Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors v. Porter, No. 11227.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtDENMAN, BONE and ORR, Circuit
Citation156 F.2d 296
Decision Date24 June 1946
Docket NumberNo. 11227.
PartiesMECHANICAL FARM EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS, INC., v. PORTER.

156 F.2d 296 (1946)

MECHANICAL FARM EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS, INC.,
v.
PORTER.

No. 11227.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

June 24, 1946.


Howe & Finch, of Palo Alto, Cal., for appellant.

George Moncharsh, Deputy Adm. for Enforcement, Milton Klein, Director, Litigation Division, David London, Chief, Appellate Branch, and Harold Craske, Attorney, OPA, all of Washington, D. C.,

156 F.2d 297
and Herbert H. Bent, Regional Litigation Attorney, and William H. Brunner, Dist. Enforcement Attorney, OPA, both of San Francisco, Cal., for appellee

Before DENMAN, BONE and ORR, Circuit Judges.

BONE, Circuit Judge.

Appellant is a dealer in used tractors. On October 5, 1944, appellee-Administrator instituted an action against appellant alleging that appellant had sold used tractors at prices in excess of M.P.R. No. 133 and M.P.R. No. 136, both as amended. The Administrator, under Section 205(e) of the Emergency Price Control Act, 50 U.S.C.A. Appendix, § 925(e) (hereinafter referred to as the Act), demanded damages in treble the amount of the overcharges, and, under Section 205(a) of the Act, asked for a final injunction enjoining appellant from violating the above Regulations or the Act. The district court ordered and entered judgment against appellant for the actual amount of the overcharges which the Administrator alleged, and granted an injunction. The appeal is from this judgment.

It was stipulated by the parties that all the sales of crawler tractors here involved were made to farmers for general farming and agricultural uses, except one which was purchased for use in lumbering operations. Also that all of the sales in question, thirteen in number, were made in the period between August 1, 1943 and September 25, 1943, and that none of the purchases or sales was made for use and consumption other than in the course of trade or business.

Appellant raises three contentions on this appeal: First, that sales of crawler tractors to farmers during this period did not come within the scope of M.P.R. No. 136, and were, therefore, left subject to the G.M.P.R. Second, that if the sales do come under M.P.R. No. 136, then the Teresi and Badami sales were at prices under the ceilings provided by that Regulation, and that damages should not have been assessed upon those sales. Third, the issuance of an injunction was not proper in this case.

First. M.P.R. No. 136, which controls the maximum sales prices for used crawler tractors, provided in § 1390.2 for exclusion, from its application, of certain types of sales. Among such exempted categories were sales defined in § 1390.2(f) which states: "Any sale or delivery at retail of a machine or part by a person other than the manufacturer thereof. * * * For the purpose of this exclusion, a sale or delivery is deemed to be `at retail' (1) when made to an ultimate consumer, other than an industrial, commercial, or governmental user * * *".

Appellant claims that under a proper interpretation of this Section a farmer is not a commercial user, and, therefore, sales to him would be excluded from the scope of M.P.R. No. 136.

However the Administrator has consistently interpreted M.P.R. No. 136 as covering sales to farmers. In Price Interpretation 17, dated November 15, 1942, it is said: "Repair Services on Tractors. The Regulation M.P.R. No. 136 is applicable to repair services on industrial and crawler tractors, even though the tractors are used for agricultural purposes." 8 O.P.A.Services, p. 40:2018.

On September 1, 1943, the Administrator issued an interpretation of M.P.R. No. 136 as follows: "Crawler type tractor sold by one farmer to another. The sale of crawler tractor by one farmer to another is subject to the regulation. Such a sale is not a sale `at retail', except pursuant to Section 1390.2(f), because a farmer is a commercial user. A farmer is considered a commercial user, since he operates his farm as a commercial activity and purchases the equipment for use in carrying out that activity."

This interpretation is cited with approval and quoted in Bowles v. Trullinger, 9 Cir., 152 F.2d 191, 193.

If the meaning of the words of an administrative interpretation is in doubt, the court must look to the administrative construction of the regulation. And this construction is "of controlling weight unless it is...

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11 practice notes
  • Bayne v. Kingery, 30546.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • June 10, 1948
    ...Cal.App., 183 P.2d 942; Lightbody v. Russell, 293 N.Y. 492, 58 N.E.2d 508; Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors v. Porter, 9 Cir., 156 F.2d 296; Miller v. Meyers, 158 Wash. 643, 291 P. 1115; Sommer v. E. B. Kelly Co., Inc., 182 Misc. 157, 47 N.Y.S.2d 57; Speten v. Bowles, 8 Cir., 146 F.2d......
  • Kasparek v. Gardner, No. 21808.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • May 29, 1969
    ...See also Jno. McCall Coal Co. v. United States, 374 F.2d 689, 691-692 (4th Cir. 1967); Mechanical Farm Equip. Distrib., Inc. v. Porter, 156 F.2d 296, 297-298 (9th Cir. Finally, we do not think the Appeals Council's refusal to reopen the Administration's prior determination in this case was ......
  • Lockheed Aircraft Corp. v. Campbell, No. 14610.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • February 24, 1953
    ...have laid down for administrative regulations and interpretations. Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors, Inc. v. Porter, 9 Cir., 1946, 156 F.2d 296; and see, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Associated Gas & Electric Co., 1938, 2 Cir., 99 F.2d 795, 798; United States v. American ......
  • Stribley v. Michigan Marine, Inc., Docket No. 12888
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • July 26, 1972
    ...Suburbia Gardens Nursery, Inc. v. St. Louis County, 377 S.W.2d 266 (Mo., 1964); Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors, Inc. v. Porter, 156 F.2d 296 (C.A.9, 1946); and Business Management Corp. v. Department of Industrial Relations, 21 Cal.2d 26, 129 P.2d 681 From the evidence presented to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Bayne v. Kingery, 30546.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • June 10, 1948
    ...Cal.App., 183 P.2d 942; Lightbody v. Russell, 293 N.Y. 492, 58 N.E.2d 508; Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors v. Porter, 9 Cir., 156 F.2d 296; Miller v. Meyers, 158 Wash. 643, 291 P. 1115; Sommer v. E. B. Kelly Co., Inc., 182 Misc. 157, 47 N.Y.S.2d 57; Speten v. Bowles, 8 Cir., 146 F.2d......
  • Kasparek v. Gardner, No. 21808.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • May 29, 1969
    ...See also Jno. McCall Coal Co. v. United States, 374 F.2d 689, 691-692 (4th Cir. 1967); Mechanical Farm Equip. Distrib., Inc. v. Porter, 156 F.2d 296, 297-298 (9th Cir. Finally, we do not think the Appeals Council's refusal to reopen the Administration's prior determination in this case was ......
  • Lockheed Aircraft Corp. v. Campbell, No. 14610.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • February 24, 1953
    ...have laid down for administrative regulations and interpretations. Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors, Inc. v. Porter, 9 Cir., 1946, 156 F.2d 296; and see, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Associated Gas & Electric Co., 1938, 2 Cir., 99 F.2d 795, 798; United States v. American ......
  • Stribley v. Michigan Marine, Inc., Docket No. 12888
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • July 26, 1972
    ...Suburbia Gardens Nursery, Inc. v. St. Louis County, 377 S.W.2d 266 (Mo., 1964); Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors, Inc. v. Porter, 156 F.2d 296 (C.A.9, 1946); and Business Management Corp. v. Department of Industrial Relations, 21 Cal.2d 26, 129 P.2d 681 From the evidence presented to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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