A-6483, MARCH 12, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 750

A-6483: Mar 12, 1925

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

NAVY PAY - ABSENCE DUE TO INSANITY THE LAW GIVES NO RIGHT OF PAY TO AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME HE WAS ABSENT WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORITY WHETHER UNDER CONDITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY OR IRRESPONSIBILITY. THE OFFICIAL RECORDS SHOW KAHLE TO HAVE BEEN ENLISTED IN THE NAVY ON NOVEMBER 18. TO HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE U.S.S. WAS NOTED ON THE RECORDS AS A DESERTER. WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WAS A MENTAL PATIENT IN BOISE. WAS EXAMINED BY A NAVAL MEDICAL BOARD AUGUST 20. WAS FOUND TO BE SUFFERING FROM ANEMIA. THE RECOMMENDATION WAS THAT HE BE DISCHARGED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE. THE MARK OF DESERTION WAS REMOVED AS ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED AND HE WAS GIVEN A WRITTEN DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVY BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY.

A-6483, MARCH 12, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 750

NAVY PAY - ABSENCE DUE TO INSANITY THE LAW GIVES NO RIGHT OF PAY TO AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME HE WAS ABSENT WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORITY WHETHER UNDER CONDITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY OR IRRESPONSIBILITY, BUT UNDER IRRESPONSIBLE CONDITIONS, AS IN THE CASE OF AN INSANE ENLISTED MAN WHO ABSENTED HIMSELF WITHOUT AUTHORITY, PAY TO DATE OF BEGINNING OF HIS UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE MAY BE ALLOWED. 3 COMP. GEN. 434, MODIFIED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 12, 1925:

WILLIAM C. DUNBAR, GUARDIAN OF HIRAM H. KAHLE, HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 020130, DATED MAY 20, 1924, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR PAY OF HIS WARD AS MACHINIST'S MATE, FIRST CLASS, UNITED STATES NAVY, DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 27, 1922, TO OCTOBER 9, 1923.

THE OFFICIAL RECORDS SHOW KAHLE TO HAVE BEEN ENLISTED IN THE NAVY ON NOVEMBER 18, 1920, FOR FOUR YEARS, AND TO HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE U.S.S. SLOAT. HE DISAPPEARED FROM THAT VESSEL AND NAVAL CONTROL ON JUNE 26, 1922, AND WAS NOTED ON THE RECORDS AS A DESERTER. HE REMAINED ABSENT FROM NAVAL CONTROL AND DUTY WITH HIS WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN TO THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES UNTIL JULY 27, 1923, WHEN THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENT, WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WAS A MENTAL PATIENT IN BOISE, IDAHO. WAS EXAMINED BY A NAVAL MEDICAL BOARD AUGUST 20, 1923, AND WAS FOUND TO BE SUFFERING FROM ANEMIA, PERNICIOUS, ORIGIN IN THE LINE OF DUTY, WITH MENTALITY "BELOW PAR.' THE RECOMMENDATION WAS THAT HE BE DISCHARGED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE, AND ON OCTOBER 9, 1923, THE MARK OF DESERTION WAS REMOVED AS ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED AND HE WAS GIVEN A WRITTEN DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVY BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY.

AFFIDAVITS EXECUTED BY DOROTHY G. MEYERS, SISTER OF KAHLE, AND BY THREE PRACTICING PHYSICIANS RESIDING AT BOISE, IDAHO, HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY WHICH IT IS PURPORTED TO SHOW THAT HE WAS MENTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE AT THE TIME HE ABSENTED HIMSELF FROM NAVAL CONTROL AND DUTY WITHOUT AUTHORITY AND THAT SUCH CONDITION CONTINUED DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF HIS ABSENCE.

IT APPEARS THAT KAHLE RETURNED DURING JULY, 1922, TO THE HOME OF HIS SISTER, WHO WAS A TRAINED NURSE, AND WAS THEREAFTER DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION CONTINUOUSLY UNDER HER CARE, GUIDANCE, AND PROTECTION. OBVIOUSLY HIS STATUS IN THE NAVY WAS KNOWN TO HER, BUT THERE APPEARS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT SHE MADE ANY EFFORT TO ADVISE THE NAVY DEPARTMENT OF HIS WHEREABOUTS OR CONDITION, SUCH INFORMATION HAVING BEEN RECEIVED THEREIN BY REASON OF HIS CASE HAVING BEEN REPORTED TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU FOR COMPENSATION IN JULY, 1923.

THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE PAY FOR AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE NAVY ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT NO PAY OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUE TO SUCH ENLISTED MAN WHO WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORITY ABSENTS HIMSELF FROM HIS ORGANIZATION, STATION, OR DUTY, AND SUCH IS THE CASE WHERE THERE IS ABSENCE BECAUSE OF SICKNESS OR DISABILITY AND IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CONDITION BEING ONE OF RESPONSIBILITY OR IRRESPONSIBILITY.

THE CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OR LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY OF AN ENLISTED MAN DESERTING THE NAVAL SERVICE IS A QUESTION DISTINCT FROM THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT TO PAY DURING THE PERIOD OF ABSENCE. IF THERE IS CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ABSENCE WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM PROPER AUTHORITY, FORFEITURE OF PAY EARNED BUT NOT PAID FOLLOWS, AS A MATTER OF COURSE, AND IS A PART OF THE PUNISHMENT PRESCRIBED BY THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE DESERTION. IF THERE IS A LACK OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY, THERE HAS BEEN NO CRIME COMMITTED, AND SINCE THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT THERE IS NO FORFEITURE OF PAY EARNED BUT NOT PAID PRIOR TO GOING ABSENT WITHOUT PERMISSION. 42 MS. COMP. GEN. 902; 27 COMP. DEC. 675; 3 COMP. GEN. 434, MODIFIED.

THE APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL BOARD IN THE INSTANT CASE AND HIS CONSEQUENT DISCHARGE MERELY NEGATIVE HIS INTENT TO DESERT THE NAVAL SERVICE AND ABSOLVES HIM FROM PUNISHMENT AS A DESERTER. AT THE TIME HE ABSENTED HIMSELF FROM THE SERVICE THERE WAS DUE PAY IN THE AMOUNT OF $33.28. THIS AMOUNT WAS INCLUDED IN THE PAYMENT BY THE NAVAL PAYMASTER AT THE TIME HE WAS DISCHARGED, AND THERE IS NO FURTHER AMOUNT DUE CLAIMANT.