Pitts v. Camp, Civ. A. No. 69-979.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHEMPHILL
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 69-979.
PartiesF. W. PITTS et al., Plaintiffs, v. William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, Defendant.
Decision Date17 August 1971

329 F. Supp. 1302

F. W. PITTS et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 69-979.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division.

Heard June 2, 1971.

Decided August 17, 1971.


329 F. Supp. 1303

Benny R. Greer, of Greer & Chandler, Darlington, S. C., for plaintiffs.

Joseph O. Rogers, Jr., U. S. Atty. for the District of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C., William D. Ruckelshaus, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D. C., Wistar D. Stuckey, Asst. U. S. Atty., Harland F. Leathers and A. James Barnes, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., C. Westbrook Murphy, John E. Shockey and E. Jerry Higginson, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, D. C., for defendant.

HEMPHILL, District Judge.

In August 1967, plaintiffs applied to the Comptroller of the Currency pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 21 et seq. to organize a new bank in Hartsville, South Carolina. Plaintiffs, the organizers of the proposed new bank, filed information with the Comptroller and a field investigation was conducted by a national bank examiner. Based upon the file thus obtained, the Comptroller denied plaintiffs' application on April 15, 1968. Subsequent to the initial denial, plaintiffs submitted additional data and requested reconsideration by the Comptroller. The request for reconsideration was granted and a supplemental field examination was conducted. In July 1969 the Comptroller again denied plaintiffs' application. This action, whereby plaintiffs seek review of the decision of the Comptroller adverse to them, was commenced in November 1969.

Defendant moved to dismiss for want of jurisdiction of the subject matter, which motion was denied by the order of Judge Simons, October 19, 1970, D.C., 321 F.Supp. 407. At this point defendant has made the administrative file a part of the record in this case and moved for summary judgment thereon. Plaintiffs have undertaken certain discovery to which defendant objects on the ground that, as this determination must be made upon the record before the Comptroller, it cannot lead to admissible evidence. Plaintiffs have also moved for summary judgment upon the administrative record

329 F. Supp. 1304
pursuant to a theory hereinafter discussed

The court has twice heard the argument of counsel, has considered the briefs of the parties and the administrative record. It appears to the court that discussion of the two legal arguments propounded by plaintiffs is largely dispositive of the issues presented.

First, in opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment and in support of interrogatories served upon the defendant, plaintiffs argue that because the defendant did not hold a hearing on this application such additional information as plaintiffs may present must be considered by this court, in addition to the administrative file now a part of the record. Plaintiffs contend that if an adversary hearing is not held, they must be afforded the opportunity to build, whether by discovery or the taking of testimony, a record here, which additional record must be considered together with the administrative record in order that the court can make a de novo determination of the disputed facts. In this argument plaintiffs place their principal reliance upon First National Bank of Smithfield, N. C. v. Saxon, 352 F.2d 267 (4th Cir. 1965). While that case involved a branch bank application rather than the present application for a new charter, it held that the court should provide a hearing and judge de novo the validity of the Comptroller's action, setting aside that determination if it constituted an abuse of the Comptroller's discretion.1 As this court understands that opinion and the subsequent order of a district judge for North Carolina in Bank of Haw River v. Saxon, 257 F.Supp. 74 (M. D.N.C.1966), the reason for the grant of a de novo hearing was the Comptroller's refusal to afford the aggrieved party a full and meaningful hearing. In this case no hearing was held, but plaintiffs did not demand or request such hearing. The regulations of the Comptroller provided in that regard:

(d) Hearings. For purposes of this part, the Comptroller of the Currency, in his sole discretion, may, upon request of any interested person or otherwise, order a hearing, either public or private. Such hearing shall be held at the time and place fixed by the Comptroller and shall be conducted by the Comptroller or such other person as he may designate. The person conducting such hearing shall have authority to decide who shall appear as a witness therein, the order of appearance, what testimony, data, or other material or information shall be received in evidence, and all other procedural matters arising during the course of or otherwise connected with such hearing. No person shall become a party to any matter pending before the Comptroller solely by reason of being permitted to appear or to submit testimony, evidence, data, or other material at a hearing. A hearing ordered by the Comptroller is not required by statute and is not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to require the holding of a hearing by the Comptroller on any matter. The validity of the Comptroller's determination in any matter shall not be affected because a hearing was not held, whether or not such a hearing was requested by any person, or because of the procedures adopted at such hearing. (12 C.F.R. § 412(d)).
(e) Requiring information. For purposes of this part, the Comptroller of the Currency, in his sole discretion, may require any person, persons, bank, or banks submitting an application or request or any person, persons, bank or banks connected with the matter to which such application or request pertains, to submit such information, data, opinion of counsel, or other materials as may be specified by the Comptroller. Failure to comply with such demand of the Comptroller may
329 F. Supp. 1305
be treated by him, in his sole discretion, as abandonment of the application or request to which the information, data,
...

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3 practice notes
  • Doraiswamy v. Secretary of Labor, Nos. 74-1847
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 29, 1976
    ...the results of a supplemental field examination became available. Id. at 138-139, 93 S.Ct. at 1242, 36 L.Ed.2d at 109. 59 Pitts v. Camp, 329 F.Supp. 1302, 1305 (D.S.C.1971). The appellants had undertaken discovery, id. at 1303, which the court ruled out. Id. at 60 Id. at 1305-1308. 61 Pitts......
  • Camp v. Pitts 8212 864, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 26, 1973
    ...Comptroller may have erred, there is substantial basis for his determination, and . . . it was neither capricious nor arbitrary.' D.C., 329 F.Supp. 1302, 1308. On appeal, the Court of Appeals did not reach the merits. Rather, it held that the Comptroller's ruling Page 140 was 'unacceptable'......
  • Pitts v. Camp, 71-1965
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • May 2, 1973
    ...F.2d 593Pittsv.Camp71-1965UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Fourth Circuit5/2/73 D.S.C., 329 F.Supp. 1302 REMANDED WITH...
3 cases
  • Doraiswamy v. Secretary of Labor, Nos. 74-1847
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 29, 1976
    ...the results of a supplemental field examination became available. Id. at 138-139, 93 S.Ct. at 1242, 36 L.Ed.2d at 109. 59 Pitts v. Camp, 329 F.Supp. 1302, 1305 (D.S.C.1971). The appellants had undertaken discovery, id. at 1303, which the court ruled out. Id. at 60 Id. at 1305-1308. 61 Pitts......
  • Camp v. Pitts 8212 864, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 26, 1973
    ...Comptroller may have erred, there is substantial basis for his determination, and . . . it was neither capricious nor arbitrary.' D.C., 329 F.Supp. 1302, 1308. On appeal, the Court of Appeals did not reach the merits. Rather, it held that the Comptroller's ruling Page 140 was 'unacceptable'......
  • Pitts v. Camp, 71-1965
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • May 2, 1973
    ...F.2d 593Pittsv.Camp71-1965UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Fourth Circuit5/2/73 D.S.C., 329 F.Supp. 1302 REMANDED WITH...

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