Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
La Buy v. Howes Leather Co
This certiorari to the Supreme Court consolidated two cases. The Petitioner, a United States District Judge asserted that the two cases had been burdensome, in that many hearings were conducted on preliminary pleas and motions. The cases were called on February 23, 1955, on a motion to reset them for trial. The Petitioner asserted that it had taken a long time for the case to get to trial and asked the litigants if they could agree to have a Master hear the case. In chambers the next day, the District Judge made the decision himself that the case would be referred to a Master. The orders declared that the court had a heavily congested calendar and that exceptional circumstances existed to warrant the references to the Master. The Master was to take the evidence and report it to the Court along with his findings of fact and conclusions of law. When the Petitioner refused to vacate the references, the mandamus actions were filed in the Court of Appeals seeking issuance of the writs ordering the Petitioner to vacate. The Court of Appeals held that the judge refused to try the cases in due course and that the orders were beyond the court’s authority under 28 U.S.C. Section: 1651(a).
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