A-17874, JULY 18, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 44

A-17874: Jul 18, 1927

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WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR BE CONSIDERED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY HEIRS FOR ARREARS OF PAY OF THE DECEASED. A CLAIM PRESENTED BY THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ACTUALLY PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER IS TO BE PAID FROM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE IN PREFERENCE TO CLAIM OF HEIRS. 1927: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION SETTLEMENT NO. 150967. IT NOW APPEARING THERE ARE THREE HEIRS INSTEAD OF TWO. ALSO TO WHAT EXTENT THIS OFFICE IS REQUIRED. THE PERTINENT FACTS ARE: SERG. WITH HER APPLICATION SHE SUBMITTED THE AFFIDAVIT OF TWO PERSONS STATING THE LATE SOLDIER'S PARENTS WERE DEAD. UPON THIS APPLICATION SHE WAS ALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. 150967.

A-17874, JULY 18, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 44

ESTATES OF DECEDENTS - ARMY ENLISTED MEN - ARREARS OF PAY - DISPOSITION OF PERSONAL EFFECTS UNDER THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH ARTICLE OF WAR, ACT OF JULY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 883, THE DISPOSITION OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF DECEASED MILITARY PERSONS BY THE SUMMARY COURT APPOINTED FOR THAT PURPOSE, IF REGULAR IN EVERY RESPECT, WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR BE CONSIDERED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY HEIRS FOR ARREARS OF PAY OF THE DECEASED. UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 750, WHERE SETTLEMENT HAS NOT BEEN MADE, A CLAIM PRESENTED BY THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ACTUALLY PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER IS TO BE PAID FROM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE IN PREFERENCE TO CLAIM OF HEIRS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 18, 1927:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION SETTLEMENT NO. 150967, MADE JANUARY 21, 1919, BY THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 750, ALLOWING ONE OF THE HEIRS OF RECORD ONE-HALF OF THE ARREARS OF PAY DUE JOHN T. STEVENSON, LATE SERGEANT, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, FORTY- THIRD INFANTRY, AT DATE OF DEATH; IT NOW APPEARING THERE ARE THREE HEIRS INSTEAD OF TWO; AND ALSO TO WHAT EXTENT THIS OFFICE IS REQUIRED, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF A CLAIM BY HEIRS FOR ARREARS OF PAY OF A DECEASED SOLDIER TO CONSIDER THE DISPOSITION MADE BY A SUMMARY COURT UNDER THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH ARTICLES OF WAR, ACT OF JULY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 883, OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS, INCLUDING MONEY, OF THE SOLDIER.

THE PERTINENT FACTS ARE: SERG. JOHN T. STEVENSON, WHILE SERVING IN THE ARMY, DIED AT CAMP LOGAN, TEX., ON OCTOBER 5, 1918. CATHERINE STEVENSON, A SISTER, MADE APPLICATION TO RECOVER ALL ARREARS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE HER BROTHER AT DATE OF DEATH. WITH HER APPLICATION SHE SUBMITTED THE AFFIDAVIT OF TWO PERSONS STATING THE LATE SOLDIER'S PARENTS WERE DEAD; THAT THE SOLDIER LEFT A BROTHER, EDWARD STEVENSON, AND A SISTER, CATHERINE STEVENSON, AND THAT A SISTER, MARY STEVENSON, HAD DIED MARCH 1, 1911, LEAVING NO CHILDREN. UPON THIS APPLICATION SHE WAS ALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. 150967, DATED JANUARY 21, 1919, $22.17, REPRESENTING ONE- HALF THE PAY FOUND DUE FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1 TO OCTOBER 5, 1918, ONE MONTH AND FIVE DAYS AT $38 PER MONTH, $44.33. THE RATE OF $38 PER MONTH WAS APPROPRIATE FOR A SERGEANT, INFANTRY, SERVING IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN THE FIRST ENLISTMENT. THE RECORDS SHOW THE LATE SOLDIER WAS SERVING IN HIS SECOND ENLISTMENT PERIOD AND ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES FROM OVERSEAS SEPTEMBER 10, 1918. HE WAS ENTITLED TO FOREIGN SERVICE INCREASE IN PAY FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1 TO SEPTEMBER 10, 1918, DATE OF ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE PAY DUE IS CORRECTLY STATED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART PAY FROM SEPT. 1-10, 1918, 10 DAYS, SERGEANT, INFANTRY, 2D

ENLISTMENT, FOREIGN SERVICE, AT $47.60 PER MONTH -------------- $15.87 PAY FROM SEPT. 11, TO OCTOBER 5, 1918, 25 DAYS, SERGEANT,

INFANTRY, 2D ENLISTMENT, DOMESTIC SERVICE, AT $41

PER MONTH ----------------------------------------------------- 34.17

TOTAL ----------------------------------------------------- 50.04

UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 22, 1925, EDWARD STEVENSON MADE APPLICATION FOR ARREARS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE HIS BROTHER AT DATE OF HIS DEATH AND SUBMITTED THE AFFIDAVIT OF TWO PERSONS SHOWING HIS SISTER, MARY JENNINGS, HAD DIED IN MARCH, 1911, LEAVING ONE CHILD, EDWARD JENNINGS, WHO WAS STATED TO BE 15 YEARS OLD. CATHERINE STEVENSON IN A LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1925, EXPLAINS THAT HER SISTER DIED LEAVING A CHILD EIGHT MONTHS OLD AND THAT SHE WAS TOLD THE CHILD DIED WHEN THREE YEARS OLD BUT THAT ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO HER BROTHER EDWARD MET THE BOY AND LEARNED HE WAS LIVING IN THE MISSION IMMACULATE VIRGIN, MOUNT LORETTO, STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.

THE LATE SOLDIER, JOHN T. STEVENSON, PURCHASED THROUGH THE ARMY ALLOTMENT SYSTEM SECOND LIBERTY LOAN BONDS IN THE PAR VALUE OF $100. ON THE BASIS OF THE SOLDIER LEAVING BUT TWO HEIRS, THE FINANCE OFFICE WAS DIRECTED TO DELIVER TO CATHERINE STEVENSON ONE BOND IN THE PAR VALUE OF $50 AND TO HOLD IN TRUST THE OTHER $50 BOND UNTIL THE OTHER HEIR, EDWARD STEVENSON, FILED CLAIM WITH THIS OFFICE. THE FINANCE OFFICE REPORTED FEBRUARY 11, 1927, THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS ONE $50 BOND WAS SHIPPED TO CATHERINE STEVENSON, SEPTEMBER 18, 1924, AND THAT OFFICE WAS HOLDING IN TRUST ONE $50 BOND PURCHASED BY JOHN T. STEVENSON.

THE INVENTORY OF EFFECTS OF JOHN T. STEVENSON SHOWS HIS BODY WAS SHIPPED TO MISS CATHERINE STEVENSON, 215 EAST FIFTY-SIXTH STREET, NEW YORK, AND THAT HIS EFFECTS WERE DISPOSED OF AS PROVIDED IN ARMY REGULATIONS. CATHERINE STEVENSON, OF 215 EAST FIFTY-SIXTH STREET, NEW YORK, ACKNOWLEDGES RECEIPT OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS TOGETHER WITH CASH IN THE AMOUNT OF $102.14 AND HAS FORWARDED A RECEIPTED BILL SHOWING SHE PAID JOHN W. O-REILLY, UNDERTAKER AND EMBALMER, 1597 THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK, N.Y., ON OCTOBER 30, 1918, THE SUM OF $111 TO COVER FUNERAL EXPENSES OF JOHN T. STEVENSON.

ARTICLE OF WAR 112, ACT OF JULY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 883, PROVIDES FOR THE DISPOSITION OF THE EFFECTS OF DECEASED PERSONS AS FOLLOWS:

ART. 112. EFFECTS OF DECEASED PERSONS--- DISPOSITION OF.--- IN CASE OF THE DEATH OF ANY PERSON SUBJECT TO MILITARY LAW, THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PLACE OF COMMAND WILL PERMIT THE LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OR WIDOW OF THE DECEASED, IF PRESENT, TO TAKE POSSESSION OF ALL HIS EFFECTS THEN IN CAMP OR QUARTERS, AND IF NO LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OR WIDOW BE PRESENT, THE COMMANDING OFFICER SHALL DIRECT A SUMMARY COURT TO SECURE ALL SUCH EFFECTS; AND SAID SUMMARY COURT SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO COLLECT AND RECEIVE ANY DEBTS DUE DECEDENT'S ESTATE BY LOCAL DEBTORS; AND AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE COLLECTION OF SUCH EFFECTS SAID SUMMARY COURT SHALL TRANSMIT SUCH EFFECTS, AND ANY MONEY COLLECTED, THROUGH THE QUARTER-MASTER DEPARTMENT, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, TO THE WIDOW OR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DECEASED, IF SUCH BE FOUND BY SAID COURT, OR TO HIS SON, DAUGHTER, FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER, OR SISTER, IN THE ORDER NAMED, IF SUCH BE FOUND BY SAID COURT, OR TO THE BENEFICIARY NAMED BY THE DECEASED, IF SUCH BE FOUND BY SAID COURT, AND SUCH COURT SHALL THEREUPON MAKE TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT A FULL REPORT OF ITS TRANSACTIONS; BUT IF THERE BE NONE OF THE PERSONS HEREINABOVE NAMED, OR SUCH PERSONS OR THEIR ADDRESSES ARE NOT KNOWN TO, OR READILY ASCERTAINABLE BY, SAID COURT, AND THE COURT SHALL SO FIND, SAID SUMMARY COURT SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO CONVERT INTO CASH, BY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SALE, NOT EARLIER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DEATH OF THE DECEASED, ALL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED, EXCEPT SABERS, INSIGNIA, DECORATIONS, MEDALS, WATCHES, TRINKETS, MANUSCRIPTS, AND OTHER ARTICLES VALUABLE CHIEFLY AS KEEPSAKES, AND AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER CONVERTING SUCH EFFECTS INTO CASH SAID SUMMARY COURT SHALL DEPOSIT WITH THE PROPER OFFICER, TO BE DESIGNATED IN REGULATIONS, ANY CASH BELONGING TO DECEDENT'S ESTATE, AND SHALL TRANSMIT A RECEIPT FOR SUCH DEPOSITS, ANY WILL OR OTHER PAPERS OF VALUE BELONGING TO THE DECEASED, ANY SABERS, INSIGNIA, DECORATIONS, MEDALS, WATCHES, TRINKETS, MANUSCRIPTS, AND OTHER ARTICLES VALUABLE CHIEFLY AS KEEPSAKES, TOGETHER WITH AN INVENTORY OF EFFECTS SECURED BY SAID SUMMARY COURT, AND A FULL ACCOUNT OF ITS TRANSACTIONS TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSMISSION TO THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR ACTION AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY.

THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO INMATES OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME WHO DIE IN ANY UNITED STATES MILITARY HOSPITAL OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHERE SENT FROM THE HOME FOR TREATMENT.

UNDER THIS LAW THE ACTION OF THE SUMMARY COURT DESIGNATED IS IN THE NATURE OF AN ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATION, THE DISPOSITION OF THE ASSETS BEING SPECIFICALLY DEFINED BY THE STATUTE.

THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED SOLDIERS WERE SETTLED BY THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND ARE NOW SETTLED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 750, WHICH IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, WHERE THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE IS LESS THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND NO DEMAND IS PRESENTED BY A DULY APPOINTED LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS MAY ALLOW THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE TO THE DECEDENT'S WIDOW OR LEGAL HEIRS IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE: FIRST, TO THE WIDOW; SECOND, IF DECEDENT LEFT NO WIDOW, OR THE WIDOW BE DEAD AT TIME OF SETTLEMENT, THEN TO THE CHILDREN OR THEIR ISSUE, PER STIRPES; THIRD, IF NO WIDOW OR DESCENDANTS, THEN TO THE FATHER AND MOTHER IN EQUAL PARTS, PROVIDED THE FATHER HAS NOT ABANDONED THE SUPPORT OF HIS FAMILY, IN WHICH CASE TO THE MOTHER ALONE; FOURTH, IF EITHER THE FATHER OR MOTHER BE DEAD THEN TO THE ONE SURVIVING; FIFTH, IF THERE BE NO WIDOW, CHILD, FATHER, OR MOTHER AT THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT, THEN TO THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND CHILDREN OF DECEASED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, PER STIRPES: PROVIDED, THAT THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE SO CONSTRUED AS TO PREVENT PAYMENT FROM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE OF FUNERAL EXPENSES, PROVIDED A CLAIM THEREFOR IS PRESENTED BY THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ACTUALLY PAID THE SAME BEFORE SETTLEMENT BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS.

THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE UNDER THE ACT OF 1906 IN DISPOSING OF THE ASSETS OF DECEASED MILITARY PERSONNEL UNDER ITS CONTROL, ALSO, IS IN THE NATURE OF AN ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATION, THE BENEFICIARIES BEING SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT BY THE STATUTE. WHERE, THEREFORE, A SUMMARY COURT'S ACTION IN DISPOSING OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED (INCLUDING MONEY) IS IN CONFORMITY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND TWELFTH ARTICLE OF WAR AND REGULAR IN EVERY RESPECT, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIM OF THE HEIRS FOR ARREARS OF PAY, TO CONSIDER THE DISPOSITION MADE OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED BY THE SUMMARY COURT; WHATEVER ADJUSTMENT THE HEIRS MAY DESIRE TO SECURE, A STRICT DIVISION OF THE TOTAL ASSETS OF THE DECEASED IS A MATTER FOR ARRANGEMENT BY THEIR HEIRS; THIS OFFICE HAS NO DUTY IN THAT CONNECTION.

THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, SUPRA, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT FROM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE OF FUNERAL EXPENSES BEFORE DIVISION OF THE ESTATE AMONG THE HEIRS.

CATHERINE STEVENSON (SISTER) HAS SUBMITTED A RECEIPTED BILL SHOWING SHE PAID FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE LATE SOLDIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $111. SHE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT PAID AS FUNERAL EXPENSES BEFORE THE RESIDUE OF THE ESTATE IS DIVIDED AMONG THE HEIRS. BY SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 21, 1919, SHE WAS ALLOWED $22.17 AS HER SHARE OF THE ARREARS OF PAY DUE THE LATE JOHN T. STEVENSON AT DATE OF DEATH, AND SEPTEMBER 18, 1924, THERE WAS DELIVERED TO HER A LIBERTY LOAN BOND WITH COUPONS ATTACHED VALUED AT $62.73. THE TOTAL OF $22.17 AND $62.73, OR $84.90, IS SET OFF AGAINST $111 WHICH SHE PAID AS FUNERAL EXPENSES, LEAVING $26.10 DUE HER ON THAT ACCOUNT.

THE TOTAL OF ARREARS OF PAY DUE THE DECEASED IS NOW FOUND TO BE $50.04. OF THIS $22.17 WAS ALLOWED THE SISTER AND IS APPLIED TO THE FUNERAL EXPENSES. THERE IS LEFT $27.87 AS ARREARS OF PAY, FROM WHICH IS DEDUCTED $26.10, THE BALANCE DUE CATHERINE STEVENSON FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES, LEAVING THE SUM OF $1.77 TO BE DIVIDED EQUALLY AMONG THE THREE HEIRS. IN ADDITION TO THIS SUM THERE IS FOR DISTRIBUTION $68.66, BEING THE PROCEEDS OF ONE $50 LIBERTY LOAN BOND WITH COUPONS WHICH WAS SOLD MARCH 28, 1927, IT NOT BEING PRACTICABLE TO DELIVER THE BOND ITSELF.

SETTLEMENT NO. 150967, DATED JANUARY 21, 1919, IS REOPENED AND $49.57 (ONE-THIRD OF $70.40 ($1.77 PLUS $68.66) PLUS $26.10) IS CERTIFIED DUE CATHERINE STEVENSON (SISTER); $23.47 (ONE-THIRD OF $70.40) WILL BE ALLOWED EDWARD STEVENSON (BROTHER) IN SETTLEMENT TO FOLLOW, AND $23.47 WILL BE ALLOWED EDWARD JENNINGS (NEPHEW) UPON THE APPLICATION OF HIS GUARDIAN OR UPON HIS APPLICATION WHEN HE IS OF LEGAL AGE.