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BOWLES v. ROCKS

May 25, 1945

BOWLES, Price Administrator, Office of Price Administration of United States,
v.
ROCKS et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GIBSON

And now, May 25, 1945, after hearing, and pursuant to oral stipulation at the hearing upon motion for preliminary injunction that the case shall be treated as though upon final hearing, from the record and oral admissions of counsel at the hearing, the court finds the facts as follows:

1. The tenants, Fred Bergman and Lulu Bergman, have regularly paid the rent to which the landlord, Thomas A. Rocks, is entitled, and have tendered all rent owing, as it fell due, to wit, $ 2.36 rent from March 23 to March 25, 1945, and $ 40 rent from March 25 to April 25, 1945, and $ 1.34 rent from April 25 to April 26, 1945, which tender has been refused by Thomas A. Rocks, landlord. Said tenants were willing at any time to pay said rent to said landlord as soon as he complied with section 7(b) of the Rent Regulation for Housing, and tendered a receipt for the same.

 2. Under date of December 21, 1944, defendant Thomas A. Rocks served upon the tenants, Fred and Lulu Bergman, a written notice to vacate the premises by March 24, 1945, stating as his only reason that he had sold the property to one David Marasco. A copy thereof was sent to the Area Rent Office.

 3. Under date of December 30, 1944, the Area Rent Office replied, explaining that the notice was defective under the Rent Regulation for Housing, for the reason that a Certificate Relating to Eviction is required where property is purchased for residence purposes after October 20, 1942, and enclosing therewith forms of petition and required affidavits, and full instructions. A copy of the said acknowledgment was sent to the tenants.

 4. On March 2, 1945, defendant Thomas A. Rocks duly filed proper petition and affidavits, as required by the Rent Regulation for Housing, and under date of March 19, 1945, certificate was granted, as required by section 6(b)(2) of the Rent Regulation for Housing, permitting said Thomas A. Rocks to pursue his remedies under local law for eviction of said tenants for the purpose of occupancy by David Marasco at the expiration of three months from March 2, 1945, the date of filing the petition.

 6. Concurrently, and with no notice to the Area Rent Office of the commencement of the action, said Thomas A. Rocks caused execution to be issued thereon at No. 5 March Term, 1945, E.D., and placed in the hands of defendant Jacob N. Echard, Sheriff of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, pursuant to which execution said Sheriff levied upon the goods of said tenants, for said $ 2.60 plus costs, and threatened to advertise and to sell the same, and to proceed with the eviction under said writ.

 From said Findings of Fact, and as constituting the grounds of its action, the Court makes the following Conclusions of Law:

 1. The notice of December 21, 1944, purporting to require the tenants to vacate the premises by March 24, 1945, for the reason that defendant Thomas A. Rocks had sold the property to David Marasco, was unlawful and void under Section 6(a)(6) of the Rent Regulation for Housing, since a certificate relating to eviction was required, to be granted under proper petition to the Area Rent Office, as to property acquired after October 19, 1942.

 2. The certificate relating to eviction, granted on petition of said Thomas A. Rocks filed March 2, 1945, was required by law under section 6(b)(2) of the Rent Regulation for Housing to be limited to authorizing pursuit of local remedies at the expiration of three months after the date of filing the petition, and was in all respects proper and lawful, including the three months' waiting period, expiring June 2, 1945, which waiting period was binding on said Thomas A. Rocks as to any action seeking possession of the property as a residence for the purchaser.

 3. The action of defendant Thomas A. Rocks in attempting to evict the said tenants for occupancy by the purchaser, David Marasco, prior to the expiration of the three months' waiting period required by the certificate relating to eviction, and by section 6(b)(2) of the Rent Regulation for Housing was in violation of law.

 4. The entry of the judgment by confession on the ground of expiration of the term of the lease was in violation of section 6(a) of the Rent Regulation for Housing, forbidding evictions, by confession of judgment or otherwise, based on the mere ground of expiration of the term of a lease.

 5. The entry of said judgment by confession based upon alleged nonpayment of $ 2.36 rent which it was admitted at the hearing had previously been tendered to the landlord and refused was unlawful.

 6. Said judgment by confession is void on its face for failure to show of record compliance with the condition precedent to its validity of the giving of the preliminary notice to the tenant and to the Area Rent Office required by section 6(d)(1) of the Rent Regulation for Housing, stating an intention to bring an eviction action, and stating ...


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