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POLK COMPANY V. GLOVER, 305 U. S. 5 (1938)

U.S. Supreme Court

Polk Company v. Glover, 305 U.S. 5 (1938)

Polk Company v. Glover

No. 29

Argued October 20, 1938

Decided November 7, 1938

305 U.S. 5


1. In deciding a motion to dismiss a bill upon the ground that it fails to state a cause of action, the court is not at liberty to consider affidavits or other evidence produced in support of an accompanying application for an interlocutory injunction, but must decide upon the facts set up in the bill. P. 305 U. S. 9.

The motion was accompanied also by answers; but plaintiffs did not submit the case to be decided upon the merits upon the bill, answers, and affidavits.

2. Before deciding grave constitutional questions, the essential facts upon which they depend should be determined after a hearing in due course upon the issues raised by the pleadings. P. 305 U. S. 9.

A Florida statute required that the labels upon containers of canned citrus fruit or fruit juice name the State or country where the contents were produced, and, if produced in Florida, that the name "Florida" be in or embossed upon the substance of each container. Violation was made punishable as a crime and by confiscation. Canners of citrus products grown in Florida attacked the statute upon the ground that its present enforcement would inflict immediate and irreparable injury because of the cost of sorting, classifying, and overprinting large stocks of labels on hand, and because the tinned containers on hand, of great value, could not be embossed as required without impairing the protective coating of tin, so that subsequent use would result in spoilage of contents and much loss to the plaintiffs' business. It is held, without intimating any opinion on constitutional issues, that the facts alleged in the bill were such as to entitle plaintiffs to an opportunity to prove their case, and that the court below should not have undertaken to dispose of those issues in denial of that opportunity. The allegations as to trade conditions and practices, and as to the effect of the required embossing of cans, raised particular questions which could hardly be said to lie within the range of judicial notice.

22 F.Supp. 575 reversed.

Page 305 U. S. 6

Appeal from a decree of a District Court of three judges denying an interlocutory injunction and dismissing the bill, in a suit to enjoin enforcement of a statute relating to the labeling &c. of canned citrus products.

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