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UNITED STATES v. MASON

December 5, 1952

UNITED STATES
v.
MASON



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is a petition for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Section 206(b) of the Federal Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 1896(b), which reads as follows:

'Whenever in the judgment of the President 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 this Act, or any regulation or order issued thereunder, the United States may make application to any Federal, State, or Territorial court of competent jurisdiction for an order enjoining such acts or practices, or for an order enforcing compliance with such provision, and upon a showing 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.'

 Defendant has brought various actions of ejectment against the tenant before a Justice of the Peace and the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County alleging a violation of the terms imposed by the existing lease for failure of the tenant to keep the premises in adequate repair. The United States of America petitions this Court to enjoin defendant from evicting the tenant, alleging that the condition of the premises, relied upon by the defendant as the basis for eviction, was due to the age of the structure and ordinary wear and tear.

 The provisions of the lease upon which the defendant relies provide that the duty imposed upon the tenant to repair the premises does not apply to conditions which result from ordinary wear and tear.

 The authority and jurisdiction of the Federal District Court to enjoin eviction proceedings in State courts are clearly established. Porter v. Lee, 328 U.S. 246, 66 S. Ct. 1096, 90 L. Ed. 1199; Porter v. Dicken, 328 U.S. 252, 66 S. Ct. 1094, 90 L. Ed. 1203.

 My associate, Judge Nelson McVicar, exercised this precise authority in the proceeding of Woods v. Murray, D.C., 80 F.Supp. 4.

 After extensive hearing held on November 20, 1952, and testimony taken on plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, the Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

 Findings of Fact.

 1. The defendant, Robert Mason, became the owner of premises at 3808 Pier Street, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on July 16, 1951, which premises are in the Pittsburgh Defense Rental Area.

 2. The aforesaid premises are located in an old building.

 3. August Merlina, together with his wife and three children age 9, 11, and 15, is the tenant in possession of the premises aforesaid, and he has been the tenant for approximately ten years.

 4. It is conceded by counsel for defendant that the tenant, August Merlina, has paid the maximum legal rent for the premises each month as the same became due, and there are no arrears in rent at the present time.

 5. After becoming owner of the premises, Robert Mason orally solicited the tenant to purchase the property.

 6. On August 6, 1951, the defendant, Robert Mason, made a written offer of sale of the property to ...


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