A-19082, AUGUST 3, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 88

A-19082: Aug 3, 1927

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SUCH EXPENSES WHERE THE SEIZURE IS LEGAL AND PROPER ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE. WHERE THE SEIZURE IS NOT LEGAL AND PROPER THE MATTER OF THE EXPENSE IS FOR ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE OFFICER FROM WHOM HE RECEIVED THE SEIZED PROPERTY OR THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. WHEREBY WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF SAMUEL W. THAT A WAGON LOADED WITH MASH BARRELS WAS FOUND AT THE HOUSE IN WHICH THE STILL WAS LOCATED. THAT THE TEAM IN QUESTION WAS IN AN ADJOINING FIELD. THAT NO FARMING OR OTHER ACTIVITIES REQUIRING THE USE OF THE TEAM WERE BEING CARRIED ON IN THE VICINITY. THAT THE AGENT CONCLUDED THAT THE TEAM WAS USED IN TRANSPORTING MATERIALS FOR DISTILLING FROM THE ROAD TO THE STILL AND THE DISTILLED PRODUCT FROM THE STILL TO THE ROAD FROM WHICH POINT AN AUTOMOBILE WAS USED.

A-19082, AUGUST 3, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 88

PROHIBITION ENFORCEMENT - SEIZURES - FEED AND CARE OF HORSES THE ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1919, AUTHORIZING A PROHIBITION AGENT TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A TEAM BEING USED FOR THE ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS OF EXPENSES OF FEED AND CARE FURNISHED THE TEAM. SUCH EXPENSES WHERE THE SEIZURE IS LEGAL AND PROPER ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE, AND WHERE THE SEIZURE IS NOT LEGAL AND PROPER THE MATTER OF THE EXPENSE IS FOR ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE OFFICER FROM WHOM HE RECEIVED THE SEIZED PROPERTY OR THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, AUGUST 3, 1927:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT 0173902, DATED MARCH 30, 1927, WHEREBY WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF SAMUEL W. JAMES FOR $12.50 FOR FEED AND CARE FURNISHED BY HIM FOR A TEAM OF HORSES SEIZED BY A PROHIBITION AGENT AND PLACED IN CLAIMANT'S CUSTODY.

IT APPEARS THAT THE AGENT FOUND A STILL SET UP AND IN OPERATION IN A REMOTE SPOT IN THE MOUNTAINS OF UTAH, THREE-FOURTHS OF A MILE FROM THE ROAD; THAT A WAGON LOADED WITH MASH BARRELS WAS FOUND AT THE HOUSE IN WHICH THE STILL WAS LOCATED; THAT THE TEAM IN QUESTION WAS IN AN ADJOINING FIELD; THAT NO FARMING OR OTHER ACTIVITIES REQUIRING THE USE OF THE TEAM WERE BEING CARRIED ON IN THE VICINITY; AND THAT THE AGENT CONCLUDED THAT THE TEAM WAS USED IN TRANSPORTING MATERIALS FOR DISTILLING FROM THE ROAD TO THE STILL AND THE DISTILLED PRODUCT FROM THE STILL TO THE ROAD FROM WHICH POINT AN AUTOMOBILE WAS USED.

IN THE BELIEF THAT THE TEAM HAD BEEN USED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE PRODUCT OF THE STILL IT WAS SEIZED AND TAKEN TO THE CLAIMANT'S RANCH, WHICH WAS THE NEAREST PLACE AT WHICH IT COULD BE CARED FOR UNTIL PROPER DISPOSITION COULD BE MADE OF IT.

SECTION 26 OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1919, 41 STAT. 315, WHICH IS THE ONLY LAW AUTHORIZING A PROHIBITION AGENT TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A TEAM BEING USED FOR THE ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE INCURRING OBLIGATIONS SO AS TO CHARGE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 686, AND THE DECISIONS THEREIN CITED. SUCH EXPENSES, WHEN THE SEIZURE IS LEGAL AND PROPER, ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE. AND WHERE THE SEIZURE IS NOT LEGAL AND PROPER, THERE CAN BE NO LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE MATTER OF THE EXPENSE BEING FOR ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE OFFICER FROM WHOM HE RECEIVED THE SEIZED PROPERTY, OR THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.