NATIONAL FIRE INS. CO. V. THOMPSON, 281 U. S. 331 (1930)

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U.S. Supreme Court

National Fire Ins. Co. v. Thompson, 281 U.S. 331 (1930)

National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford v. Thompson

No. 104

Argued January 16, 1930

Decided April 14, 1930

281 U.S. 331


1. Under a stipulation made by fire insurance companies in Missouri with the state Superintendent of Insurance, in a suit attacking a rate fixed by him (Mo.Rev.Stats., § 6283), that suit was dismissed, a new hearing was had by the Superintendent, and a new rate promulgated which was reviewed in a new proceeding in the state courts (involving no federal question, Aetna Ins. Co. v. Hyde, 275 U. S. 440) and finally sustained by the supreme court of the state. Although the statute provided (§ 6284) that, upon such review, rates in excess of those fixed by the Superintendent

Page 281 U. S. 332

should not be charged, the companies in this instance, in virtue of the stipulation, collected their old rates, pending the review, by giving a bond to refund excess collections to the assured. Plaintiff, a party to the stipulation, sued in the United States court to enjoin the enforcement of the order on the ground that § 6283 and the order were repugnant to the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The lower court found the stipulation valid and denied plaintiff's application because it had not repaid the excess charges, but without prejudice to renewal after such payment.

Held that the stipulation, pursuant to which the higher rates were collected, amounted to a promise to return the excess if the reduction should be finally sustained, and it cannot be said that the lower court erred in withholding relief until plaintiff makes good its promise to refund. P. 281 U. S. 335.

2. Courts of equity frequently decline to interfere on behalf of complainant whose attitude is unconscientious in respect of the matter concerning which it seeks relief. Deweese v. Reinhard, 65 U. S. 386, 65 U. S. 390. P. 281 U. S. 338.

3. Judicial notice taken of a matter in the record of another case. P. 281 U. S. 336.

4. A decree of the district court denying an interlocutory injunction will not be reversed unless shown to be contrary to some rule of equity or the result of an improvident exercise of judicial discretion. P. 281 U. S. 338.

34 F.2d 185 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the district court of three judges denying an interlocutory injunction in a suit to restrain the enforcement of an order of the Missouri Superintendent of Insurance reducing rates for fire and allied classes of insurance. Another phase of the controversy was before this Court in 275 U. S. 275 U.S. 440.

Page 281 U. S. 333

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