GEE, Circuit Judge:
Emma Reynolds fell into a manhole on August 10, 1981. The manhole belonged to the Sewerage and Water Board of the City of New Orleans (City); the United States Veterans Administration (VA) was doing construction work around it. On April 22, 1982, Ms. Reynolds filed an administrative claim against the VA for injuries allegedly suffered in the fall. She filed a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
Two statutory provisions govern this case. They are 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 2675(a). They provide in pertinent part as follows:
Under these two provisions, one who wishes to bring an action against the government pursuant to the FTCA must first present an administrative claim to the appropriate federal agency. No action may be brought against the government until that agency has finally denied the claim in writing. Once the agency's final, written denial has been sent to the claimant, the claimant has six months within which to bring his FTCA action against the government. Unless he does so, his action is forever barred.
The district court dismissed Ms. Reynolds' first complaint because she filed it before the VA sent her written notice of final denial of her claim. The court was clearly required to do so by the foregoing provisions, which are entirely unambiguous; it had no subject matter jurisdiction. We so held in Gregory v. Mitchell, 634 F.2d 199 (5th Cir.1981):
Id. at 204 (footnote omitted). Gregory is in accord with the general rule that suits against the government under the FTCA must be filed in strict compliance with its provisions. See, e.g., Goff v. United States, 659 F.2d 560, 561-62 (5th Cir.1981) (well established that time limitations enacted
Ms. Reynolds argues that the trial court erred in dismissing her complaint as prematurely filed because she did not properly serve defendants until April 21, 1983, the day before the end of the six-month limitation period. This argument is frivolous. No authority supports the proposition that the defects of a prematurely filed complaint may be cured by dilatory service.
Ms. Reynolds filed an amended complaint on June 13, 1983, the relevant limitations period having ended April 22, 1983. She now contends that the district court erred in dismissing the amended complaint because it should have "related back" under Rule 15(c), Fed.R.Civ.P., to the date on which she properly served defendants. It is unnecessary to look to the case law to deal with this argument. Rule 15(c) states in pertinent part that "[w]henever the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading, the amendment relates back to the date of the original pleading." (emphasis added). The date of Ms. Reynolds' original pleading was August 10, 1982; Rule 15(c) gave the district court no authority to relate Ms. Reynolds' amended complaint back to any date except August 10, 1982. On that date the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction of Ms. Reynolds' claim. Her amended complaint was therefore properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Filed on a date on which the court lacked jurisdiction, it related back to a date on which the court also lacked jurisdiction. The district court's dismissal of Ms. Reynolds' complaints must be