A-12876, FEBRUARY 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 592

A-12876: Feb 6, 1926

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WHICH PROHIBITS THE ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS NOT APPLICABLE WHEN THE CLAIMS ARE TRANSFERRED BY OPERATION OF LAW. PAYMENT MADE OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES TO ONE PARTNER IN A COPARTNERSHIP WILL BE A VALID ACQUITTANCE TO THE UNITED STATES. IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS WHERE ONLY ONE MEMBER OF THE FIRM IS ADJUDGED A BANKRUPT PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE THE FIRM TO THE TRUSTEE OF THE BANKRUPT MEMBER IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS THE COURT TOOK JURISDICTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP ASSETS. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER SUBMITTED STATED IN FAVOR OF PETER J. PROHIBITS THE TRANSFER OF ANY CONTRACT OR ORDER OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN AND ANY SUCH TRANSFER SHALL CAUSE THE ANNULMENT OF THE CONTRACT OR ORDER TRANSFERRED SO FAR AS THE UNITED STATES ARE CONCERNED.

A-12876, FEBRUARY 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 592

PAYMENTS - ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS BY OPERATION OF LAW - TRUSTEES IN BANKRUPTCY SECTION 3477, REVISED STATUTES, WHICH PROHIBITS THE ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS NOT APPLICABLE WHEN THE CLAIMS ARE TRANSFERRED BY OPERATION OF LAW. AS A GENERAL RULE, PAYMENT MADE OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES TO ONE PARTNER IN A COPARTNERSHIP WILL BE A VALID ACQUITTANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, BUT IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS WHERE ONLY ONE MEMBER OF THE FIRM IS ADJUDGED A BANKRUPT PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE THE FIRM TO THE TRUSTEE OF THE BANKRUPT MEMBER IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS THE COURT TOOK JURISDICTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP ASSETS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO MAJ. JOHN W. N. SCHULZ, UNITED STATES ARMY, FEBRUARY 6, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 21, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER SUBMITTED STATED IN FAVOR OF PETER J. GALLAGHER, TRUSTEE FOR WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE, BANKRUPT, IN THE SUM OF $72.74, REPRESENTING THE VALUE OF MEAT PURCHASED FROM SAID FIRM FOR THE USE OF THE MOTOR-BOAT CREW ON THE U.S.S. SUISUN, THE QUESTION PRESENTED BEING WHETHER THE AMOUNT DUE THE FIRM OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE MAY BE PAID TO THE TRUSTEE IN BANKRUPTCY.

CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT BE ASSIGNED EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3477, REVISED STATUTES, AND SECTION 3737, REVISED STATUTES, PROHIBITS THE TRANSFER OF ANY CONTRACT OR ORDER OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN AND ANY SUCH TRANSFER SHALL CAUSE THE ANNULMENT OF THE CONTRACT OR ORDER TRANSFERRED SO FAR AS THE UNITED STATES ARE CONCERNED, BUT THE STATUTES DO NOT APPLY WHERE CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ARE TRANSFERRED BY OPERATION OF LAW, SUCH AS BY DECREES OF COURTS HAVING JURISDICTION IN RECEIVERSHIP AND BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS. 10 COMP. DEC. 159; 17 ID. 467; 22 ID. 355; 24 ID. 779; 3 COMP. GEN. 623.

UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1898, 30 STAT. 555, THE OFFICES OF REFEREE AND TRUSTEE IN BANKRUPTCY WERE CREATED AND TRUSTEES IN BANKRUPTCY ARE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO COLLECT ALL DEBTS AND ASSETS DUE THE BANKRUPT'S ESTATE AND UPON HIS APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATION IS VESTED WITH THE TITLE TO THE PROPERTY BY OPERATION OF LAW AS OF THE DATE OF THE ADJUDICATION IN BANKRUPTCY. ACCOMPANYING YOUR SUBMISSION IS A CERTIFICATE OF A. B. KREFT, REFEREE IN BANKRUPTCY IN THE MATTER OF GEORGE H. COOLIDGE, BANKRUPT NO. 14629, IN A SUIT PENDING IN THE SOUTHERN DIVISION OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA. THIS CERTIFICATE OF THE REFEREE SHOWS THAT PETER J. GALLAGHER WAS DULY ELECTED TRUSTEE IN SAID ESTATE BY A MAJORITY VOTE IN NUMBER AND AMOUNT OF CLAIMS OF ALL THE CREDITORS, BUT IT IS NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE NAME OF THE FIRM OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE DOES NOT APPEAR THEREON, WHILE THE VOUCHER AND INVOICES ARE MADE OUT IN THE NAME OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE, WHICH INDICATES A COPARTNERSHIP BUSINESS. IT IS NOTED ALSO THAT THE CERTIFICATE AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE ACCOUNT AND THAT PAYMENT THEREON HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED IS SIGNED IN THE NAME OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE BY GEO. H. COOLIDGE, AS A MEMBER OF THE FIRM.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN ACQUITTANCE OR RELEASE OF A PARTNERSHIP CLAIM EXECUTED BY ONE OF THE COPARTNERS IS A SUFFICIENT BAR TO A SUBSEQUENT CLAIM. SEE 3 COMP. DEC. 708.

IT IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1898, 30 STAT. 547, 548, THAT A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION OF ONE OF THE PARTNERS IN A BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDING MAY TAKE JURISDICTION OF ALL THE PARTNERS AND OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP AND INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY, BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED THAT THE PARTNERSHIP ASSETS OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE ARE BEING ADMINISTERED IN THE CASE SHOWN IN THE CERTIFICATE OF THE REFEREE.

YOU ARE ADVISED THEREFORE THAT PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED IS NOT AUTHORIZED, AS IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT PETER J. GALLAGHER WAS APPOINTED TRUSTEE OF THE PARTNERSHIP ESTATE OF WEISHEIMER AND COOLIDGE.