the Court Docket with the right and privilege being given to the Government to file application with the Court for appropriate injunctive relief on a showing that violations of the Act have been committed by the defendants.
It is primarily the duty of the Court to consider all the factors that exist and in its discretion to then ascertain whether the issuance of an injunction would insure better compliance in the future and be for the best interests of the public generally. Hecht Co. v. Bowles, 321 U.S. 321, 64 S. Ct. 587, 88 L. Ed. 754; Bowles v. Pechersky, D.C., 64 F.Supp. 641; Bowles v. Weitz, D.C., 64 F.Supp. 829.
An injunction is used only to stop existing or threatened violations, and not to punish past offenses. Swift & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 311, 326, 48 S. Ct. 311, 72 L. Ed. 587; Walling v. Shenandoah-Dives Mining Co., 10 Cir., 134 F.2d 395; Brown v. Hacht Co., 78 U.S.App.D.C. 98, 137 F.2d 689.
A court of equity need not afford an injunction to prevent in the future that which in good faith has been discontinued before the commencement of a suit, in the absence of any evidence that the offense will be, or is likely to be repeated in the future. There should be some basis for an injunction besides suspicion or ungrounded fear that the defendant will repeat the wrong or wrongs in the future. Bowles v. Huff et al., 9 Cir., 146 F.2d 428, 431; Bowles v. Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp., 7 Cir., 149 F.2d 545, 547; Bowles v. Cohn, D.C., 57 F.Supp. 306.
However, under the Emergency Price Control Act the cessation of violations, whether before or after the institution of suit by the Administrator, does not bar the issuance of an injunction, but the type of order and whether one should issue is being exercised by this Court in the light of the large objectives of the Act, that of all the consequences of war and economic adjustment during the post-war period, none is more hazardous than inflation and that delay or indifference would be fatal. Bowles v. Warner Holding Co., D.C., 60 F.Supp. 513; Bowles v. Nu Way Laundry Co., 10 Cir., 144 F.2d 741; Bowles v. Sacher, 2 Cir., 146 F.2d 186.
The record in these cases is completely devoid of evidentiary support as to delivery, payment, or any sales having been made by the defendants at either of their places of business in violation of the regulations set forth in the respective complaints. However, the Court believes that the written statements made by the defendants to the investigators of the Office of Price Administration amounted to more than casting a mere suspicion as to the compliance of the defendants with said regulations. The Court furthermore does not believe that it is a pure speculative or conjectural belief that the defendants did not have in mind or intend at least to charge a price greater than that provided by the regulations for the merchandise sold by the defendants in the retail market. If mere suspicion or speculation existed, it would be the duty of the Court to deny the injunction without any reservation. Porter, Adm'r, OPA v. Hoffman, D.C., 65 F.Supp. 492.
It must be kept in mind, however, that an injunction is a relief granted to prevent future misconduct and does not issue to prevent a practice which has been definitely and permanently discontinued. Bowles v. Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp., 7 Cir., 149 F.2d 545.
Since no evidence has been presented to actually establish any violation, I do not believe it proper at this time to award the granting of the injunction prayed for by the Government. However, since a court of equity has the power to mould each decree to the necessities of each particular case, the complaints for injunctive relief are being presently dismissed with the right being given to the Administrator, on reasonable notice to the defendants and a showing that the defendants have failed or neglected to continue to comply with said regulations, or a showing that violations of the Act have been committed, to again apply to the Court for appropriate injunctive relief. Brown v. Hecht Co., 78 U.S.App.D.C. 98, 137 F.2d 689; Bowles v. Cohn, D.C., 57 F.Supp. 306; Bowles v. W. T. Grant Co., D.C., 57 F.Supp. 773; Hecht Co. v. Bowles, 321 U.S. 321, 64 S. Ct. 587, 88 L. Ed. 754; Bowles v. Seventh Avenue Corp., 2 Cir., 150 F.2d 819.
An appropriate order will be filed with this opinion.
And now, this 4th day of October, 1946, the prayer of Paul A. Porter, Administrator, Office of Price Administration, for the granting of injunctive relief against George H. Berman and H. C. Berman, t/a Berman's Food Market, defendants, is presently denied; provided, however, that said proceedings shall remain on the docket in the office of the Clerk of Courts with the right given to the Administrator of the Office of Price Administration, on reasonable notice being given to the defendants that violations of the Act have been committed, to again apply to the Court for injunctive relief, at which time additional and appropriate consideration will be given the facts which are then presented.
The defendants are directed to pay the costs which have accrued to date in connection with said proceedings.
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