180 F.Supp. 843 (N.D.Ill. 1959), 58 C 968, Times Film Corp. v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:58 C 968.
Citation:180 F.Supp. 843
Party Name:TIMES FILM CORPORATION, a New York Corporation, Plaintiff, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, a Municipal Corporation, Richard J. Daley and Timothy J. O'Connor, Defendants.
Case Date:May 29, 1959
Court:United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Northern District of Illinois
 
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Page 843

180 F.Supp. 843 (N.D.Ill. 1959)

TIMES FILM CORPORATION, a New York Corporation, Plaintiff,

v.

CITY OF CHICAGO, a Municipal Corporation, Richard J. Daley and Timothy J. O'Connor, Defendants.

No. 58 C 968.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.

May 29, 1959

Page 844

Abner J. Mikva, Chicago, Ill., Felix J. Bilgrey, New York City, for plaintiff.

Edward R. Hartigan, James P. Daley, Chicago, Ill., for defendants.

CAMPBELL, Chief Judge.

This action arises pursuant to the Complaint filed by Times Film Corporation against the City of Chicago, Mayor Richard J. Daley and Police Commissioner Timothy J. O'Connor, and is submitted on the basis of a stipulation of facts for final decision.

Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 155-1 to 155-7 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, plaintiff applied to defendant, O'Connor for a permit to exhibit the motion picture, 'Don Juan'. Defendant O'Connor notified plaintiff that he would not issue such a permit because such permit could only be granted after the film had been produced at the office of the Commissioner of Police for examination. Plaintiff refused to so submit such film, but appealed to defendant Daley who denied the appeal. Because of plaintiff's refusal to produce the film at the office of the Commissioner of Police and the consequent denial of a permit, plaintiff is prohibited from exhibiting the motion picture 'Don Juan' under penalty of a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $100.00 for each day the picture is exhibited without a permit.

Plaintiff alleges that said ordinance is void on its face as a prior restraint in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and prays for injunctive relief in order to exhibit the said film in the City of Chicago.

It is my opinion that I am without jurisdiction to hear this cause on many grounds.

First. Before I can be called upon to pronounce this Statute unconstitutional-- the most 'important and delicate duty of this Court which is only to be used as a 'last resort'-- there must exist a 'justiciable controversy.' In my opinion, no such controversy exists. Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346, 31 S.Ct. 250, 55 L.Ed. 246; Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips, 339 U.S. 667, 672, 70 S.Ct. 876, 94 L.Ed. 1194; National Mutual Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Transfer Co., 337 U.S. 582, 583, 597-598, 69 S.Ct. 1173...

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