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coffees treated by processes similar to, but not identical with, complainants' said process, to obtain complainants' said business, which can only be regained after long time and at great expense; and complainants will be put to other great expense in defending their said property rights in Ohio. And if, pending the final determination of this cause, said respondent shall be permitted to commit the threatened wrongs, the same will, as complainants are informed and believe, damage complainants to the extent of more than one hundred thousand dollars,-an amount largely in excess of respondent's ability to respond in judgment,-and thereby complainants will suffer irreparable injury unless a preliminary injunction shall be granted herein."
John De Witt Warner and Clarence Brown, for appellants.
Before LURTON and DAY, Circuit Judges, and WANTY, District Judge.
DAY, Circuit Judge, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.
As the circuit court dismissed the bill, it is unnecessary to consider the testimony offered in support of the application for a temporary injunction. The matter to be reviewed is the sufficiency of the bill and amendment to warrant the intervention of a court of equity to restrain the defendant as prayed. An analysis of the bill shows the claim to be that respondent, the dairy and food commissioner of the state of Ohio, is proceeding, upon an alleged false and erroneous construction of the statutes of Ohio, to prosecute persons in Ohio dealing in the complainants' product known as “Ariosa,” and is giving out the statement that this product is sold in violation of the laws of the state. The act passed March 20, 1884 (2 Bates' Ann. St. Ohio, SS 4200-4 to 4200-8), provides against the adulteration of foods and drugs, makes it an offense within said state to manufacture for sale, offer for sale, or sell any article of food which is adulterated, within the meaning of the act; and the term “food,” used therein, includes all articles used as food or drink by man, whether simple, mixed, or compound. It is further provided in the act that food shall be deemed to be adulterated, among other things, "if it is colored, coated, polished or powdered, whereby damage or inferiority is concealed, or if, by any means, it is made to appear better or of greater value than it really is. It appears that the coffee of the complainants is coated, after roasting, with a compound of sugar and eggs, for the purpose, as alleged in the bill, of retaining the full strength of the coffee, "preventing the absorption of any injurious or noxious gases or flavors, and settling the same when prepared for consumption”; thus bringing Ariosa within the terms of the Ohio law, which provides that the act shall not apply to mixtures or compounds recognized as ordinary articles or ingredients of articles of food “if each and every article sold or offered for sale be distinctly labeled as a mixture or compound with the name and per cent. of each ingredient therein, and are not injurious to health." It is claimed that notwithstanding Ariosa is thus labeled with a statement of the elements of the compound, and is not injurious to health, the food commissioner is threatening proceedings, and is claiming that the same is within the prohibition of the sixth clause of the statute above quoted, making it an offense to coat an article of food, whereby damage or inferiority is concealed, and the same made to appear better
or of greater value than it really is. It is urged that this statute, "construed as respondent claims it should be," is in conflict with the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, as it deprives the complainants of their property, by prohibiting them from selling it in Ohio, and dealers from selling the same in that state, notwithstanding the same are ordinary articles of food and not injurious to health, and will destroy the market value of the product, and deny to the complainants within the jurisdiction of Ohio the equal protection of the laws. The argument is that conceding, for this purpose, that the statute is constitutional when properly construed and enforced, the respondent's wrongful construction thereof results in an infraction of the constitutional rights of the complainants. This alleged wrong construction, when analyzed, amounts to this: The complainants claim that their compound is not within the terms of the statute. The food commissioner wrongfully claims that it is. Upon this branch of the case the question is, may a court of equity entertain a bill to inquire into this matter, and, if it finds that the complainant is right in its contention, enjoin the food commissioner from instituting proceedings under the laws of Ohio? The jurisdiction of courts of equity has never been carried to this extent in authoritative decisions. On the contrary, the supreme court, in more than one instance, has denied such jurisdiction to a court of equity. The rule is thus stated by Mr. Justice Gray in Re Sawyer, 124 U. S. 200-211, 8 Sup. Ct. 482, 488, 31 L. Ed. 402, 406:
"The modern decisions in England, by eminent equity judges, concur in holding that a court of chancery has no power to restrain criminal proceedings unless they are instituted by a party to a suit already pending before it, and to try the same right that is in issue there. Attorney General v. Cleaver, 18 Ves. 211, 220; Turner v. Turner, 15 Jur. 218; Saull v. Browne, 10 (h. App. 64; Kerr v. Corporation of Preston, 6 Ch. Div. 463. Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence, affirms the same doctrine. Story, Eq. Jur. $ 893. And in the American courts, so far as we are informed, it has been strictly and uniformly upheld, and has been applied alike whether the prosecutions or arrests sought to be restrained arose under the statutes of the state or under municipal ordinances. West v. Mayor, etc., 10 Paige, 539; Davis v. Society, 75 N. Y. 362; Tyler F. Hamersley, 44 Conn. 419, 122, 26 Am. Rep. 479; Stuart v. Board, 83 III. 341, 25 Am. Rep. 397; Devron v. First Municipality, 4 La. Ann. 11; Levy v. City of Shreveport, 27 La. Ann. 620; Moses v. Mayor, etc., 52 Ala. 198; Gault v. Wallis, 53 Ga. 675; Phillips v. Mayor, etc., 61 Ga. 380; Cohen v. Commissioners, 17 X. C. 2; Waters-Peirce Oil Co. v. City of Little Rock, 39 Ark. 412; Spink 1. Francis (C. C.) 19 Fed. 670, and 20 Fed. 567; Suess v. Noble (C. C.) 31 Fed. 835."
In the later case of Harkrader v. Wadley, 172 U. S. 148, 19 Sup. Ct. 119, 43 L. Ed. 399, the same rule is recognized and enforced. Mr. Justice Shiras, at page 169, 172 U. S., page 127, 19 Sup. Ct., and page 399, 43 L. Ed., speaking for the court, says:
"No case can be found where an injunction against a state cfficer has been upheld where it was conceded that such officer was proceeding under a valid state statute. În the present case the commonwealth's attorney, in the prosecution of an indictment found under a law admittedly valid, represented the state of Virginia; and the injunctions were therefore, in substance injunctions against the state. In proceeding by indictment to enforce a criminal statute, the state can only act by offiiers or attorneys, and to enjoin the latter is to enjoin the state." As was said in Re Ayers, 123 U. S. 413, 497, 8 Sup. Ct. 179, 31 L. Ed. 216: 'How else can the state be forbid. den by judicial process to bring actions in its name, except by constraining the conduct of its officers, its attorneys, and its agents? And ii all such officers, attorneys, and agents are personally subjected to the process of the court, so as to forbid their acting in its behalf, how can it be said that the state itself is not subjected to the jurisdiction of the court, as an actual and real defendant?'"
Upon the authority of this case and others decided in the supreme court, it seems clear that this action cannot be maintained consistently with the eleventh amendment to the constitution, withholding the judicial power of the United States from suits in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or citizens or subjects of any foreign state. In Poindexter v. Greenhow, 114 U. S. 270-287, 5 Sup. Ct. 903, 29 L. Ed. 183, quoted with approval in Re Ayers, supra, it was said that the question whether a suit is within the prohibition of the eleventh amendment is not always determined by reference to the nominal parties to the record.” In the Ayers Case the suit for injunction, which the court held could not be entertained, was brought against the attorney general and treasurers of counties, cities, and towns in Virginia, just as the present case is brought against Joseph E. Blackburn, dairy and food commissioner of Ohio. The injunction sought is against the prosecution of suits in the Ohio courts which are about to be instituted by Blackburn, not in his individual capacity, but as an officer of the state. By the terms of the statute the dairy and food commissioner is an officer of the state expressly charged with the enforcement of all laws against frauds and adulterations or impurities in foods, drink, or drugs, and unlawful labeling in the state of Ohio. It is made his duty by statute to prosecute, or cause to be prosecuted, any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, engaged in the manufacture or sale of any adulterated article or articles of food or drink, or adulterated in violation of or contrary to any laws of the state of Ohio. 1 Bates' Ann. St. Ohio, SS 409-7, 409-8. It is also provided that food so coated as to conceal damage or inferiority shall be deemed to be adulterated. Paragraph 6 of section 4200-6, 2 Bates' Ann. St. Ohio. What, then, is the object of the injunction sought in this case? It is no more or less than to restrain the officer of the state from bringing prosecutions for violations of an act which such officer is expressly charged to enforce in the only way he is authorized to proceed, -by bringing criminal prosecutions in the name of the state. This is virtually to enjoin the state from proceeding through its duly qualified and acting officers. If the food commissioner may be enjoined from instituting such prosecutions, why may not the prosecuting attorney, or any officer of the state charged with the execution of the criminal laws of the state? While the state may not be sued, if the bill can be sustained against its officers it is as effectually prevented from proceeding to enforce its laws as it would be by an action directly against the state. This view of the case, in our judgment, is amply sustained by the cases above cited, and by the later case of Fitts v. McGhee, 172 U. S. 516, 19 Sup. Ct. 269, 43 L. Ed. 535, in which the subject is fully discussed by Mr. Justice Harlan. In so far as this action seeks an injunction against the respondent from proceeding to enforce by prosecution the provisions of the statutes of Ohio above cited, the courts of the United States are deprived of jurisdiction by the eleventh amendment to the constitution.
We are now dealing with an officer of a state proceeding under a valid law of the state, and whose error lies in wrongfully construing the statute so as to include the complainant's product. To entertain the bill in this aspect would be to subvert the administration of the criminal law, and deny the right of trial by jury, by substituting a court of equity to inquire into the commission of offenses where it would have - 10 jurisdiction to punish the parties if found guilty. It would be the extension of equity jurisdiction to cases where prosecutions in state courts by the state officers are sought to be enjoined, with a view to determining whether they shall be allowed to proceed under valid statutes in the courts of law. We think this an enlargement of the jurisdiction opposed to reason and authority. It is claimed, however, that conceding that a court of equity cannot enjoin the prosecution of criminal offenses, as a general thing, the rule is different when property rights are involved; and we are cited to cases holding that equity has jurisdiction to enjoin acts likely to be destructive of property rights, although the acts complained of constitute infractions of the criminal law. This is quite a different proposition from enjoining criminal proceedings alleged to be indirectly destructive of property rights. Many criminal prosecutions may affect the property of the person accused. A property may be greatly injured by the wrongful and unfounded charge that it is used for immoral purposes. Such prosecution may destroy its rental value and prevent its sale, yet a court of equity could not usurp the right of trial which both the state and the accused have in a common-law court before a jury. Every citizen must submit to such accusations, if lawfully made, looking to the vindication of an acquittal and such remedies as the law affords for the recovery of damages. It is often a great hardship to be wrongfully accused of crime, but it is one of the hardships which may result in the execution of the law, against which courts of equity are powerless to relieve. Suess v. Noble (C. C.) 31 Fed. 855; Hemsley v. Myers (C. C.) 45 Fed. 283; Kramer v. Board, 53 N. Y. Super. Ct. 492; Food Co. v. McNeal, i Ohio N. P. 266.
It is further claimed that the act is unconstitutional as an interference with the right of congress to regulate interstate commerce; and we are cited to Schollenberger v. Pennsylvania, 171 U. S. 1, 18 Sup. Ct. 757, 43 L. Ed. 49, in which a law of that state was held invalid to the extent that it prohibited the introduction of oleomargarine into the state from another state in original packages. The case was distinguished from the prior case of Plumley v. Massachusetts, 155 U. S. 461, 15 Sup. Ct. 154, 39 L. Ed. 223, in which the supreme court upheld a statute punishing the sale of oleomargarine when colored in imitation of butter. In other words, the supreme court held it to be within the power of the state to require an article of food to be sold for what it really is, and to protect the public from imposition in buying one article of food in tlie belief that it is another, but beyond the power of the state to prohibit the introduction and sale in original packages of a pure article sold upon its merits. As we read the Ohio Statute, it does not undertake to prohibit the introduction and sale of a pure article of food, sold for what it really is, but the coloring, coating, or polishing of an article, whereby damage or inferiority is concealed; the act providing in this connection that it shall not apply to mixtures or compounds recognized as ordinary articles of food, if every package sold or offered for sale be distinctly labeled as a mixture or compound, with the name and per cent. of each ingredient therein, and is not injurious to health. The enactment of such a law is clearly within the police powers of the state, upon the principles enunciated in the case of Plumley v. Massachusetts, supra, for the protection of purchasers of food from imposition by the concealment of damage or inferiority in food. As in the Oleomargarine Case, the article is thus required to be sold for what it really is, without misleading the purchaser to buy it for what it is not. In the Plumley Case, Mr. Justice Harlan, speaking for the court, said:
“If there be any subject over which it would seem the states ought to have plenary control, and the power to legislate, which it ought not to be supposed was intended to be surrendered to the general government, it is the protection of the people against fraud and deception in the sale of food products. Such legislation may, indeed, indirectly or incidentally affect trade in such products transported from one state to another state. But that circumstance does not show that laws of the character alluded to are inconsistent with the power of congress to regulate commerce among the states.”
But it is argued that coffee treated so as to make Ariosa is a pure article of food, and a compound labeled as required by the statute. Again, the act is argued to be unconstitutional because of the construction put upon it by the food commissioner, and this "construction” is his contention that Ariosa is coffee so coated as to conceal damage or inferiority, and that it is not a compound or mixture within the meaning of the statute. These are the very questions the decision of which the statute vests in the discretion of the commissioner, as a preliminary matter, in determining to institute prosecutions in the enforcement of the law which he is charged to execute, leaving the guilt or innocence of the party charged to be decided by the proper tribunals when prosecutions are instituted under the law. The constitutionality of the act is to be determined by its language and purpose, and not by the alleged wrongful institution of prosecutions thereunder against those guiltless of a violation of its provisions. There are cases, as insisted by the learned counsel for the complainant, where the operation of a statute constitutional in itself, as administered by the state authorities, may deprive the citizens of rights secured by the constitution of the United States, where a federal court will interfere by injunction to secure to persons aggrieved the benefits of the federal constitution; but they are not cases where a court of equity must draw to itself the administration of the criminal law of a state, sought to be enforced by the officers of the state, and thus determine whether crimes may be prosecuted under valid enactments, because a party may be able to satisfy the court that he is in fact innocent of the charge. Such a construction of the powers of a court of equity would result in a confusion of jurisdiction, and an embarrassment of the ordinary processes of the law without precedent. If this bill can be entertained, it remits to the federal courts the supervision of the pure-food laws of the states, and