A-18509, SEPTEMBER 8, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 334

A-18509: Sep 8, 1932

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS APPLICABLE TO JUDGMENTS RENDERED AFTER THE DATE OF THE ACT. SUCH RATE OF INTEREST IS FOR APPLICATION WHETHER THE INTEREST IN THE JUDGMENT IS ALLOWED BY THE COURT AS SUCH OR AS A PART OF JUST COMPENSATION. WHEREIN THERE WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM FITZHERBERT WEST AND HELEN S. THE DECREE OF THE COURT IN THIS CASE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: IT IS ADJUDGED AND ORDERED THAT THE PLAINTIFFS. IT WAS STATED: UPON THE FOREGOING SPECIAL FINDINGS OF FACT. WHICH ARE MADE A PART OF THE JUDGMENT HEREIN. THE COURT DECIDES AS A CONCLUSION OF LAW THAT THE PLAINTIFFS ARE ENTITLED TO RECOVER THE SUM OF $91. IT IS THEREFORE ADJUDGED AND ORDERED THAT THE PLAINTIFFS RECOVER OF AND FROM THE UNITED STATES THE SUM OF NINETY-ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($91.

A-18509, SEPTEMBER 8, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 334

ECONOMY ACT - INTEREST ON JUDGMENTS THE RATE OF INTEREST AT 4 PERCENT PER ANNUM PROVIDED BY SECTION 319 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 412, IS APPLICABLE TO JUDGMENTS RENDERED AFTER THE DATE OF THE ACT, AND TO THOSE RENDERED PRIOR THERETO REMAINING UNPAID ON THAT DATE, AND SUCH RATE OF INTEREST IS FOR APPLICATION WHETHER THE INTEREST IN THE JUDGMENT IS ALLOWED BY THE COURT AS SUCH OR AS A PART OF JUST COMPENSATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 8, 1932:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED ON BEHALF OF THE JUDGMENT CREDITORS OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE, CERTIFICATE NO. 0282218, DATED JULY 14, 1932, WHEREIN THERE WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM FITZHERBERT WEST AND HELEN S. WEST THE SUM OF $131,063.88, BEING $91,825 PRINCIPAL AND $39,238.88 INTEREST, AT 4 PERCENT PER ANNUM FROM NOVEMBER 7, 1921, TO JULY 14, 1932, UNDER A JUDGMENT RENDERED DECEMBER 7, 1931, BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM FITZHERBERT WEST AND HELEN S. WEST V. THE UNITED STATES, NO. H-183.

THE DECREE OF THE COURT IN THIS CASE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS ADJUDGED AND ORDERED THAT THE PLAINTIFFS, WILLIAM FITZHERBERT WEST AND HELEN S. WEST, RECOVER OF AND FROM THE UNITED STATES THE SUM OF NINETY -ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($91,825), WITH INTEREST AT THE RATE OF SIX PERCENT PER ANNUM FROM NOVEMBER 7, 1921, UNTIL PAID.

IN THE OPINION AS RENDERED BY THE COURT, HOWEVER, IT WAS STATED:

UPON THE FOREGOING SPECIAL FINDINGS OF FACT, WHICH ARE MADE A PART OF THE JUDGMENT HEREIN, THE COURT DECIDES AS A CONCLUSION OF LAW THAT THE PLAINTIFFS ARE ENTITLED TO RECOVER THE SUM OF $91,825, WITH INTEREST AT THE RATE OF SIX PERCENT PER ANNUM FROM NOVEMBER 7, 1921, UNTIL PAID, NOT AS INTEREST BUT AS A PART OF JUST COMPENSATION.

IT IS THEREFORE ADJUDGED AND ORDERED THAT THE PLAINTIFFS RECOVER OF AND FROM THE UNITED STATES THE SUM OF NINETY-ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($91,825), WITH INTEREST AT THE RATE OF SIX PERCENT PER ANNUM FROM NOVEMBER 7, 1921, UNTIL PAID.

IN THE SETTLEMENT AS MADE BY THIS OFFICE INTEREST WAS COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF 4 PERCENT AND NOT AT 6 PERCENT AS PROVIDED BY THE JUDGMENT, FOR THE REASON THAT BY SECTIONS 319 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 412, IT WAS PROVIDED:

HEREAFTER THE RATE OF INTEREST TO BE ALLOWED OR PAID SHALL BE 4 PERCENTUM PER ANNUM WHENEVER INTEREST IS ALLOWED BY LAW UPON ANY JUDGMENT OF WHATSOEVER CHARACTER AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND/OR UPON ANY OVERPAYMENT IN RESPECT OF ANY INTERNAL-REVENUE TAX. ALL LAWS OR PARTS OF LAWS IN SO FAR AS INCONSISTENT HEREWITH ARE HEREBY REPEALED.

ON BEHALF OF THE JUDGMENT CREDITORS IT IS NOW CONTENDED THAT INTEREST ON THIS JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF 6 PERCENT AS PROVIDED BY THE JUDGMENT, APPARENTLY BECAUSE THE INTEREST WAS ALLOWED BY THE COURT AS PART OF JUST COMPENSATION RATHER THAN AS INTEREST.

THE SUIT IN THIS CASE INVOLVED DAMAGES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED AS A RESULT OF THE USE, OCCUPATION, AND CONTROL BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CERTAIN LANDS SITUATED IN SAN DIEGO, CALIF., PROPERTY OF THE COMPLAINANTS, DURING THE PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 8, 1917, TO NOVEMBER 5, 1921. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE HOLDING OF THE COURT WAS THAT THE COMPLAINANTS WERE ENTITLED TO JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE PROPERTY TAKEN AND AS SUCH IT WAS PROPER FOR THE COURT TO INCLUDE AS PART OF SUCH JUST COMPENSATION INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 6 PERCENT PER ANNUM. THAT IS TO SAY, IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN THE FINDING OF THE COURT THAT, IN ADDITION TO THE STATED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY, THE AGGRIEVED PARTIES SHOULD BE ALLOWED, ALSO, AS A PART OF JUST COMPENSATION, INTEREST UPON THE AMOUNT OF WHICH THEY HAD BEEN DEPRIVED FROM THE DATE THE AMOUNT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID.

AS STATED IN THE CASE SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILWAY COMPANY ET AL. V. THE UNITED STATES, 261 U.S. 299,"INTEREST AT A PROPER RATE IS A GOOD MEASURE BY WHICH TO ASCERTAIN THE AMOUNT TO BE SO ADDED.' BUT WHILE THE PROPER RATE OF INTEREST AT THE TIME OF THE JUDGMENT MAY HAVE BEEN 6 PERCENT, BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 319 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, SUPRA, SUCH RATE WAS REDUCED TO 4 PERCENT, AND THE LAW SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT THEREAFTER THE RATE OF INTEREST TO BE ALLOWED OR PAID SHOULD BE AT THAT RATE UPON ANY JUDGMENT OF WHATSOEVER CHARACTER RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. THE WORDS IN THE ACT "ALLOWED OR PAID" COVER BOTH JUDGMENTS RENDERED SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF THE ACT AND THOSE RENDERED PRIOR THERETO AND WHICH HAD REMAINED UNPAID. AS TO JUDGMENTS RENDERED SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1932, THE TERM "ALLOWED" APPLIES, AND AS TO JUDGMENTS RENDERED PRIOR TO THAT DATE BUT REMAINING UNPAID, THE TERM "PAID" IS FOR APPLICATION, AND IN SUCH CASES THE EFFECT OF THE STATUTE IS THAT NO HIGHER RATE OF INTEREST THAN 4 PERCENT SHALL BE PAID, REGARDLESS OF THE RATE PROVIDED FOR OR ALLOWED IN THE JUDGMENT. IT SHOULD BE NOTED, ALSO, IN THIS CONNECTION, THAT THE ACT MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN CASES IN WHICH THE INTEREST IS ALLOWED AS SUCH OR AS A PART OF JUST COMPENSATION.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW OF THE MATTER, THE ACTION HERETOFORE TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.