A-33010, SEPTEMBER 16, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 127

A-33010: Sep 16, 1930

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ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE UNDER THE APPLICABLE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATIONS. SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE FOR SUCH EXPENSES FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF THE SEIZED AND FORFEITED ARTICLES. ARE FOR DEPOSITING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. WHICH AMOUNTS ARE CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY PAID FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF A CERTAIN SHIPMENT OF SYRUP. THIS TRANSFER WAS DIRECTED BY THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AS SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE ITEMS IN QUESTION WERE PROPERLY AND LEGALLY PAID THEREFROM. IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU INFORM THIS OFFICE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT IS NECESSARY THAT WE GRANT AUTHORITY FOR THE CHARGING OF A JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION WITH THE SAID ITEMS.

A-33010, SEPTEMBER 16, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 127

SEIZURES, FORFEITURES, AND SALES UNDER PURE FOOD AND DRUGS ACT - MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS THE EXPENSES OF PUBLICATION, ETC., IN CASES OF SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE UNDER THE PURE FOOD AND DRUGS ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 771, ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE UNDER THE APPLICABLE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATIONS, AND SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE FOR SUCH EXPENSES FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF THE SEIZED AND FORFEITED ARTICLES. THE LEGAL COSTS, ETC., IN SUCH CASES, WHEN AWARDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY A COURT, ARE FOR DEPOSITING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 16, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING HAS REQUESTED AUTHORITY FROM THIS DEPARTMENT TO CHARGE THE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION "SALARIES, FEES, AND EXPENSES OF MARSHALS, U.S. COURTS, 1928," WITH THE SUM OF $12.71, AND THE LIKE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929, WITH THE SUM OF $10.26, WHICH AMOUNTS ARE CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY PAID FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF A CERTAIN SHIPMENT OF SYRUP, SEIZED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR A VIOLATION OF THE PURE FOOD AND DRUG ACT, AND REPORTED IN HIS ACCOUNT FOR THE QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31, 1929. THIS TRANSFER WAS DIRECTED BY THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AS SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF "LEGAL COSTS AND CHARGES" FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE ITEMS IN QUESTION WERE PROPERLY AND LEGALLY PAID THEREFROM, NOTWITHSTANDING THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY CITED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, VOLUME 22, PAGE 280, AND IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU INFORM THIS OFFICE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT IS NECESSARY THAT WE GRANT AUTHORITY FOR THE CHARGING OF A JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION WITH THE SAID ITEMS.

IT HAS BEEN THE CUSTOM TO PAY ALL EXPENSES FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALES,WHERE THE STATUTES SO PROVIDED, AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF ANY EXPENSE, IN SUCH CASES, HAS BEEN PAID IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FROM A JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION, A LIKE AMOUNT SHOULD BE WITHHELD FROM THE PROCEEDS AND DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH PAYMENT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE.

BY DECISION OF MARCH 11, 1920, OF THE FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, RENDERED UPON A SUBMISSION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RAISING THE QUESTION WHETHER THE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATIONS COULD BE REIMBURSED FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE WITH THE COST OF PUBLICATION, ETC., ORIGINALLY PAID THEREUNDER, IN CASES OF SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE UNDER THE PURE FOOD AND DRUGS ACT OF 1906, IT WAS SAID, AFTER QUOTING THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT:

THIS STATUTE DOES NOT MAKE THE SEVERAL ITEMS OF EXPENSE GOING TO MAKE UP LEGAL COSTS AND CHARGES IN THESE CASES PAYABLE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE. IT ASSUMES THAT THE EXPENSE WILL HAVE BEEN PAID IN THE FIRST INSTANCE BY THE PARTIES INCURRING THEM, AND AUTHORIZES DEDUCTIONS THEREOF FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE AS A MEANS OF REPAYING TO THE PARTIES SUCH OF THEIR LEGAL COSTS AND CHARGES AS MAY BE AWARDED TO THEM BY THE COURT. SO IF COSTS AND CHARGES ARE AWARDED TO THE GOVERNMENT THE AMOUNT THEREOF SHOULD BE DEDUCTED AND SET APART FROM THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY AS PROCEEDS OF SALE. THESE ITEMS OF COST AND CHARGES, HOWEVER, SHOULD NOT BE RETURNED TO THE APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THEY WERE PAID, BUT SHOULD BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY AS COSTS, IN THE SAME MANNER THAT COSTS IN OTHER CASES ARE DEPOSITED.

THIS DECISION APPEARS FULLY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOU AND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED HERETOFORE IN HANDLING SUCH CASES. AS THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED THEREIN REPRESENTS A SOUND RULE OF STATUTE CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF APPROPRIATION ACTS, NO REASON APPEARS WHY THE SAID DECISION SHOULD NOW BE OVERRULED OR MODIFIED. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION, ALSO, 22 COMP. DEC. 280.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE PROPER STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO CHARGE THE APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED WITH THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $12.71 AND $10.26, SAID AMOUNTS TO BE DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS "MISCELLANEOUS EIPTS.'