Porter v. Warner Holding Co.,
328 U.S. 395 (1946)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Porter v. Warner Holding Co., 328 U.S. 395 (1946)

Porter v. Warner Holding Co.

No. 793

Argued May 2, 3, 1946

Decided June 3, 1946

328 U.S. 395


1. In an enforcement proceeding under § 205(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, a Federal District Court has power to order restitution of rents collected by a landlord in excess of maximums established by regulations issued under the Act. Pp. 328 U. S. 398-399.

2. Under the provision of § 205(a) authorizing the District Court, upon a proper showing, to grant "a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order," an order for the recovery and restitution of illegal rents may be considered a proper "other order" either (1) as an equitable adjunct to an injunction decree, or (2) as an order appropriate and necessary to enforce compliance with the Act. Pp. 328 U. S. 399-400.

3. The legislative background of § 205(a) supports the conclusion that the traditional equity powers of a court remain unimpaired in a proceeding under that section so that an order of restitution may be made. P. 328 U. S. 400.

4. The provision of § 205(e) authorizing an aggrieved tenant, and in certain circumstances the Price Administrator, to sue for damages does not conflict, except as to an award of damages, with the jurisdiction of equity courts under § 205(a) to issue whatever "other order" may be necessary to vindicate the public interest, to compel compliance with the Act, and to prevent and undo inflationary tendencies. Pp. 328 U. S. 401-402.

5. In considering a restitution order where there are conflicting claims between tenants and landlord as to the amounts due, the District Court has inherent power to bring in all interested parties and settle the controversies or to retain the case until the matters are otherwise litigated. P. 328 U. S. 403.

151 F.2d 529 reversed.

The Price Administrator brought suit under § 205(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 to enjoin respondent from violating the Act and to require respondent

Page 328 U. S. 396

to make restitution of rents collected in excess of maximums established by regulations issued under the Act. The District Court enjoined respondent from violating the Act, but denied a restitution order. 60 F.Supp. 513. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 151 F.2d 529. This Court granted certiorari. 327 U.S. 773. Reversed, p. 328 U. S. 403.

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