Winder v. Caldwell
55 U.S. 434 (1852)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Winder v. Caldwell, 55 U.S. 14 How. 434 434 (1852)

Winder v. Caldwell

55 U.S. (14 How.) 434

Syllabus

Where a scire facias was issued to enforce a lien upon a house under the lien law of the District of Columbia, there was no necessity to file a declaration.

Where the contract between the owner and the builder, who was also the carpenter stipulated for a forfeiture per diem in case the carpenter should delay the work, the court below ought to have allowed evidence of such delay to be given to the jury by the defendant under a notice of setoff, and also evidence that the work and materials found and provided upon and for the building were defective in quality and character and far inferior in value to what the contract and specification called for.

A master builder, undertaker, or contractor who undertakes by contract with the owner to erect a building or some part or portion thereof on certain terms does not come within the letter or spirit of the Act of Congress passed March 2, 1833, 4 Stat. 659, entitled "An act to secure to mechanics and others, payment for labor done and materials furnished in the erection of buildings in the District of Columbia."

This was an action of scire facias brought by Caldwell against Winder upon a claim filed under the Act of Congress passed

Page 55 U. S. 435

March 2, 1833, entitled "An act to secure to mechanics and others, payment for labor done and materials furnished in the erection of buildings of the District of Columbia." 4 Stat. 659.

Caldwell, in March, 1849, filed his claim in the clerk's office consisting of the gross sum of $10,500, claimed as due under a special agreement, and the further sum of $4,086 for extra work -- the items of the extra work being particularly mentioned in the claim.

Upon this claim the writ of scire facias issued March 20, 1849. No declaration was filed. The defendant appeared and pleaded nonassumpsit, upon which issue was joined.

Upon the trial, the jury found a verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $4,746, with interest from 9 March, 1849.

Upon the trial, the plaintiff took three bills of exceptions and the defendant ten. The substance of them all is stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 55 U. S. 442

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