A-16913, JANUARY 19, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 479

A-16913: Jan 19, 1927

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THE CONDITIONS OF LAW AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF A REWARD FOR THE APPREHENSION OF A DESERTER HAVE BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND PAYMENT THEREOF TO SUCH CIVIL OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED. FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT OF A REWARD OF $50 IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF PLEAS COOK. IT IS SHOWN THAT PRIVATE STILWELL DESERTED THE SERVICE MARCH 11. THAT YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED THAT THE APPREHENSION FEATURE OF THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE $50 REWARD IS FULLY MET. THE AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR SUCH PAYMENT IS CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT. BE PAID TO ANY CIVIL OFFICER OR CITIZEN FOR SUCH SERVICES AND EXPENSES * * * THE TERM "APPREHENSION" IS APPLICABLE TO THE CAPTURE OR ARREST OF A PERSON ON A CRIMINAL HARGE.

A-16913, JANUARY 19, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 479

REWARDS - DESERTERS - VOLUNTARY SURRENDER TO CIVIL OFFICER WHERE A DESERTER FROM THE ARMY VOLUNTARILY SURRENDERED TO A CIVIL OFFICER AND SUCH OFFICER TOOK HIM INTO CUSTODY AND DELIVERED HIM TO MILITARY CONTROL AT THE NEAREST MILITARY POST, THE CONDITIONS OF LAW AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF A REWARD FOR THE APPREHENSION OF A DESERTER HAVE BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND PAYMENT THEREOF TO SUCH CIVIL OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO MAJ. H. G. RICE, UNITED STATES ARMY, JANUARY 19, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST OF DECEMBER 16, 1926, FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT OF A REWARD OF $50 IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF PLEAS COOK, NIGHT CHIEF OF POLICE OF DUQUOIN, ILL., FOR THE APPREHENSION AND DELIVERY TO MILITARY CONTROL OF PRIVATE CHARLIE STILWELL, A DESERTER FROM THE ARMY.

IT IS SHOWN THAT PRIVATE STILWELL DESERTED THE SERVICE MARCH 11, 1926, AT FORT WADSWORTH, N.Y., AND SURRENDERED NOVEMBER 4, 1926, TO CLAIMANT AT DUQUOIN, ILL., WHO DELIVERED HIM NOVEMBER 8, 1926, TO MILITARY CONTROL AT JEFFERSON BARRACKS, MO. YOU STATE THAT THE ELEMENT OF DOUBT AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT COMES FROM THE FACT THAT THE SOLDIER VOLUNTARILY SURRENDERED TO THE CHIEF OF POLICE OF DUQUOIN, ILL., AND THAT YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED THAT THE APPREHENSION FEATURE OF THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE $50 REWARD IS FULLY MET.

THE AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR SUCH PAYMENT IS CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT, 44 STAT. 259, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR THE APPREHENSION, SECURING, AND DELIVERING OF SOLDIERS ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE AND OF DESERTERS, INCLUDING ESCAPED MILITARY PRISONERS, AND THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THEIR PURSUIT; AND NO GREATER SUM THAN $50 FOR EACH DESERTER OR ESCAPED MILITARY PRISONER SHALL, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BE PAID TO ANY CIVIL OFFICER OR CITIZEN FOR SUCH SERVICES AND EXPENSES * * *

THE TERM "APPREHENSION" IS APPLICABLE TO THE CAPTURE OR ARREST OF A PERSON ON A CRIMINAL HARGE; IT INCLUDES THE SEIZING OR TAKING HOLD OF A MAN AND DETAINING HIM AND IT MAY BE USED WHEN HE IS ALREADY IN CUSTODY.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE SOLDIER HAD BEEN DECLARED A DESERTER, HAVING BEEN ABSENT WITHOUT AUTHORITY FROM MILITARY CONTROL FOR A PERIOD OF OVER SEVEN MONTHS, WHEN HE SURRENDERED AT A PLACE MORE THAN 1,000 MILES FROM HIS PROPER STATION. THE CLAIMANT, A CIVIL OFFICER, TOOK HIM INTO CUSTODY AND FOUR DAYS LATER DELIVERED HIM AT HIS PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES AT THE NEAREST MILITARY POST, WHICH WAS 88 MILES FROM THE PLACE OF SURRENDER.

THE CONDITIONS OF THE LAW AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF THE REWARD WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER IF IT IS OTHERWISE CORRECT.