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BOWLES v. KATZ

June 28, 1945

BOWLES
v.
KATZ



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KALODNER

This is an action for an injunction brought by the Administrator of the Office of Price Administration pursuant to Section 205(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, 56 Stat. 23, as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, ยง 901 et seq. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant, from December 1, 1944, to April 13, 1945, engaged in acts and practices which constitute a violation of Section 4(a) of that Act in that defendant has violated Sections 8 and 12 of Maximum Price Regulation No. 355, effective May 17, 1943 (8 F.R. 4423), and also Section 4002.4(4) of Office of Economic Stabilization Regulation No. 1, effective August 5, 1943 (8 F.R. 10988), promulgated pursuant to Section 2(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act.

Briefly, defendant, trading as the Central Meat Market, is charged with selling, delivering, displaying and offering to sell and deliver certain meats at higher than maximum prices (Sec. 12, MPR No. 355), failing to post in his store the official list of retail meat prices, failing to tag meats on display with the selling price (Sec. 8 MPR, No. 355), and failing to separate and designate meats on display by the appropriate official grade (Sec. 4002.4(4), O.E.S.R. No. 1).

 The factual question for determination is whether the defendant did commit the violations alleged. Of course, as always in cases of this kind, the legal argument goes to the exercise by the Court of its discretion to grant or refuse the equitable relief requested.

 The parties have stipulated that the hearing be considered as final in this matter. The cause having been heard by the Court without a jury, on the basis of the pleadings and additional evidence, I make the following

 Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiff is the Administrator of the Office of Price Administration.

 2. At all times since December 1, 1944, the defendant Samuel Katz, has been and is engaged in the business of selling beef, veal, lamb, and mutton cuts at retail, and owns, operates and manages a retail meat market situate at 1300 West Columbia Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known as Central Meat Market.

 3. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 2(a) of the Act, the Price Administrator and the Director of Economic Stabilization issued, and there was published in the Federal Register, the following Regulations, which Regulations, as amended, have been at all times since the dates of issuance, and at all times mentioned herein, in full force and effect: Maximum Price Regulation No. 355, 'Retail Ceiling Prices for Beef, Veal, Lamb and Mutton Cuts and all Variety Meats and Edible By-Products' (8 F.R. 4423), issued April 5, 1943, effective May 17, 1943; and Office of Economic Stabilization Regulation No. 1, 'Grading and Grade-Labeling of Meats' (8 F.R. 10988), issued August 5, 1943, effective August 5, 1943.

 4. Section 8 of the aforementioned MPR No. 355 requires the posting, not later than June 21, 1943, of the 'Official O.P.A. List of Retail Meat Prices,' or an exact copy thereof, on or at the meat counter in one or more places where customers can easily see and read it; the posting of such list for each 20 feet of meat counter space; and the tagging of meat cuts on display with the selling price for the cut.

 5. Section 12 of the aforementioned MPR No. 355 prohibits, inter alia, on or after May 17, 1943, selling or delivering any meat cut at a higher price than the ceiling price for the same grade or type, or agreeing, offering, soliciting or attempting to do the foregoing.

 6. Section 4002.4(4) of the aforementioned Office of Economic Stabilization Regulation No. 1, requires that each grade of meat which shall have been separated in the showcase as required in subsection (3) of that section, shall be designated by the appropriate official grade, so that customer can see and read it.

 7. Three investigators from the Office of Price Administration made four separate investigations on December 8, 1944, February 12, 1945, February 20, 1945 and March 15, 1945, to determine defendant's compliance with the aforesaid Regulations.

 8. Of all the meat displayed at the time of these visits, four items were quoted over the ceiling price, one at the ceiling price, seven under the ceiling price, and two items could not be identified on the ceiling price chart.


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