Marcus Brown Holding Co v. Feldman, No. 731

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHOLMES
Citation256 U.S. 170,65 L.Ed. 877,41 S.Ct. 465
Docket NumberNo. 731
Decision Date18 April 1921
PartiesMARCUS BROWN HOLDING CO., Inc., v. FELDMAN et al

256 U.S. 170
41 S.Ct. 465
65 L.Ed. 877
MARCUS BROWN HOLDING CO., Inc.,

v.

FELDMAN et al.

No. 731.
Argued March 3 and 7, 1921.
Decided April 18, 1921.

[Syllabus from pages 170-171 intentionally omitted]

Page 173

Mr. Joseph A. Seidman, of New York City. for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 173-181 intentionally omitted]

Page 181

Mr. David L. Podell, of New York City, for appellees.

Mr. William D. Guthrie, of New York City, for the Attorney General of New York, amicus curiae.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 181-196 intentionally omitted]

Page 196

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a bill in equity brought by the Marcus Brown Holding Company, the appellant, owner of a large apartment house in the city of New York, against the tenants of an apartment in the house and the District Attorney of the County of New York. The tenants are holding over after their lease has expired, which it did on September 30, 1920, claiming the right to do so under Chapters 942 and 947 of the Laws of New York of 1920. The object of the bill is to have these and other connected laws declared unconstitutional. The District Attorney is joined in order to prevent his enforcing by criminal proceedings Chapters 131 and 951 of the acts of the same year, which make it a misdemeanor for the lessor or any agent

Page 197

or janitor intentionally to fail to furnish such water, heat, light, elevator, telephone, or other service as may be required by the terms of the lease and necessary to the proper or customary use of the building. The case was heard in the District Court by three judges upon the bill, answer, affidavits and some public documents, all of which may be summed up in a few works. The bill alleges at length the rights given to a lessor by the common law and statutes of New York before the enactment of the statutes relied upon by the tenants, a covenant by the latter to surrender possession at the termination of their lease, and due demand, and claims protection under Article 1, Section 10 and the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. An affidavit alleges that before the passage of the new statutes another lease of the premises had been made, to go into effect on October 1, 1920. The answer of the tenants relies upon the new statutes and alleges a willingness to pay a reasonable rent and any reasonable increase as the same may be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. It also alleges that they made efforts to obtain another suitable apartment but failed. The District Attorney moved to dismiss the bill. The judged considered the case upon the merits, upheld the laws and ordered the bill to be dismissed.

By the above mentioned Chapters 942 and 947, a public emergency is declared to exist and it is provided by Chapter 947 that no action 'shall be maintained to recover possession of real property in a city of a population of one million or more or in a city in a county adjoining such city, occupied for dwelling purposes, except an action to recover such possession upon the ground that the person is holding over and is objectionable, * * * or an action where the owner of record of the building, being a natural person, seeks in good faith to recover possession of the same or a room or rooms therein for the im mediate-

Page 198

and personal occupancy by himself and his family as a dwelling; or an action to recover premises for the purpose of demolishing the same with the intention of constructing a new building. * * *' The earlier Chapter 942 is similar with some further details. Both acts are to be in effect only until November 1, 1922. It is unnecessary to state the provisions of Chapter 944 for disputes as to what is a reasonable rent. They are dealt with in the decisions of the Court of Appeals cited below and in Edgar A. Levy Leasing Co., Inc., v. Siegel, 130 N. E. 923, March 8, 1921, by the same Court. In this as in the previous case of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
204 practice notes
  • United States v. Seven Oaks Dairy Co., No. 4068
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • May 17, 1935
    ...of private property. Block v. Hirsh, 256 U. S. 135, 41 S. Ct. 458, 65 L. Ed. 865, 16 A. L. R. 165; Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170, 41 S. Ct. 465, 65 L. Ed. It does not follow that because a state may have, in the stress of emergency, police power to regulate a business e......
  • Pennsylvania Coal Co v. Mahon, No. 549
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 11, 1922
    ...of the present act. Block & Hirsh, 256 U. S. 135, 41 Sup. Ct. 458, 65 L. Ed. 865, 16 A. L. R. 165; Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170, 41 Sup. Ct. 465, 65 L. Ed. 877; Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, 258 U. S. 242, 42 Sup. Ct. 289, 66 L. Ed. 595, March 20, 1922. We assume, of cou......
  • Nash v. City of Santa Monica
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • October 25, 1984
    ...that in the old law might issue out of or be attached to the land." (Marcus Brown Holding Co., [37 Cal.3d 106] Inc. v. Feldman (1921) 256 U.S. 170, 199, 41 S.Ct. 465, 466, 65 L.Ed. 877; accord, Marquam Investment Corp. v. Beers (1980) 47 Or.App. 711, 615 P.2d Finally, insofar as Nash feels ......
  • Calfarm Ins. Co. v. Deukmejian, No. S007838
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 4, 1989
    ...tenants were upheld as long ago as Block v. Hirsh, supra, 256 U.S. 135, 41 S.Ct. 458, 65 L.Ed. 865 and Marcus Brown Co. v. Feldman (1921) 256 U.S. 170, 41 S.Ct. 465, 65 L.Ed. 877. (See Lopez v. Mirabel (N.Y.App.Div.1987) 127 A.D.2d 771, 512 N.Y.S.2d 164; cf. Edgewater Inv. Assoc. v. Borough......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
203 cases
  • United States v. Seven Oaks Dairy Co., No. 4068
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • May 17, 1935
    ...of private property. Block v. Hirsh, 256 U. S. 135, 41 S. Ct. 458, 65 L. Ed. 865, 16 A. L. R. 165; Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170, 41 S. Ct. 465, 65 L. Ed. It does not follow that because a state may have, in the stress of emergency, police power to regulate a business e......
  • Pennsylvania Coal Co v. Mahon, No. 549
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 11, 1922
    ...of the present act. Block & Hirsh, 256 U. S. 135, 41 Sup. Ct. 458, 65 L. Ed. 865, 16 A. L. R. 165; Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170, 41 Sup. Ct. 465, 65 L. Ed. 877; Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, 258 U. S. 242, 42 Sup. Ct. 289, 66 L. Ed. 595, March 20, 1922. We assume, of cou......
  • Nash v. City of Santa Monica
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • October 25, 1984
    ...that in the old law might issue out of or be attached to the land." (Marcus Brown Holding Co., [37 Cal.3d 106] Inc. v. Feldman (1921) 256 U.S. 170, 199, 41 S.Ct. 465, 466, 65 L.Ed. 877; accord, Marquam Investment Corp. v. Beers (1980) 47 Or.App. 711, 615 P.2d Finally, insofar as Nash feels ......
  • Calfarm Ins. Co. v. Deukmejian, No. S007838
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 4, 1989
    ...tenants were upheld as long ago as Block v. Hirsh, supra, 256 U.S. 135, 41 S.Ct. 458, 65 L.Ed. 865 and Marcus Brown Co. v. Feldman (1921) 256 U.S. 170, 41 S.Ct. 465, 65 L.Ed. 877. (See Lopez v. Mirabel (N.Y.App.Div.1987) 127 A.D.2d 771, 512 N.Y.S.2d 164; cf. Edgewater Inv. Assoc. v. Borough......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Limitations of 'Sic Utere Tuo...': Planning by Private Law Devices
    • United States
    • Land use planning and the environment: a casebook
    • January 23, 2010
    ...went to the verge of the law but fell far short of the present act. Block v. Hirsh, 256 U.S. 135. Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U.S. 170. Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, 258 U.S. 242. We assume, of course, that the statute was passed upon the conviction that an exigency existed that ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT