A-94378, MAY 3, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 897

A-94378: May 3, 1938

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ARE "UNITED STATES CASES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF BAILIFFS. PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR MEALS FURNISHED. IS AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS ENCLOSED HEREWITH A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF THE CLARK MADISON HOTEL CO. YOUR EARLY CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THE LETTER FROM THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL IS AS FOLLOWS: LAST WEEK. MCCLURE WITH REFERENCE TO PAYMENT FOR MEALS FOR JURORS IN WAR RISK LITIGATION CASES WHERE UNITED STATES IS A PARTY TO THE LAW SUIT. MCCLURE'S RECOMMENDATION WAS THAT I PREPARE A VOUCHER AND FORWARD SAME. THE SITUATION IS THIS: JURORS ARE IMPANELLED FOR A MONTH AT A TIME. ONE DAY THEY WILL BE CONSIDERING A CASE IN PRIVATE LITIGATION.

A-94378, MAY 3, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 897

SUBSISTENCE - MEALS - JURORS AND BAILIFFS - WAR RISK INSURANCE LITIGATION SUITS, INVOLVING WAR-RISK INSURANCE, AUTHORIZED TO BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES UNDER SECTION 19 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 992, AND NOT "IN THE NATURE OF A BILL OF INTERPLEADER" BY THE UNITED STATES TO SETTLE DISPUTES AS TO PERSONS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER A WAR RISK INSURANCE CONTRACT, ARE "UNITED STATES CASES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF BAILIFFS, AND SO FORTH" AS MADE BY THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF JUNE 16, 1937, 50 STAT. 279, AND PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR MEALS FURNISHED, PURSUANT TO COURT ORDER, TO JURORS AND BAILIFFS IN SUCH CASES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MAY 3, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS ENCLOSED HEREWITH A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF THE CLARK MADISON HOTEL CO., CHICAGO, ILL., IN THE AMOUNT OF $10.50, COVERING CHARGE FOR DINNERS FURNISHED 12 JURORS AND 2 BAILIFFS ON OCTOBER 27, 1937, WHILE DELIBERATING ON THE CASE OF AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ADMINISTRATOR, V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, TOGETHER WITH A PHOTOSTAT COPY OF A LETTER RECEIVED FROM UNITED STATES MARSHAL WILLIAM H. MCDONNELL, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, REQUESTING YOUR CONSIDERATION AND RULING ON THE MATTERS HERE INVOLVED.

YOUR EARLY CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THE LETTER FROM THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL IS AS FOLLOWS:

LAST WEEK, ON A VISIT TO WASHINGTON, I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH MR. MCCLURE WITH REFERENCE TO PAYMENT FOR MEALS FOR JURORS IN WAR RISK LITIGATION CASES WHERE UNITED STATES IS A PARTY TO THE LAW SUIT. MR. MCCLURE'S RECOMMENDATION WAS THAT I PREPARE A VOUCHER AND FORWARD SAME, TOGETHER WITH THE ORDER OF COURT ORDERING THE LUNCHES TO BE PURCHASED FOR THE JURORS, TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR AN OPINION AND APPROVAL OF PAYMENT.

I AM ENCLOSING HEREWITH SUCH A VOUCHER, TOGETHER WITH THE COURT ORDER, PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH MR. MCCLURE'S SUGGESTION, BUT IN VIEW OF THE PRACTICE ESTABLISHED I AM NOT FOLLOWING OUT MR. MCCLURE'S SUGGESTION ENTIRELY, BUT AM FORWARDING IT TO YOU TO BE TRANSMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR SUCH AN OPINION.

THE SITUATION IS THIS: JURORS ARE IMPANELLED FOR A MONTH AT A TIME. ONE DAY THEY WILL BE CONSIDERING A CASE IN PRIVATE LITIGATION, AND IF IT IS NECESSARY FOR THEM TO RECESS FOR A MEAL WHILE DELIBERATING THE VERDICT, THE PARTIES TO THE LITIGATION SHARE IN PURCHASING THE LUNCHES FOR THE JURORS AND BAILIFFS. AT ANOTHER TIME DURING THEIR COURSE OF SERVICE, THEY MAY BE CONSIDERING A CRIMINAL CASE WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS PROSECUTING, AND IF A MEAL TIME COMES WHILE THEY ARE DELIBERATING THE VERDICT, THE COURT ORDERS THE MARSHAL TO PAY FOR THEIR MEALS AND THAT IS DONE. THEN WHEN THEY BECOME INVOLVED IN A WAR RISK LITIGATION CASE AND THEY RECESS FOR A MEAL, THE PRACTICE IN THE PAST HAS BEEN THAT THE JURORS HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN MEALS. THEY CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY IN MOST CASES THEIR MEALS ARE SUPPLIED AND IN THIS PARTICULAR TYPE OF CASE THEY MUST SUPPLY THEIR OWN MEALS. MANY TIMES THEIR DELIBERATIONS DETAIN THEM QUITE LATE AT NIGHT AND THEIR EVENING MEALS ARE LATE. THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLE DISSATISFACTION EXPRESSED ON THIS PRACTICE.

I HAVE FOUND NO AUTHORITY WHICH WARRANTS ME IN PAYING FOR THESE MEALS, ALTHOUGH I BELIEVE THEY SHOULD BE HANDLED THE SAME AS IN OTHER CASES IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS A PARTY. THEREFORE, I AM SUBMITTING THIS VOUCHER NOT FOR PREAUDIT ALONE BUT TO ESTABLISH THE PRACTICE IN FUTURE CASES OF THIS KIND.

I WOULD APPRECIATE AN EARLY REPLY, AS THIS VOUCHER IS BEING HELD IN ABEYANCE UNTIL I HEAR FROM YOU.

THE FOLLOWING ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION, IN THE CASE INVOLVED:

IT IS ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL BE, AND HE IS HEREBY, DIRECTED TO PROVIDE MEALS FOR 12 JURORS AND 2 BAILIFFS ENGAGED IN THE TRIAL OF THIS CAUSE.

SECTION 19 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 992, AUTHORIZES SUITS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES INVOLVING WAR-RISK INSURANCE AND PROVIDES THAT THE PROCEDURE SHALL BE THE SAME AS THAT PROVIDED BY CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1887, 24 STAT. 508. THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, APPROVED JUNE 16, 1937, 50 STAT. 279, UNDER THE HEADING "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF BAILIFFS, AND SO FORTH," HERE PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED, CONTAINS THE ITEM "MEALS AND LODGING FOR JURORS IN UNITED STATES CASES, AND OF BAILIFFS IN ATTENDANCE UPON THE SAME, WHEN ORDERED BY THE COURT.'

UNDER THE CITED SECTION OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, SUITS BROUGHT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FOR PAYMENT UNDER A WAR RISK INSURANCE CONTRACT, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SUITS BROUGHT BY THE UNITED STATES "IN THE NATURE OF A BILL OF INTERPLEADER" TO SETTLE A DISPUTE AS TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER A WAR RISK INSURANCE CONTRACT, ARE "UNITED STATES CASES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE QUOTED APPROPRIATION ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.