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U.S. Supreme Court

Rickert Rice Mills, Inc. v. Fontenot, 297 U.S. 110 (1936)

Rickert Rice Mills, Inc. v. Fontenot

No. 577

Argued December 16, 17, 1935

Decided January 13, 1936*

297 U.S. 110


1. The infirmities of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933, which were the basis of decision in United States v. Butler, ante p. 297 U. S. 1, holding it unconstitutional, were not cured by the Amendatory Act of August 24, 1935. The so-called tax exacted of processors still lacks the quality of a true tax, and remains a means for effectuating the regulation of agricultural production -- a matter not within the powers of Congress. P. 297 U. S. 112.

2. The Court has no occasion to discuss or decide in this case the question whether § 21(d) of the Amended Act affords an adequate remedy at law for the recovery of money unconstitutionally exacted of a processor. P. 297 U. S. 112.

3. In suits by processors to restrain a collector from assessing and collecting "processing taxes" pursuant to the Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933, as amended by the Act of August 24, 1935, this Court, in granting writs of certiorari, restrained the collection upon the condition that the petitioners pay the amounts of the accruing taxes to a depositary, to be withdrawn only upon the further order of this Court. The exaction of the statute having been found unconstitutional, held that the impounded funds should be returned to petitioners without regard to the adequately of the remedy under § 21(d) of the Amended Act for recovery of taxes collected, since the petitioners have not paid those funds as taxes to the collector, and cannot now be required to do so, nor can collection be enforced by distraint. P. 297 U. S. 112.

Decrees of the District Court vacated.

Certiorari, 296 U.S. 569, to the Circuit Court of Appeals after denial by that court of applications for injunctions, chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 297 U. S. 111

pending appeal, in suits brought by processors of rice against the respondent collector to enjoin assessment and collection of processing taxes under the Agricultural Adjustment Act as amended. The District Court had dismissed the bills. The decrees of this Court provide for return of moneys impounded under its orders, vacate the decrees of the District Court, and remand the cases to that court for entry of decrees of injunction.

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