Louisville Cement Co. v. ICC - 246 U.S. 638 (1918)
U.S. Supreme Court
Louisville Cement Co. v. ICC, 246 U.S. 638 (1918)
Louisville Cement Company v.
Interstate Commerce Commission
Argued March 14, 1918
Decided April 29, 1918
246 U.S. 638
The provision of § 16 of the Act to Regulate Commerce that "all complaints for the recovery of damages shall be filed with the Commission within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after," is not a mere statute of limitation but is jurisdictional.
The "cause of action accrues" to a shipper, within the meaning of this provision, when the unreasonable charges are paid, not when the shipment is received or delivered by the carrier.
It having been definitely settled by prior decisions of this Court that the time when a "cause of action accrues" is the time when suit may first be legally instituted upon it, it must be assumed that Congress, in using that expression without qualifying words, adopted the meaning thus attached to it.
In the absence of other modes of judicial review, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia has power to direct the Interstate Commerce Commission by mandamus to entertain and proceed to adjudicate a cause which it has erroneously declared not to be within its jurisdiction.
42 App.D.C. 514 reversed.
The case is stated in the opinion.