Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The honest and actual antagonistic assertion of rights to be adjudicated is a safeguard essential to the integrity of the judicial process and one that is indispensable to adjudication of constitutional questions by the United States Supreme Court. Whenever in the course of litigation such a defect in the proceedings is brought to the court's attention, it may set aside any adjudication thus procured and dismiss the cause without entering judgment on the merits. It is the court's duty to do so where the public interest has been placed at hazard by the amenities of parties to a suit conducted under the domination of only one of them.
A tenant of a residential property belonging to appellee, brought the present suit, alleging that the property was within a "defense rental area" established by the Price Administrator pursuant to §§ 2 (b) and 302 (d) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, 56 Stat. 23; that the Administrator had promulgated Maximum Rent Regulation No. 8 for the area; and that the rent paid by the tenant and collected by the appellee was in excess of the maximum fixed by the regulation. The complaint demanded judgment for treble damages and reasonable attorney's fees, as prescribed by § 205 (e) of the Act. The United States, intervening pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 401, filed a brief in support of the constitutionality of the Act, which appellee had challenged by motion to dismiss. The district court dismissed the tenant's complaint on the grounds that the Act and the promulgation of the regulation under it were unconstitutional because Congress unconstitutionally delegated legislative power. Before entry of the order dismissing the complaint, the government filed a motion to reopen the case on the ground that it was collusive and did not involve a real case or controversy. This motion was denied. The government challenged the decision.
Was the suit collusive, thereby warranting its dismissal?
On appeal, the court vacated and ordered dismissal of the suit, holding that the suit was collusive because it was not in any real sense adversary. In so holding, the court noted that the tenant had no active participation in the suit, exercised no control in the case, was only nominally represented by counsel, and his counsel was selected by the landlord's counsel.