ECCLES V. PEOPLES BANK, 333 U. S. 426 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Eccles v. Peoples Bank, 333 U.S. 426 (1948)

Eccles v. Peoples Bank of Lakewood Village, California

No. 101

Argued December 9, 1947

Decided March 15, 1948

333 U.S. 426


In admitting a state bank to membership in the Federal Reserve System, the Board of Governors prescribed a condition that, if a particular bank holding company acquired stock in the bank, the bank would withdraw from membership within 60 days after written notice from the Board. The holding company acquired less than 11% of the bank's stock. The bank sued for a declaratory judgment that the condition was invalid, and for an injunction against its enforcement. Its claims of threatened injury were supported entirely by affidavits. The Board disavowed any present intention of enforcing the condition, on the ground that it had satisfied itself that the bank's independence had not been affected, and that the public interest required no action.

Held: the bank's need for equitable relief is too remote and speculative to justify a declaratory judgment -- especially against an agency of the Government and on the basis of affidavits. Pp. 333 U. S. 426-435.

82 U.S.App.D.C. 126, 161 F.2d 636, reversed.

The District Court denied a declaratory judgment that a condition prescribed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in admitting a state bank to membership in the Federal Reserve System was invalid, and denied an injunction against its enforcement. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed. 82 U.S.App.D.C. 126, 161 F.2d 636. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 755. Reversed, p. 333 U. S. 435.

Page 333 U. S. 427

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