310 F.Supp. 620 (S.D.N.Y. 1970), 69 Civ. 210, Friends of Animals, Inc. v. American Veterinary Medical Ass'n

Docket Nº:69 Civ. 210.
Citation:310 F.Supp. 620
Party Name:FRIENDS OF ANIMALS, INC., Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, New York State Veterinary Medical Society, Westchester Rockland Veterinary Medical Association, Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, Inc. and Veterinary Medical Association of New York City, Inc., Defendants.
Case Date:January 19, 1970
Court:United States District Courts, 2nd Circuit, Southern District of New York

Page 620

310 F.Supp. 620 (S.D.N.Y. 1970)

FRIENDS OF ANIMALS, INC., Plaintiff,

v.

AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, New York State Veterinary Medical Society, Westchester Rockland Veterinary Medical Association, Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, Inc. and Veterinary Medical Association of New York City, Inc., Defendants.

No. 69 Civ. 210.

United States District Court, S.D. New York.

Jan. 19, 1970

Page 621

Blinder & Steinhaus, New York City, for plaintiff.

Townley, Updike, Carter & Rodgers, New York City, for defendants.

MOTLEY, District Judge.

Plaintiff is a non-profit New York corporation organized for the purpose of reducing the number of homeless and unwanted cats and dogs which create problems in both urban and rural areas. Its principal program is inducing owners of mixed breed cats and dogs to have their female animals spayed, thus reducing the high incidence of homeless animals in the community. Plaintiff solicits funds throughout the country for its nationwide educational program and to pay fees to cooperating veterinarians who perform the spaying service for qualified low income families at reduced rates.

Alleging that defendants have engaged in an unlawful combination and conspiracy to unreasonably restrain plaintiff's charitable activities throughout the country by fixing and enforcing upon veterinarians minimum fee schedules and by maintaining and enforcing a uniform policy with respect to the granting of discounts to poor persons, plaintiff brings this action for injunction and damages in reliance upon 15 U.S.C. §§ 1, 15 and 26.

The action is brought against the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS), two New York county veterinary organizations and the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City.

The complaint alleges that the NYSVMS acts as agent for AVMS in New York State (including among its activities for AVMA the solicitation of members and the collection of membership dues) and that the county and city organizations act as agents for the state and national organizations in their respective counties and in New York City.

AVMA has moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that venue in this district as to it is improper and the extraterritorial service upon it is, consequently, improper.

Page 622

The applicable venue and service provisions are found in 15 U.S.C.§ 22 which provides:

Any suit, action, or proceeding under the antitrust laws against a corporation may be brought not only in the judicial district whereof it is an inhabitant, but also in any district wherein it may be found or transacts business; and all process in such cases may be served in the district of which it is an inhabitant, or wherever it may be found.

From the affidavits submitted upon this motion, it is undisputed that AVMA is not an 'inhabitant' of this District. AVMA is a non-profit Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago and is, therefore, an 'inhabitant' of Illinois. See United States v. Scophony Corp., 333 U.S. 795, 809, 818-819, 68 S.Ct. 855, 92 L.Ed. 1091 (1948).

The next question then is whether AVMA by virtue of its activities in the Southern District of New York is...

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