A-10891, SEPTEMBER 2, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 165

A-10891: Sep 2, 1925

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THE UNCOMPLETED APPLICATION IS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND IN THE EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED VETERAN AND FILED ON AND IN HIS BEHALF BY OTHER PERSONS. IT IS NOT A VALID APPLICATION AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT AND PAYMENTS MADE UNDER AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE ISSUED ON THE BASIS OF SUCH AN APPLICATION ARE UNAUTHORIZED. WHICH IS NOT RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT UNTIL THE DAY AFTER HIS DEATH. SUCH AN APPLICATION IS NOT A "VALID APPLICATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5. HIS APPLICATION WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNTIL AUGUST 21. YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE APPLICATION WAS A VALID APPLICATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT.

A-10891, SEPTEMBER 2, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 165

VETERANS' BUREAU - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - FILING OF APPLICATION WHERE A VETERAN, ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 121, PARTIALLY COMPLETED AN APPLICATION FOR THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THE ACT, BUT DIED BEFORE COMPLETING SAME, AND THE UNCOMPLETED APPLICATION IS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND IN THE EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED VETERAN AND FILED ON AND IN HIS BEHALF BY OTHER PERSONS, IT IS NOT A VALID APPLICATION AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT AND PAYMENTS MADE UNDER AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE ISSUED ON THE BASIS OF SUCH AN APPLICATION ARE UNAUTHORIZED. WHERE A VETERAN FILLS OUT AN APPLICATION FORM AND PLACES SAME IN THE MAIL FOR DELIVERY TO THE PROPER DEPARTMENT, BUT WHICH IS NOT RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT UNTIL THE DAY AFTER HIS DEATH, SUCH AN APPLICATION IS NOT A "VALID APPLICATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT. AN APPLICATION TO BE VALID MUST BE FILED "WITH THE SECRETARY OF WAR" OR "WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY" WITHIN THE LIFETIME OF THE VETERAN.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, SEPTEMBER 2, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1925, SUBMITTING THE CLAIM OF FRANCIS MORRIS SMITH, NAMED AS FRIEND AND BENEFICIARY OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE OF THE LATE CARL HUNLEY, WHO PREPARED AN APPLICATION FORM AUGUST 18, 1924, AND ADDRESSED SAME TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT AUGUST 19, REQUESTING THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT, BUT DIED THE FOLLOWING DAY, AUGUST 20, 1924. HIS APPLICATION WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNTIL AUGUST 21, 1924.

YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE APPLICATION WAS A VALID APPLICATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, SUGGESTING THAT THE TERMS OF SECTION 501 OF THE ACT WOULD PERMIT DECISION OF THE QUESTION IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. SECTION 501 IS CARRIED UNDER ,TITLE V.--- ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATES," THE APPLICATION OF WHICH DEPENDS UPON THE CERTIFICATION OF A "VALID APPLICATION" AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 303, WHICH LATTER SECTION IS DEPENDENT UPON THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 302 WITH REFERENCE TO APPLICATIONS BY VETERANS. THE QUESTION HERE BEING WHETHER OR NOT THE APPLICATION RECEIVED IS A VALID APPLICATION, DEPENDENT UPON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 302, IT CAN NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 501, WHICH APPLIES ONLY TO VALID APPLICATIONS.

AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION THE VETERAN WAS APPARENTLY A PATIENT AT THE LAKEVILLE SANATORIUM, MIDDLEBORO, MASS., AND JUST TWO DAYS PRIOR TO HIS DEATH HE NAMED HIS FRIEND, FRANCIS MORRIS SMITH, AS THE BENEFICIARY OF ANY ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE THAT MIGHT ISSUE. THE NAME OF THE BENEFICIARY IS WRITTEN IN THE HANDWRITING OF THE BENEFICIARY, WHO APPEARS ALSO TO BE A RESIDENT OF THE SANATORIUM, BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR WHETHER HE IS A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER ATTENDANT IN SAID INSTITUTION. NOTWITHSTANDING NOTICE OF THE DEATH OF THE VETERAN, AUGUST 20, 1924, ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE NO. 1554964 WAS ISSUED IN THE NAME OF THE VETERAN AS OF JANUARY 1, 1925. IT WOULD SEEM CLEAR THAT NO ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE SHOULD ISSUE EXCEPT UPON A VALID APPLICATION AND WHERE SUCH CERTIFICATES HAVE BEEN ISSUED AND IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED GENERALLY OR IN SPECIFIC CASES THAT THE APPLICATIONS ON WHICH SAME WERE ISSUED WERE INVALID, THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATES SHOULD BE PROMPTLY CANCELED. THE QUESTION RAISED AND SUBMITTED BY YOU AFFECTS THE VALIDITY OF THE APPLICATION AND CERTIFICATE, AND A DETERMINATION THEREOF WOULD REMOVE THE NECESSITY FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE OTHER QUESTIONS INVOLVED.

WHILE THE INSTANT CASE IS NOT ENTIRELY LIKE THAT OF FRED WILLIAM CRISP, DECIDED APRIL 30, 1925, THE PRINCIPAL QUESTION INVOLVED IS SO NEARLY ANALOGOUS THAT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO QUOTE FROM SAID DECISION, AS

THE ACT PROVIDES THAT A VETERAN MAY RECEIVE THE BENEFITS TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED BY "FILING" AN APPLICATION CLAIMING THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT WITH THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IF HE IS SERVING IN OR HIS LAST SERVICE WAS APPLICATION SHALL BE "MADE" ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 1928, AND IF NOT MADE ON OR BEFORE SUCH DATE SHALL BE HELD VOID; THAT "APPLICATION SHALL BE MADE (1) PERSONALLY BY THE ETERAN" OR (2) IN CASE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL INCAPACITY PREVENTS HIM MAKING A PERSON APPLICATION THEN BY SUCH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE VETERAN, AND IN SUCH MANNER AS THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY SHALL JOINTLY BY REGULATION PRESCRIBE; THAT AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE RECEIPT OF A VALID APPLICATION THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, SHALL TRANSMIT SAME TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. VETERANS' BUREAU ALONG WITH CERTAIN INFORMATION; THAT UPON RECEIPT THEREOF THERE SHALL BE EXTENDED TO THE VETERAN THE BENEFITS AS PROVIDED; THAT IF THE VETERAN HAS DIED BEFORE MAKING APPLICATION THEN THE AMOUNT OF HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT SHALL BE PAID HIS DEPENDENTS; THAT A DEPENDENT MAY RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT BY "FILING" AN APPLICATION THEREFOR, MADE "PERSONALLY" BY THE DEPENDENT OR HIS PROPER REPRESENTATIVE, UPON WHICH THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT WILL BE EXTENDED TO THE DEPENDENT BY THE U.S. VETERANS' BUREAU IF AND WHEN A "VALID APPLICATION" IS RECEIVED.

IT THUS APPEARS THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE CONGRESS THAT NEITHER A VETERAN NOR HIS DEPENDENTS SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT UNLESS A VALID APPLICATION WAS FILED IN THE VETERANS' BUREAU IN THE MANNER AND FORM PRESCRIBED, AND THAT THERE IS NO VALID APPLICATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT IF IT IS NOT MADE, IN THE ABSENCE OF INCAPACITY, PERSONALLY BY THE VETERAN ON HIS OWN BEHALF.

A "VALID APPLICATION" UNDER THE STATUTE IS ONE CONFORMING TO THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS AS INTERPRETED BY JURIDICAL PRECEDENT, WHICH, IN THE TERMS OF THE STATUTE, REQUIRES AN APPLICATION IN WRITING FILED AND/OR MADE PERSONALLY BY THE VETERAN. WHETHER OR NOT AN APPLICATION IS VALID IS NOT LEFT BY THE STATUTE TO ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION, THE MATERIAL ELEMENTS THEREOF BEING PRESCRIBED THEREIN WITHOUT DELEGATION OF POWER TO REGULATE.

THE WORD "FILING" AS USED IN THE ACT AND IN MODERN USAGE MEANS PLACING THE COMPLETED APPLICATION IN THE CUSTODY OF THE PROPER OFFICIAL, THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BY THE PARTY CHARGED WITH THE DUTY (THE VETERAN). SEE BOUVIER'S LAW DICTIONARY AND CASES CITED; 2 COMP. DEC. 250; 26 ID. 234; 9 ID. 510. IT DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THE MAKING AND FILING OF AN APPLICATION BY ANY OTHER PERSON THAN THOSE RECOGNIZED IN THE LAW. THEREFORE, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE FINDING OF A PARTIALLY FILLED IN APPLICATION BLANK IN THE EFFECTS OF A DECEASED VETERAN AND THE SUBSEQUENT FILING THEREOF BY OTHER PERSONS IS NOT A SUFFICIENT FILING ON THE PART OF THE VETERAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT SO AS TO CONSTITUTE THE FILING OF A VALID APPLICATION,- -- "MADE" BY THE VETERAN. HENRY V. FRANCESTOWN SOAP-STONE CO., 2 FED.REP. 78, 81.

THE LAW CONTEMPLATES SUCH INITIATIVE BY THE VETERAN AS TO AT LEAST PLACE HIS APPLICATION IN FILING TRANSIT OR OUT OF HIS RECALL OR CONTROL SO THAT IT WOULD BE FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY DURING HIS LIFETIME AND WITHIN THE TIME PRESCRIBED WITHOUT INTERVENTION BY ANY OTHER AGENCY THAN THAT SELECTED BY HIM IN TRANSMITTING HIS APPLICATION. SEE WORDS AND PHRASES FIRST SERIES, PAGE 2764, SECOND SERIES 531, ET SEQ. THE RETAINING OF POSSESSION OF THE SO-CALLED APPLICATION PRIMA FACIE INDICATES THAT THE VETERAN HAD NOT FINALLY DETERMINED TO FILE SUCH APPLICATION. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE APPLICATION IS VALIDATED BY REASON OF ALLEGED DECLARATION OF THE VETERAN THAT HE HAD INFORMED THE BENEFICIARY OF HIS INTENTION TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION AND FORWARD IT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES, AND THAT HIS DECLARED INTENTION REBUTTED THE PRIMA FACIE PRESUMPTION ARISING BY VIRTUE OF HIS RETENTION THEREOF. WHATEVER MAY HAVE BEEN THE PURPOSE OF THE VETERAN, ANY STATEMENTS MADE DURING HIS LIFETIME COULD NOT CHANGE THE PRESUMPTION AS TO HIS INTENTIONS AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AS ANY VIEWS THERETOFORE EXPRESSED DO NOT NECESSARILY EVIDENCE THE SAME INTENTION THEREAFTER OR AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. PROOF OF SUCH A DECLARATION OF INTENTION WOULD NOT MAKE VALID AN OTHERWISE INVALID AND VOID APPLICATION SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE OR TO VALIDATE PAYMENTS MADE THEREUNDER.

THE AMOUNT, IF ANY, THE PREFERRED DEPENDENT (WHO MAY NOT BE THE BENEFICIARY NAMED BY THE VETERAN) IS ENTITLED TO UNDER THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THE ACT IS THE NET AMOUNT OF THE SERVICE CREDIT, AND THEN ONLY UPON THE FILING OF AN APPLICATION MADE BY THE PREFERRED DEPENDENT IN THE MANNER AND FORM PRESCRIBED IN THE ACT. THE ACTUAL CUSTODY OF THE OFFICER DESIGNATED BY THE STATUTE, TO BE KEPT BY HIM AS A PERMANENT RECORD OF HIS OFFICE. IT CARRIES WITH IT THE IDEA OF PERMANENT PRESERVATION OF THE THING SO DELIVERED AND RECEIVED THAT IT SHORT OF DELIVERY WOULD LEAVE THE FILING A DISPUTABLE FACT. 25 C.J. 1123

IN RE VON BORCKE, 94 FED.REP. 352, DISTRICT JUDGE KIRKPATRICK SAID:

IT APPEARS FROM THE TESTIMONY WHICH HAS BEEN TAKEN IN THIS MATTER AND FROM THE FILE MARK ON THE PAPERS, THAT THE PETITION FOR THE ADJUDICATION OF VON BORCKE AS A BANKRUPT WAS DELIVERED TO THE CLERK OF THIS COURT IN PERSON ON THE THIRD DAY OF MARCH LAST AT 8 O-CLOCK P.M. IT IS BEYOND ON FILE WHEN IT IS DELIVERED TO THE PROPER OFFICER TO BE KEPT ON FILE.' THE OFFICER IN WHOSE CUSTODY THE PAPER IS PLACED IS THE ONE ENTITLED TO RETAIN THE SAME. IT WAS UPON THE GROUND THAT THE PERSON TO WHOM THE PAPER WAS DELIVERED WAS NOT SUCH OFFICER AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO RETAIN ITS CUSTODY, BUT MERELY THE MESSENGER OF SUCH OFFICER, THAT THE DECISION OF GARLICK V. SANGSTER, 9 BING. 46, WAS RESTED. THE PAPER HAD NOT REACHED THE HANDS OF THE COURT'S CUSTODIAN.

THE CASE OF PEOPLE'S SAV. BANK AND TRUST CO. V. BATCHELDER EGG CASE CO., 4 U.S. APP. 609, 2 C.C.A. 126, AND 51 FED. 130, IS VERY MUCH IN POINT. THERE THE LAW REQUIRED CERTAIN PAPERS TO BE ,FILED" BEFORE A WRIT OF ATTACHMENT COULD BE ISSUED. THESE PAPERS WERE DELIVERED TO THE CLERK OUTSIDE OF HIS OFFICE, AFTER OFFICE HOURS, AND BY HIM MARKED "FILED.' THE ATTACHMENT ISSUED IMMEDIATELY AND BEFORE THE PAPERS SO MARKED HAD ACTUALLY REACHED THE CLERK'S OFFICE. THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT HELD THAT THE LEVY MADE BY VIRTUE OF THE WRIT ISSUED UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WAS VALID, SAYING THAT A CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW SUCH AS IS CONTENDED FOR IN THIS MATTER "WOULD BE TOO NARROW AND TECHNICAL FOR THE PRACTICAL AND BUSINESS METHODS THAT SHOULD OBTAIN IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAW.' I AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE PETITION IN THIS CAUSE WAS FILED ON MARCH 3, 1899, AS APPEARS BY THE INDORSEMENT OF THE CLERK THEREON, VERIFIED BY THE TESTIMONY ADDUCED ON THE HEARING. THE RULE HERETOFORE GRANTED IN THE CAUSE WILL BE DISCHARGED.

IN EMMONS V. MARBLITE PLASTER CO., 193 FED.REP. 181, 183, IT WAS SAID IN SUBSTANCE THAT WHERE A PLAINTIFF IN A SUIT IN SUPPORT OF AN ADVERSE CLAIM TO A MINING LOCATION LODGED HIS COMPLAINT IN THE HANDS OF THE CLERK, PAID THE FEES, AND DIRECTED THAT IT BE FILED, IT WAS FILED IN CONTEMPLATION OF LAW, THOUGH THE CLERK AT THAT TIME FAILED TO PUT FILE MARKS ON IT.

A SIMILAR QUESTION WAS INVOLVED IN THE CASE OF THE UNITED STATES V. LOMBARDO, 228 FED.REP. 980, 982, WHEREIN THE COURT, USING THE LANGUAGE OF DISTRICT JUDGE NETERER, HELD:

THE SECOND CONTENTION OF THE DEFENDANT, THAT THE COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION, MUST ALSO BE SUSTAINED. THE GIST OF THE OFFENSE IS THE FAILURE "TO FILE WITH THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION" A STATEMENT, ETC. BY ACT MARCH 3, 1891, C. 551, SEC. 7, 26 STAT. AT LARGE, PAGE 1085, AS AMENDED BY ACT MARCH 2, 1895, C. 177, 28 STAT. PAGE 780, THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION WAS CREATED AND HIS OFFICE FIXED AT WASHINGTON, D.C. THE GOVERNMENT CONTENDS THAT THE OFFENSE WAS A CONTINUING ONE, AND EXTENDED FROM THIS DISTRICT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THAT THE FILING OF THE STATEMENT NEED NOT BE AT THE OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, BUT MAY BE DEPOSITED IN THE POST OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES, ADDRESSED TO THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL, AND THIS FORWARDING THROUGH THE USUAL COURSE OF MAIL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS "FILING," AND THAT THE FAILURE TO POST WITHIN 30 DAYS WOULD COMMENCE THE OFFENSE, WHICH WOULD BE CONTINUOUS. THE CONTENTION CAN NOT BE RECONCILED WITH THE LANGUAGE EMPLOYED IN THE ACT. THE WORD "FILE" WAS NOT DEFINED BY CONGRESS. NO DEFINITION HAVING BEEN GIVEN, THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD MUST BE CONSIDERED AND ORDINARY MEANING APPLIED. THE WORD "FILE" IS DERIVED FROM THE LATIN WORD "FILUM" AND RELATES TO THE ANCIENT PRACTICE OF PLACING PAPERS ON A THREAD OR WIRE FOR SAFE-KEEPING AND READY REFERENCE. FILING, IT MUST BE OBSERVED, IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL THE DOCUMENT IS DELIVERED AND RECEIVED. "SHALL FILE" MEANS TO DELIVER TO THE OFFICE, AND NOT SEND THROUGH THE UNITED STATES MAILS. GATES V. STATE, 128 N.Y. 221, 28 N.E. 373. A PAPER IS FILED WHEN IT IS DELIVERED TO THE PROPER OFFICIAL AND BY HIM RECEIVED AND FILED. BOUVIER, LAW DICTIONARY; HOYT V. STARK, 134 CAL. 178, 66 PAC. 223, 86 AM.ST.REP. 246; WESCOTT V. ECCLES, 3 UTAH, 258, 2 PAC. 525; IN RE VON BORCKE (D.C.), 94 FED. 352; MUTUAL LIFE INS. CO. V. PHINNEY, 76 FED. 618, 22 C.C.A. 425. ANYTHING SHORT OF DELIVERY WOULD LEAVE THE FILING A DISPUTABLE FACT, AND THAT WOULD NOT BE CONSISTENT WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE ACT.

THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT OF FEBRUARY 4, 1887, C. 104, SEC. 6, 24 STAT. 380 (COMP.ST. 1913, SEC. 8569), REQUIRES THE FILING OF SCHEDULES OF INTERSTATE RATES WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION. THE ELKINS ACT OF FEBRUARY 19, 1903, C. 708, SEC. 1, 32 STAT. 847 (COMP.ST. 1913, SEC. 8597), MADE THE WILLFUL FAILURE TO "FILE" A MISDEMEANOR, PUNISHABLE IN ANY FEDERAL COURT HAVING JURISDICTION WITHIN THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED. SECTION 19 OF THE ACT (24 STAT. 386 (COMP.ST. 1913, SEC. 8590/) PROVIDES THAT THE PRINCIPAL OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C. THE DEFENDANT WAS PROSECUTED IN THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, AND THE COURT, IN NEW YORK CENTRAL AND HUDSON RIVER RY.CO. V. U.S., 166 FED. 267, 92 C.C.A. 331, HELD THAT: "THE OFFENSE OF FAILING TO FILE THE SCHEDULE WITH THE COMMISSION HAVING BEEN COMMITTED IN WASHINGTON, IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE * * * COURT OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK HAD NO JURISDICTION.'

THIS DECISION WAS ACCEPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. IT WOULD SEEM AS THOUGH THIS CASE WAS UPON ALL FOURS WITH THE CASE AT BAR; THIS BEING A STRONGER CASE, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT THE COMMISSION COULD HOLD SESSIONS IN PLACES OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF ITS PRINCIPAL OFFICE.

THE OFFENSE, IF ONE WAS COMMITTED, WAS WITHIN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THE DEFENDANT HAS THE RIGHT, UNDER THE SIXTH AMENDMENT, TO A PUBLIC TRIAL WITHIN THAT DISTRICT.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE SO-CALLED APPLICATION OF THE LATE CARL HUNLEY WAS NOT A VALID APPLICATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS NOT FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF WAR DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE VETERAN. THEREFORE THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE ISSUED THEREON AFTER THE DEATH OF THE VETERAN WAS, AND IS, INVALID AND SHOULD BE CANCELED.

THE FOREGOING MAY APPEAR AS AN APPLICATION OF LEGAL TECHNICALITIES, BUT IT SHOULD BE BORNE IN MIND THAT THE QUESTION INVOLVES, IN MOST CASES, NOT ONLY THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES BUT ALSO THOSE OF CLAIMANTS WHOSE INTERESTS ARE CONFLICTING AND AS TO WHOM ANY CONCLUSION REACHED MUST BE ADVERSE TO SOME OF THEM. SOUND PRINCIPLES OF LAW MUST BE OF GENERAL APPLICATION, HENCE THE RULE TO BE FOLLOWED IN ANY CASE INVOLVING CONFLICTING PRIVATE INTERESTS MUST SAFEGUARD ALL, PARTICULARLY THOSE NOT PRESENT BUT AS TO WHOM THERE MUST BE COMPLETE RELEASE BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE RIGHTS. IN OTHER WORDS, PREFERRED BENEFICIARIES CLAIMING UNDER THE LAW MUST ESTABLISH BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT LEGAL PREFERENCE ACTUALLY EXISTS AS AGAINST CONTINGENT BENEFICIARIES WHO MAY CONTEND THE ABSENCE OF THE CLAIMED PREFERENCE. IF THE UNITED STATES IS TO BE PROTECTED FROM DOUBLE PAYMENTS IN SUCH CASES, THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW MUST BE INTERPRETED STRICTLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH LEGAL PRECEDENTS ESTABLISHED BY COURTS HAVING JURISDICTION OF SUCH QUESTIONS.