Bolduc v. United States

Decision Date27 December 1960
Docket NumberCiv. No. 6-138.
Citation189 F. Supp. 640
PartiesEmilio BOLDUC, Plaintiff, of Waterville, Kennebec County, v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Maine

Richard Dubord, Waterville, Me., for plaintiff.

Peter Mills, U. S. Atty., Portland, Me., for defendant.

GIGNOUX, District Judge.

This is an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq., in which the plaintiff seeks to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained by him as a result of a fall on the steps leading from the Veterans Administration Hospital at Togus, Maine on November 9, 1958. The complaint was received in the office of the Clerk of this Court by mail on November 9, 1960. Since the complaint was not accompanied by the filing fee of $15 required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), the Clerk did not file it and notified counsel for the plaintiff that, in accordance with usual practice, payment of the filing fee would be required in advance of filing. The complaint was filed by the Clerk on November 19, 1960, the date on which the filing fee was received by him from plaintiff's counsel.

28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) provides in pertinent part: "A tort claim against the United States shall be forever barred unless action is begun within two years after such claim accrues * * *." The United States has moved for summary judgment upon the basis of this statute, since plaintiff's claim accrued, according to the complaint, on November 9, 1958, more than two years prior to the filing of the complaint.

An action is commenced by the filing of a complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 3, 28 U.S. C.A. Computing the two-year limitations period by the method prescribed in Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(a), the last day upon which the complaint could have been timely filed was November 9, 1960. Although the complaint was received by the Clerk on that date, it was not then filed because the filing fee was not paid in advance. It has been held that prepayment of the filing fee is a necessary prerequisite to the filing of a complaint, and that upon a record such as is presented in this case, an action is barred. Turkett v. United States, D.C.N.D.N.Y.1948, 76 F.Supp. 769. See Mondakota Gas Co. v. Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., 9 Cir., 194 F.2d 705, certiorari denied 1952, 344 U.S. 827, 73 S.Ct. 28, 97 L.Ed. 643; Anno v. United States, 1953, 125 Ct.Cl. 535, 113 F.Supp. 673.

However, the Mondakota Gas case has been expressly disapproved by the Supreme Court in Parissi v. Telechron, 1955, 349 U.S. 46, 75 S.Ct. 577, 99 L.Ed. 867, which seems clearly also to repudiate the doctrine of the Turkett and Anno cases and to be dispositive of the instant motion.

In the Parissi case, a notice of appeal was received in the Clerk's office before expiration of the thirty-day period provided by 28 U.S.C. § 2107 for filing notices of appeal, but the $5 fee, required by 28 U.S.C. § 1917 to be paid upon its filing, was not received until after the thirty-day period had expired. The District Court, 120 F.Supp. 235, by a nunc pro tunc order considered the date of receipt in the Clerk's office as the date of filing. The Court of Appeals, Parissi v. Foley, 2 Cir., 203 F.2d 454, reversed, and the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and upheld the District Court, stating (349 U.S. at page 47, 75 S.Ct. at page 577):

"We think that the Clerk's receipt of the notice of appeal within the 30-day period satisfied the requirements of § 2107, and that untimely payment of the § 1917 fee did not vitiate the validity of petitioner's notice of appeal."

The situation presented by the case at bar seems so closely analogous as to be controlled by the Parissi case. By 28 U.S.C. § 2107, involved in the Parissi case, an appeal is barred "unless notice of appeal is filed, within thirty days after the entry" of the judgment below. As...

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13 cases
  • Charlson Realty Company v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Claims Court
    • October 13, 1967
    ...198 F.2d 189 (8th Cir. 1952); Parissi v. Telechron, Inc., 349 U.S. 46, 75 S.Ct. 577, 99 L.Ed. 867 (1955); Bolduc v. United States, 189 F.Supp. 640 (D.Maine, 1960); Bates Mfg. Co. v. United States, 303 U.S. 567, 58 S.Ct. 694, 82 L.Ed. 1020 Therefore, it becomes necessary to determine the dat......
  • Wanamaker v. Columbian Rope Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of New York
    • May 19, 1989
    ...1917, and not to cases construing payment of district court fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1914. We must disagree with the statement in Bolduc 189 F.Supp. 640 (D.Me.1960) that Parissi "`seems clearly also to repudiate the doctrine of the Turkett and Anno cases....'" Bolduc, supra, at 641. Parissi i......
  • Jarrett v. US Sprint Communications Co., 92-3417
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • April 26, 1994
    ...court authority supporting either argument as well. Favoring the "constructive filing" concept is, for example, Bolduc v. United States, 189 F.Supp. 640 (D.Maine 1960). Notable for the contrary view are Wanamaker v. Columbian Rope Co., 713 F.Supp. 533, 537-539 (N.D.N.Y.1989) and Keith v. He......
  • Keith v. Heckler, Civ. A. No. 84-9-NN.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Virginia
    • January 25, 1985
    ...Smith v. Johnston (CA9th, 1940) 109 F.2d 152. The court in Parissi expressly disapproved the Mondakota Gas case. In Bolduc v. United States (D Me 1960) 189 F.Supp. 640, the complaint was filed before the running of the statute of limitations, but the filing fee was not paid. The court refus......
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