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United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U.S. 36 (1950)

United States v. Munsingwear, Inc.

Nos. 23 and 24

Argued October 18, 1950

Decided November 13, 1950

340 U.S. 36


The United States sued respondent for alleged violations of a price-fixing regulation, seeking, in separate counts, (1) an injunction and (2) treble damages. By agreement, the second count was held in abeyance pending trial and final determination of the suit for an injunction. Holding that respondent's prices complied with the regulation, the District Court dismissed the complaint. While an appeal was pending, the commodity involved was decontrolled, and the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal for mootness. The United States acquiesced in the dismissal, and made no motion to vacate the judgment. The District Court then dismissed the action for treble damages on the ground that the matter was res judicata.

Held: The dismissal is sustained. Pp. 340 U. S. 37-41.

(a) The issues and the parties being the same in both suits, the District Court having jurisdiction both over the parties and the subject matter, and its judgment in the injunction suit remaining unmodified, the case falls squarely within the rule of res judicata. Southern Pacific R. Co. v. United States, 168 U. S. 1. Pp. 340 U. S. 37-38.

(b) The dismissal of the appeal on the ground of mootness and the deprivation of the United States of any review of the case in the Court of Appeals does not warrant an exception to the established rule, even though the United States had a statutory right to review in the Court of Appeals. Pp. 340 U. S. 38-41.

(c) The United States could have protected its rights by moving in the Court of Appeals to vacate the judgment below and remand with a direction to dismiss. Having slept on its rights by failing to do so, it cannot obtain relief in this Court. Pp. 340 U. S. 39-41.

178 F. 2d 204, affirmed.

The Court of Appeals affirmed an order of the District Court dismissing as res judicata a suit by the United States for violation of a price regulation. 178 F. 2d 204. This Court granted certiorari. 339 U.S. 941. Affirmed, p. 340 U. S. 41.

Page 340 U. S. 37

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