A-79478, NOVEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 490

A-79478: Nov 14, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT - ILLICIT STILL OPERATOR INJURED DURING RAID BY FEDERAL OFFICERS APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT OF AN OPERATOR OF AN ILLICIT STILL INJURED BY A FEDERAL OFFICER DURING A RAID BUT NOT ARRESTED BY THE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES UNTIL AFTER REMOVAL FROM THE PRIVATE INSTITUTION IN WHICH PLACED BY A COUNTY OFFICER. ON THIS DATE ROBINSON WAS REMOVED TO THE COUNTY HOME FOR CONVALESCENCE. FOR THE REPORTED REASON THAT YOU WERE DOUBTFUL AS TO THE POSSIBILITY OF COLLECTING YOUR BILL. NO ACTION TO ARREST HIM WAS TAKEN BY ANY FEDERAL OFFICER UNTIL OCTOBER 1. WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED AND HELD FOR THE GRAND JURY. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EXPENSE OF NECESSARY MEDICAL OR SURGICAL TREATMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ARE HELD AS PRISONERS OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE ARREST.

A-79478, NOVEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 490

MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT - ILLICIT STILL OPERATOR INJURED DURING RAID BY FEDERAL OFFICERS APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT OF AN OPERATOR OF AN ILLICIT STILL INJURED BY A FEDERAL OFFICER DURING A RAID BUT NOT ARRESTED BY THE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES UNTIL AFTER REMOVAL FROM THE PRIVATE INSTITUTION IN WHICH PLACED BY A COUNTY OFFICER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHERRINGTON HOSPITAL, NOVEMBER 14, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1936, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0547298, DATED JUNE 10, 1936, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $150 FOR MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL SERVICES RENDERED ONE KENNETH ROBINSON DURING THE PERIOD JULY 13 TO 30, 1935, FOR AN INJURY SUSTAINED BY HIM DURING A RAID ON AN ILLICIT STILL BY INVESTIGATORS OF THE ALCOHOL TAX UNIT, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT ON JULY 13, 1935, TWO INVESTIGATORS OF THE ALCOHOL TAX UNIT RAIDED AN ILLICIT STILL IN CALIFORNIA HOLLOW, HOCKING COUNTY, OHIO, AND ATTEMPTED TO ARREST THE OPERATORS THEREOF, LATER IDENTIFIED AS KENNETH AND WAINE ROBINSON, WHO THEREUPON STARTED RUNNING FROM THE STILL SITE. THE FEDERAL OFFICERS FIRED SEVERAL SHOTS INTO THE GROUND IN AN EFFORT TO FRIGHTEN AND STOP THE VIOLATORS, BUT BOTH ESCAPED. HOWEVER, IN SOME MANNER, AND WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE OFFICERS, ONE OF THEIR SHOTS HAD STRUCK AND WOUNDED KENNETH ROBINSON. FRIENDS OF ROBINSON ASSISTED HIM TO A NEARBY HOUSE AND CALLED THE SHERIFF OF HOCKING COUNTY, WHO TOOK THE WOUNDED MAN TO YOUR HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT WITHOUT LEARNING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE SHOOTING.

ON JULY 15, 1935, THE INVESTIGATORS HEARD OF THE INJURY TO KENNETH ROBINSON, AND WITH A THIRD INVESTIGATOR THEY PROCEEDED TO THE ROBINSON HOME AND ARRESTED WAINE ROBINSON. LATER THE SAME DAY THEY VISITED YOUR INSTITUTION TO INTERVIEW KENNETH, BUT, FINDING HIM IN A SERIOUS CONDITION, LEFT AFTER VERIFYING HIS IDENTITY AND INFORMING THE ATTENDANT THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ROBINSON'S BILL BUT THAT THEY DID NOT THINK THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE.

THE OFFICERS AGAIN VISITED YOUR HOSPITAL JULY 30, 1935, AT WHICH TIME THEY OBTAINED A DETAILED STATEMENT FROM KENNETH ROBINSON, AND INFORMED DR. CHERRINGTON HIMSELF THAT THEY DID NOT THINK THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HOSPITAL BILL. ON THIS DATE ROBINSON WAS REMOVED TO THE COUNTY HOME FOR CONVALESCENCE, FOR THE REPORTED REASON THAT YOU WERE DOUBTFUL AS TO THE POSSIBILITY OF COLLECTING YOUR BILL.

MEANWHILE, ON OR ABOUT JULY 16, 1935, A COMPLAINT HAD BEEN DRAWN AGAINST KENNETH ROBINSON BY THE UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER AT COLUMBUS, OHIO, BUT NO ACTION TO ARREST HIM WAS TAKEN BY ANY FEDERAL OFFICER UNTIL OCTOBER 1, 1935, WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED AND HELD FOR THE GRAND JURY.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EXPENSE OF NECESSARY MEDICAL OR SURGICAL TREATMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ARE HELD AS PRISONERS OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE ARREST, WHICH, IF INCURRED UNDER PROPER CONDITIONS AND WITH DUE AUTHORITY, IS A LAWFUL CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. COMP. DEC. 531; 2 COMP. GEN. 804.

HOWEVER, THE MERE INFLICTION OF AN INJURY BY A FEDERAL OFFICER IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY WOULD NOT OF ITSELF AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL EXPENSES THEREFOR BY THE UNITED STATES, AND WHERE SUCH EXPENSES ARE INCURRED WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORITY AND ON ACCOUNT OF A PERSON WHO HAS NOT BEEN ARRESTED FOR A CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THEIR PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED MONEYS OF THE UNITED STATES. 14 COMP. GEN. 300.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE INJURED MAN WAS PLACED IN YOUR HOSPITAL, NOT BY ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT BY THE SHERIFF OF HOCKING COUNTY ON HIS OWN RESPONSIBILITY, AND NO REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH YOU PURPORTING TO BIND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF HIS CARE. EVEN HAD SUCH AN AGREEMENT BEEN MADE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN UNAUTHORIZED FOR THE REASON THAT ROBINSON, AS YOU ADMIT, WAS NOT ARRESTED BY FEDERAL OFFICERS UNTIL LONG AFTER HIS REMOVAL FROM YOUR INSTITUTION.

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO DECIDE HERE, UPON WHOM LIABILITY RESTS FOR PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES COVERED BY YOUR BILL, BUT IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO OBLIGATE THE UNITED STATES TO PAY SUCH EXPENSES. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM, AND THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 10, 1936, MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.