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UNITED STATES v. RICHARDS

January 24, 1952

UNITED STATES
v.
RICHARDS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WATSON

This is an action by the United States Government under Sections 205 and 206 of the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended, *fn1" to recover damages for failure on the part of the defendant to refund rent received in excess of the maximum rent fixed in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Government seeks to recover treble damages, or double damages if restitution be granted to the tenant, together with injunctive relief.

On the basis of the pleadings and testimony, the Court makes the following special

 Findings of Fact.

 1. At all times material hereto, the defendant, Alice C. Richards, was the landlord of controlled housing accommodations within the Defense Rental Area of Scranton, Pennsylvania, designated as First Floor Apartment, 502 E. Market Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania.

 2. There was in effect at all times material hereto and there is still in effect the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended, and the Controlled Housing Rent Regulation issued pursuant thereto, which said Act and Regulation established maximum legal rents for housing accommodations within the Defense Rental Area of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

 3. On September 20, 1950, the Rent Director for the Scranton Defense Rental Area, pursuant to Section 5(c)(1) of the aforesaid Regulation, issued an Order, effective July 20, 1950, decreasing the maximum rent of the aforesaid accommodations from $ 75 per month to $ 55 per month, because of defendant's failure to supply hot water to the tenant.

 5. The defendant was duly notified of the issuance of the aforesaid Order.

 6. The defendant collected rent for the use and occupancy of the aforesaid housing accommodations from the tenant, Frederick A. Cassidy, in the sum of $ 75 per month from July 20, 1950, to October 15, 1950.

 7. The defendant failed and refused to refund within 30 days after the issuance of said Order the sum of $ 57.74, which is the amount by which the rent collected by the defendant, as set forth in Paragraph 6, exceeded the rent fixed in the aforesaid Order.

 8. The tenant, under the terms of the lease was required to tend to the operation of the stoker on the premises.

 9. The tenant was negligent in tending to the operation of the stoker, which negligent acts caused damages to the defendant in the amount of $ 126.23.

 10. The overcharges were received by the defendant within one year from the date of the commencement of this action.

 11. The defendant has failed to establish that the violations in connection with the tenancy of Frederick A. Cassidy were not willful or not the result of failure to take practicable ...


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