272 F.2d 90 (7th Cir. 1959), 12717, Times Film Corp. v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:12717.
Citation:272 F.2d 90
Party Name:TIMES FILM CORPORATION, a New York corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Richard J. Daley, its mayor, and Timothy J. O'Connor, its police commissioner, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:November 27, 1959
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 90

272 F.2d 90 (7th Cir. 1959)

TIMES FILM CORPORATION, a New York corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Richard J. Daley, its mayor, and Timothy J. O'Connor, its police commissioner, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 12717.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Nov. 27, 1959

Felix J. Bilgrey, New York City, Abner J. Mikva, Robert Plotkin, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

John C. Melaniphy, Corp. Counsel, Robert J. Collins, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Chicago, Ill., (Sydney R. Drebin, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Chicago, Ill., of counsel), for appellee.

Before HASTINGS, Chief Judge, and SCHNACKENBERG and KNOCH, Circuit judges.

Page 91

SCHNACKENBERG, Circuit Judge.

From a judgment for defendants, The City of Chicago, a municipal corporation, Richard J. Daley, its mayor, and Timothy J. O'Connor, it police commissioner, dismissing the plaintiff's cause, the latter has appealed.

By its complaint, plaintiff sought an order from the district court commanding defendants to forthwith issue to plaintiff the permit required by the city's ordinance, known as §§ 155-1 to 155-7 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago, alleging that it applied to O'Connor for a permit to exhibit a motion picture film entitled 'Don Juan', but that he did not issue the permit on the ground that such a permit shall be granted only after such film had been produced at his office for examination; that an appeal to defendant Daley proved unsuccessful, and that, without a permit, plaintiff is prohibited from exhibiting said film under penalty of arrest and criminal prosecution, all in denial of plaintiff's rights under the first and fourteenth amendments to the constitution of the United States.

The defendants having answered the complaint, and the facts having been stipulated, the court entered the judgment from which the appeal was taken.

§ 155-1 of the ordinance provides:

'It shall be unlawful for any person to show or exhibit in a public place, or in a place where the public is admitted, anywhere in the city any picture * * * without first having secured a permit therefor from the commissioner of police.

* * * * * *

'Any person exhibiting any picture or series of pictures without a permit having been obtained therefor shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for each offense. * * *'

§ 155-4 of said ordinance reads:

'If a picture or series of pictures, for the showing or exhibition of which and application for a permit is made, is immoral or obscene, or portrays depravity, criminality, or lack of virtue of a class of citizens of any race, color, creed, or religion and exposes them to contempt, derision, or obloquy, or tends to produce a breach of the peace or riots, or purports to represent any hanging, lynching, or burning of a human being, it shall be the duty of the commissioner of police to refuse such permit; otherwise it shall be his duty to grant such permit.

* * * * * *

In its complaint, plaintiff has limited its statement of the facts in an obvious attempt to so frame its case that the United States Supreme Court will be persuaded to rule upon the question of constitutionality of motion picture censorship, a course from which, according to Mr. Justice Harlan, Kingsley International Pictures Corp. v. Regents of U. of N.Y., 360 U.S. 684, 708, 79 S.Ct. 1362, 3 L.Ed.2d 1512, the Court has carefully abstained. In plaintiff's paring down of the facts, however, it has reduced the case to an abstract question of law. It is fundamental that, while the courts will adjudicate controversies, they will not announce opinions where concrete issues in actual cases are not set forth. In United Public Workers etc. v. Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75, 89, 67 S.Ct. 556, 564, 91 L.Ed. 754, the court said: courts established pursuant to Article courts established pursuant to Aritcle III of the Constitution do not render advisory opinions. For adjudication of constitutional issues, 'concrete legal issues, presented in actual cases, not abstractions' are requisite. * * *'

"As is well known the federal courts established pursuant to Article III of the Constitution do not render advisory opinions. For adjudication of...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP