this suit was brought. Washabaugh, attorney for the Erie Rent Director, tried to contact Baldwin by telephoning his office before this suit was brought, but was unsuccessful in reaching him.
The whole conduct of defendants indicates a determination not to comply with the rent-regulations for the Erie Area, unless forced so to do. Even since the preliminary injunction was granted, defendants have not fully complied with the rent-regulations, and in a number of instances have demanded and received rents in excess of the level of March 1, 1942.
In our opinion, the facts of the case warrant a final injunction.
In this connection, it should be noted that the injunction applied for is authorized by statute. The Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, Sec. 205(a), provides as follows: "Sec. 205(a) Whenever in the judgment of the Administrator any person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of any provision of section 4 of this Act * * *, he may make an application to the appropriate court for an order enjoining such acts or practices, or for an order enforcing compliance with such provision, and upon a showing by the Administrator that such person has engaged or is about to engage in any such acts or practices a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without bond."
All that the plaintiff was required to do was to show a violation of this statute, in order to secure an injunction. Equitable defenses are of no avail to a defendant in case of a statutory injunction. See United States v. San Francisco, 310 U.S. 16, 60 S. Ct. 749, 84 L. Ed. 1050; Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jones, 2 Cir., 85 F.2d 17; Securities and Exchange Commission v. Torr, 2 Cir., 87 F.2d 446; American Fruit Growers v. United States, 9 Cir., 105 F.2d 722, 725; United States v. Adler's Creamery, Inc., 2 Cir., 110 F.2d 482.
The discontinuance of the practices complained of would not prevent the issuance of an injunction in the instant case. See Bunte Brothers v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 Cir., 104 F.2d 996; Federal Trade Commission v. Goodyear Company, 304 U.S. 257, 260, 58 S. Ct. 863, 82 L. Ed. 1326; United States v. Bates Valve Bag Corporation, D.C., 39 F.2d 162.
Nor is the good faith of the defendants an issue in this case. See Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Co. v. United States, 226 U.S. 20, 33 S. Ct. 9, 57 L. Ed. 107.
Our findings of fact and conclusions of law are filed herewith. Let a decree be submitted accordingly.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.