Mine Safety Appliances Co v. Forrestal v. 8212 13, 1945, No. 71

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBLACK
Citation66 S.Ct. 219,90 L.Ed. 140,326 U.S. 371
PartiesMINE SAFETY APPLIANCES CO. v. FORRESTAL. Argued Nov. 9—13, 1945
Decision Date10 December 1945
Docket NumberNo. 71

326 U.S. 371
66 S.Ct. 219
90 L.Ed. 140
MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES CO.

v.

FORRESTAL.

No. 71.
Argued Nov. 9—13, 1945.
Decided Dec. 10, 1945.

Concurring Opinion as Amended Dec. 17, 1945.

On Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia.

Mr. W. Denning Stewart, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for appellant.

Mr. David L. Kreeger, of Washington, D.C., for appellee, pro hac vice, by special leave of Court.

Mr. Justice BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

After an investigation in which appellant appeared, appellee James V. Forrestal, while Under Secretary of the Navy, determined that the appellant had received a large

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amount of excessive profits on government war contracts within the meaning of the Renegotiation Act.1 Pursuant to the powers given him by that Act the appellee notified appellant that unless appellant took action to eliminate these profits the Under Secretary would direct government disbursing officers to withhold payments due appellant on other contracts, sufficient in amount to offset the government's loss due to the excessive profits.2 Section 403(e) of the Renegotiation Act provides that any contractor aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may within ninety days apply to the Tax Court for a de novo trial and adjudication of the issue. The section provides that the Tax Court 'shall have exclusive jurisdiction * * * to finally determine the amount * * * and such determination shall not be reviewed or redetermined by any court or agency.' 58 Stat. 86, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix § 1191(e). The appellant without following the procedure provided for in Section 403(e) filed this complaint in the District Court. The complaint seeks an injunction and declaratory judgment. It alleges among other things that the Act is unconstitutional on many grounds; that withholding payment of the sums found to represent excessive profits would seriously interfere with appellant's operations and with production of critical materials for the government; that due to statutes and executive orders which make many of the appellant's contracts confidential and secret, it will be impossible for it to carry on proceedings to enforce its contract rights until these restrictions are lifted; and that it is without

Page 373

a plain, adequate and complete remedy at law.3 The District Court composed of three judges dismissed the complaint as a suit against the United States to which the sovereign had not consented, 59 F.Supp. 733, and the case comes before us on direct appeal. 28 U.S.C. § 380a, 28 U.S.C.A. § 380a. Here government counsel, appearing for the Secretary, advance the District Court's grounds and contend further that the judgment below be affirmed because appellant failed to exhaust its administrative remedy and to follow the statutory procedure in not first going before the Tax Court to which Congress has granted 'exclusive' jurisdiction, and because it does not appear that appellant is without an adequate legal remedy.

We think the government is an indispensable party in this case, and since it has not consented to be sued in the District Court in this type of proceeding, the complaint was properly dismissed against the government officer. Minnesota v. United States, 305 U.S. 382, 59 S.Ct. 292, 83 L.Ed. 235; Stanley v. Schwalby, 162 U.S. 255, 16 S.Ct. 754, 40 L.Ed. 960. Appellant contends that the action seeks to prevent a tort by the Secretary, acting as an individual and not as an officer of the government, consisting of a trespass against appellant's property. and that equitable relief is necessary because appellant has no adequate remedy at law and since it would otherwise suffer irreparable loss. Under our former decisions, had the factual allegations supported these contentions, the com-

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plaint as filed would, in the absence of any...

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93 practice notes
  • Doe v. United States Civil Serv. Com'n, No. 78 Civ. 131 (CHT).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 16, 1980
    ...barring the granting of monetary relief." De Lao v. Califano, 560 F.2d 1384 (9th Cir. 1977); see Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 374-75, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945); Zapata v. Smith, 437 F.2d 1024, 1027 (5th Cir. 1971). The Court need not decide whether that exc......
  • Vishnevsky v. U.S., No. 77-1767
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 9, 1978
    ...have difficulty imagining such a suggestion in the circumstances of this case. 8 See, e. g., Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed.2d 140, 83 S.Ct. 552, 9 L.Ed.2d 539 (1945), where the complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief which the Court ......
  • Springdale Convalescent Center v. Mathews, No. 75-4199
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 20, 1977
    ...the federal officer's actions are based upon an allegedly unconstitutional statute or regulation. Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945); accord, Sprouse v. Federal Prison Industries, Inc., 480 F.2d 1 (5th Cir. 1973); Zapata v. Smith, 437 F.......
  • U.S. v. Rural Elec. Convenience Co-op. Co., No. 90-1516
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 15, 1991
    ...interest are such as to make it a "real, substantial party in interest" in the litigation. See Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 374, 66 S.Ct. 219, 221, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945) ("[t]he government's interest must be determined in each case 'by the essential nature and effect......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
93 cases
  • Doe v. United States Civil Serv. Com'n, No. 78 Civ. 131 (CHT).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 16, 1980
    ...barring the granting of monetary relief." De Lao v. Califano, 560 F.2d 1384 (9th Cir. 1977); see Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 374-75, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945); Zapata v. Smith, 437 F.2d 1024, 1027 (5th Cir. 1971). The Court need not decide whether that exc......
  • Vishnevsky v. U.S., No. 77-1767
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 9, 1978
    ...have difficulty imagining such a suggestion in the circumstances of this case. 8 See, e. g., Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed.2d 140, 83 S.Ct. 552, 9 L.Ed.2d 539 (1945), where the complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief which the Court ......
  • Springdale Convalescent Center v. Mathews, No. 75-4199
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 20, 1977
    ...the federal officer's actions are based upon an allegedly unconstitutional statute or regulation. Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 66 S.Ct. 219, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945); accord, Sprouse v. Federal Prison Industries, Inc., 480 F.2d 1 (5th Cir. 1973); Zapata v. Smith, 437 F.......
  • U.S. v. Rural Elec. Convenience Co-op. Co., No. 90-1516
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 15, 1991
    ...interest are such as to make it a "real, substantial party in interest" in the litigation. See Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Forrestal, 326 U.S. 371, 374, 66 S.Ct. 219, 221, 90 L.Ed. 140 (1945) ("[t]he government's interest must be determined in each case 'by the essential nature and effect......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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