United States of America v. Congress Construction Company, No. 63

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation32 S.Ct. 44,56 L.Ed. 163,222 U.S. 199
PartiesUNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al., Plffs. in Err., v. CONGRESS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY et al
Decision Date04 December 1911
Docket NumberNo. 63

222 U.S. 199
32 S.Ct. 44
56 L.Ed. 163
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al., Plffs. in Err.,

v.

CONGRESS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY et al.

No. 63.

Argued and submitted November 14 and 15, 1911.

Decided December 4, 1911.

Assistant Attorney General Harr for the United States.

Mr. Jesse R. Long for plaintiffs in error other than the United States.

Mr. Allen G. Mills for S. N. Crowen, one of the defendants in error.

Page 200

Mr. Justice Van Devanter delivered the opinion of the court:

This was an action by the United States against the principal and sureties on a bond, given conformably to the act of August 13, 1894, chap. 280, 28 Stat. at. L. 278, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 2523, as amended February 24, 1905, chap. 778, 33 Stat. at L. 811, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1909, p. 948, for the performance of a contract for the construction of a public building, and containing the required additional condition relating to the payment of claims for labor and materials. As stated in the declaration, the right of action arose out of the fact that, although the building had been satisfactorily completed, and full payment therefor had been made to the contractor, the latter had failed to make payment to designated subcontractors who had furnished labor and materials used in the construction of the building. The action was brought in the circuit court of the district whereof the defendants were inhabitants, which, as appeared on the face of the declaration, was not the district in which the contract was to be performed. The subcontractors intervened and asked to have their claims adjudicated and judgment rendered thereon. The principal in the bond did not appear, but the sureties appeared specially, and interposed pleas to the jurisdiction, upon the ground that, under the statute, conformably to which the bond was given, power to entertain the action was vested exclusively in the circuit court of the district wherein the contract was to be performed. The pleas were sustained and the action dismissed for want of jurisdiction, whereupon this direct writ of error was sued out and the jurisdictional question duly certified.

Before coming to that question it is necessary to consider a motion to dismiss, wherein the position is taken that the jurisdiction of the circuit court was not in issue in the sense of the 5th section of the act of March 3, 1891, chap. 517, 26 Stat. at L. 826, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 549. The position evidently rests upon a mis-

Page 201

conception of the true import of the clause, 'In any case in which the jurisdiction of the court is in issue,' in that section, as interpreted by repeated decisions of this court, which, with one accord, hold that the jurisdiction of a circuit or district court is in issue in the sense intended whenever the power of the court to hear and determine the cause, as defined or limited by the Constitution or statutes of the United States, is in controversy. The cases of Louisville Trust Co. v. Knott, 191 U. S. 225, 48 L. ed. 159, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 119; United States v. Larkin, ...

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66 practice notes
  • O'NEIL v. Picillo, Civ. A. No. 83-0787 P.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • March 8, 1988
    ...courts have occasionally implied such authority in the absence of clear language. See, e.g., United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911); F.T.C. v. Browning, 435 F.2d 96 (D.C.Cir.1970). In these cases, however, and others that followed their te......
  • United States ex rel. Brown Minneapolis Tank Co. v. Kinley Constr. Co., No. CIV 11-0291 JB/LFG
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • September 2, 2011
    ...and materialmen on government contracts." 236 F.2d at 140. The Fifth Circuit noted that in United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199 (1911), the Supreme Court interpreted a provision of the Heard Act:The Heard Act that was in effect before being superseded by the Miller Act i......
  • Violet v. Picillo, Civ. A. No. 83-0787 P.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Rhode Island
    • August 1, 1985
    ...courts have occasionally implied such authority in the absence of clear language. See, e.g., United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911); F.T.C. v. Browning, 435 F.2d 96 (D.C.Cir.1970). In these cases, however, and others that followed their te......
  • In re Acushnet River & New Bedford Harbor Proceed., Civ. A. No. 83-3882-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • November 6, 1987
    ...that CERCLA impliedly authorizes nationwide service of process is rooted in the rationale of United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911). In that case the United States brought an action under the Materialmen Act of 1894 against the principal a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
66 cases
  • O'NEIL v. Picillo, Civ. A. No. 83-0787 P.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • March 8, 1988
    ...courts have occasionally implied such authority in the absence of clear language. See, e.g., United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911); F.T.C. v. Browning, 435 F.2d 96 (D.C.Cir.1970). In these cases, however, and others that followed their te......
  • United States ex rel. Brown Minneapolis Tank Co. v. Kinley Constr. Co., No. CIV 11-0291 JB/LFG
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • September 2, 2011
    ...and materialmen on government contracts." 236 F.2d at 140. The Fifth Circuit noted that in United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199 (1911), the Supreme Court interpreted a provision of the Heard Act:The Heard Act that was in effect before being superseded by the Miller Act i......
  • Violet v. Picillo, Civ. A. No. 83-0787 P.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Rhode Island
    • August 1, 1985
    ...courts have occasionally implied such authority in the absence of clear language. See, e.g., United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911); F.T.C. v. Browning, 435 F.2d 96 (D.C.Cir.1970). In these cases, however, and others that followed their te......
  • In re Acushnet River & New Bedford Harbor Proceed., Civ. A. No. 83-3882-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • November 6, 1987
    ...that CERCLA impliedly authorizes nationwide service of process is rooted in the rationale of United States v. Congress Construction Co., 222 U.S. 199, 32 S.Ct. 44, 56 L.Ed. 163 (1911). In that case the United States brought an action under the Materialmen Act of 1894 against the principal a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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