A-23586, JULY 17, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 19

A-23586: Jul 17, 1928

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TRANSMITTING WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED. IT APPEARS THAT BY SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM ISSUED BY THE SAID COURT THE HOLLY SUGAR CORPORATION WAS ORDERED TO PRODUCE BEFORE THE FEDERAL GRAND JURY CERTAIN BOOKS AND RECORDS INCLUDING LEDGERS. THAT IN RESPONSE TO SAID SUBPOENA THE SAID RECORDS CONSISTING OF FIVE BOXES AND TWO TRUNKS WERE SHIPPED BY MEANS OF EXPRESS (AMERICAN EXPRESS CO.). IT WAS HELD: WHERE A WITNESS BEFORE A FEDERAL GRAND JURY IS DIRECTED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY TO BRING CERTAIN PROPERTY BEFORE THE JURY FOR USE AS EVIDENCE IN A PENDING CASE. THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE WITNESS IN COMPLYING WITH SUCH DIRECTION ARE CHARGEABLE. IT WAS HELD.

A-23586, JULY 17, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 19

PRIVATE PROPERTY - INSURANCE - EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUBPOENAS DUCES TECUM THE COST OF INSURING THE BOOKS AND RECORDS OF A CORPORATION ORDERED TO BE PRODUCED BEFORE A FEDERAL GRAND JURY BY A SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A NECESSARY EXPENSE INCURRED IN THE PROCUREMENT OF EVIDENCE FOR SUBMISSION TO A FEDERAL GRAND JURY AND, AS SUCH, MAY BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, UNITED STATES COURTS.'

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO R. D. ALLISON, DISBURSING CLERK, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, JULY 17, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 3, 1928, TRANSMITTING WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED, A VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $318 IN FAVOR OF THE HOLLY SUGAR CORPORATION COVERING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE SAID COMPANY IN THE SHIPMENT OF BOOKS AND RECORDS FROM COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., TO LINCOLN, NEBR., AND RETURN IN RESPONSE TO A SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN DIVISION, YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER BEING BECAUSE OF AN ITEM FOR INSURANCE ON THE SAID BOOKS AND RECORDS.

IT APPEARS THAT BY SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM ISSUED BY THE SAID COURT THE HOLLY SUGAR CORPORATION WAS ORDERED TO PRODUCE BEFORE THE FEDERAL GRAND JURY CERTAIN BOOKS AND RECORDS INCLUDING LEDGERS, JOURNALS, BOOKS OF ACCOUNT, ETC.; THAT IN RESPONSE TO SAID SUBPOENA THE SAID RECORDS CONSISTING OF FIVE BOXES AND TWO TRUNKS WERE SHIPPED BY MEANS OF EXPRESS (AMERICAN EXPRESS CO.) AT A TOTAL COST OF $118.93 FOR THE CARRIAGE TO AND FROM DESTINATION; AND THAT THE SAID COMPANY TOOK OUT A POLICY OF INSURANCE FOR THE SUM OF $50,000, THE PREMIUM ON SAID INSURANCE POLICY AMOUNTING TO THE SUM OF $200, TO COVER ANY LOSS THAT MIGHT OCCUR TO THE BOOKS, RECORDS, ETC., INCIDENT TO THEIR BEING SENT TO LINCOLN IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBPOENA.

THE QUESTION OF THE PROPER ITEMS OF EXPENSE IN REGARD TO OBTAINING EVIDENCE FOR PRESENTMENT BEFORE FEDERAL GRAND JURIES HAS HERETOFORE BEEN THE SUBJECT OF CONSIDERATION BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, AND IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 12, 1916, 23 COMP. DEC. 335, IT WAS HELD:

WHERE A WITNESS BEFORE A FEDERAL GRAND JURY IS DIRECTED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY TO BRING CERTAIN PROPERTY BEFORE THE JURY FOR USE AS EVIDENCE IN A PENDING CASE, THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE WITNESS IN COMPLYING WITH SUCH DIRECTION ARE CHARGEABLE, IF APPROVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO THE APPROPRIATION "MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, UNITED STATES COURTS.'

IT WAS HELD, ALSO, IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 21, 1922, 1 COMP. GEN. 442, THAT:

IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT TO ALLOW A TELEGRAPH COMPANY REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN SEARCHING ITS RECORDS FOR MESSAGES CALLED FOR BY SUBPOENAS DUCES TECUM, REGULARLY ISSUED, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, UNITED STATES COURTS.'

THE EFFECT OF THESE DECISIONS IS TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES OF A WITNESS IN TRANSPORTING RECORDS FOR USE IN COURT PROCEEDINGS. WHILE THE SHIPPER IN THIS INSTANCE COULD, BY PLACING A SUFFICIENT VALUATION UPON THE SHIPMENT AT THE TIME IT WAS MADE, HAVE MADE THE EXPRESS COMPANY LIABLE FOR PRACTICALLY ALL LOSS INCIDENT TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION, AT A COST CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN THE COST OF INSURANCE, SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT WOULD NOT HAVE COVERED ANY LOSS AT LINCOLN WHILE THE PROPERTY WAS NOT IN CUSTODY OF THE EXPRESS COMPANY. THEREFORE, IT WOULD SEEM REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT NO BUSINESS CONCERN WOULD TAKE THE RISK OF LETTING ITS ORIGINAL LEDGERS, JOURNALS, AND BOOKS OF ACCOUNT BE REMOVED FROM ITS PLACE OF BUSINESS FOR ANY CONSIDERABLE LENGTH OF TIME WITHOUT HAVING THEM INSURED. ACCORDINGLY, THE COST OF THE PREMIUM ON THE INSURANCE POLICY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A NECESSARY EXPENSE INCURRED IN THE PROCUREMENT OF EVIDENCE FOR SUBMISSION TO A UNITED STATES GRAND JURY AND, AS SUCH, MAY BE PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, UNITED STATES COURTS, 1928;, ..END :