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Texas Portland Cement Co. v. McCord, 233 U.S. 157 (1914)

Texas Portland Cement Co. v. McCord

No. 234

Argued March 6, 1914

Decided April 6, 1914

233 U.S. 157


When the purpose of Congress is stated in such plain terms that there is no uncertainty, and no construction is required, it is unnecessary to inquire into the motives which induced the legislation. The only province of the courts in such a case is to enforce the statute in accordance with its terms.

Limitations specified in the statute creating a new liability are a part of the right conferred, and compliance therewith is essential to the assertion of the right conferred by the statute.

An amendment dates back to the filing of the petition and is to supply defects in the petition with reference to the cause of action then existing, or, at most, to bring into the suit grounds of action which did exist at the beginning of the case.

Under the Act of August 13, 1894, as amended by the Act of February 24, 1905, a materialman or laborer may not bring suit on the contractor's bond in the federal court in the name of the United States for his use and benefit, within six months from completion and settlement, even though the United States has not asserted any, and has no, claim against the contractor or his sureties.

Where the original bill was prematurely filed, an intervention after the six-month and before the twelve-month period is not effectual as such or as an original bill.

An amended bill filed more than one year after completion of the work and settlement, if treated as an original bill, is filed too late.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Materialman's Act of February 24, 1905, and the rights of contractors thereunder, are stated in the opinion.

Page 233 U. S. 158

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