B-105384, SEPTEMBER 20, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 93

B-105384: Sep 20, 1951

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AUTHORIZING THE GRANTING OF 36 DAYS OF VACATION DURING A CALENDAR YEAR TO JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 601. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30. THE QUESTIONS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: 1. WILL SUCH JUDGE BE OBLIGED TO REFUND IN CASH ANY PART OF SAID ANNUAL LEAVE OR VACATION? 3. SOME OF THE JUDGES OF THIS COURT HAVE TAKEN ONLY PART OR NONE OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE PERMITTED TO THEM UNDER SAID "VACATION SECTION. " DOES THE FACT THAT THEREAFTER H.R. 3880 BECOMES LAW PRECLUDE SUCH JUDGES FROM TAKING ALL OR THE REMAINDER OF THE VACATIONS TO WHICH THEY WERE ENTITLED UNDER SAID "VACATION SECTION? " A JUDGE OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT ENTITLED.

B-105384, SEPTEMBER 20, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 93

COURTS - JUDGES - VACATIONS - EFFECT OF ANNUAL LEAVE RESTRICTIONS IN INDEPENDENT OFFICERS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952 THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 (C) OF THE ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, AUTHORIZING THE GRANTING OF 36 DAYS OF VACATION DURING A CALENDAR YEAR TO JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 601, TITLE VI, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, PROHIBITING THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR PAYMENT FOR 1951 ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUALS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES UNUSED AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON JUNE 30, 1952, AND REDUCING THE RATE OF ANNUAL LEAVE EARNED AFTER JULY 1, 1951, BY SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHIEF JUDGE, MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SEPTEMBER 20, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1951, PRESENTING FOR DECISION SEVERAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE EFFECT OF SECTION 601, TITLE VI, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952 ( PUBLIC LAW 137, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1951), 65 STAT. 291, UPON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 (C) OF THE ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 191, RELATING TO THE VACATIONS OF JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE QUESTIONS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

1. DO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID SECTION 601 OF TITLE VI OF H.R. 3380 APPLY TO THE JUDGES OF THIS COURT, ASSUMING IT BECOMES LAW?

2. WHERE A JUDGE OF THIS COURT HAS TAKEN THE FULL AMOUNT OF HIS ANNUAL LEAVE OF 36 COURT DAYS UNDER THE "VACATION SECTION" PRIOR TO H.R. 3380 BECOMING LAW, WILL SUCH JUDGE BE OBLIGED TO REFUND IN CASH ANY PART OF SAID ANNUAL LEAVE OR VACATION?

3. WHERE, PRIOR TO H.R. 3880 BECOMING LAW (IF IT DOES BECOME LAW), SOME OF THE JUDGES OF THIS COURT HAVE TAKEN ONLY PART OR NONE OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE PERMITTED TO THEM UNDER SAID "VACATION SECTION," DOES THE FACT THAT THEREAFTER H.R. 3880 BECOMES LAW PRECLUDE SUCH JUDGES FROM TAKING ALL OR THE REMAINDER OF THE VACATIONS TO WHICH THEY WERE ENTITLED UNDER SAID "VACATION SECTION?

SECTION 3 (C) OF THE ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 191, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER AS THE ,VACATION SECTION," PROVIDES:

"EACH JUDGE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VACATION, WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEED THIRTY- SIX COURT DAYS IN ANY OTHER CALENDAR YEAR, AND WHICH SHALL BE TAKEN AT SUCH TIMES AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE CHIEF JUDGE.'

THE LANGUAGE OF THE SAID SECTION, IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, AND SIMILAR LEAVE ACTS, MAKES NO SPECIFIC GRANT OF VACATION OR ANNUAL LEAVE BUT MERELY PROVIDES THAT EACH JUDGE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A VACATION WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEED 36 COURT DAYS IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR. IN OTHER WORDS, UNDER THE "VACATION SECTION," A JUDGE OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT ENTITLED, AS A MATTER OF RIGHT, TO 36 DAYS OF VACATION LEAVE IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR, THAT NUMBER BEING MERELY A LIMITATION UPON THE LEAVE THAT CAN BE GRANTED, APPARENTLY AS PERMITTED BY THE BUSINESS OF THE COURT IN THE DISCRETION OF THE CHIEF JUDGE. NEITHER DOES THE SAID SECTION, IN FURTHER VARIANCE FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1936 ACT, AUTHORIZE THE ACCUMULATION OF UNUSED VACATION LEAVE FROM ONE CALENDAR YEAR TO ANOTHER. SEE B-41726, MAY 6, 1944.

SECTION 601, TITLE VI, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, 65 STAT. 291, IN PERTINENT PART, READS AS FOLLOWS:

NO PART OF THE FUNDS OF, OR AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE BY ANY CORPORATION OR AGENCY INCLUDED IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT, INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR ANNUAL LEAVE ACCUMULATED BY ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1951 AND UNUSED AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON JUNE 30, 1952: PROVIDED, THAT AFTER JULY 1, 1951, NO CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO EARN ANNUAL LEAVE AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF TWENTY DAYS PER YEAR: * * *

WHILE THE SAID SECTION 601 APPLIES CLEARLY TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO ARE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO EARN AND ACCUMULATE ANNUAL LEAVE--- SUCH AS THOSE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE 1936 LEAVE ACT--- THE APPLICATION OF THE SECTION TO JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT SO CLEAR. INDICATED ABOVE, SUCH JUDGES DO NOT EARN LEAVE IN THE SENSE OF THE LANGUAGE OF SECTION 601--- THE LEAVE AUTHORIZED BY THE "VACATION SECTION" OF THE ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, BEING UNRELATED TO THE AMOUNT OF SERVICE RENDERED BY THE JUDGES IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR--- AND NEITHER ARE JUDGES ENTITLED TO ACCUMULATE VACATION LEAVE, NOR, UPON SEPARATION, ARE THEY ENTITLED TO A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT FOR ANY UNUSED PORTION OF THEIR ALLOWABLE VACATION LEAVE. ACCORDINGLY, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SAID SECTION 601, SHOWING AN INTENT OF THE CONGRESS TO AMEND THE VACATION SECTION OF THE 1942 ACT, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID VACATION SECTION ARE UNCHANGED. QUESTION 1 OF YOUR SUBMISSION THEREFORE IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE WHICH ANSWER RENDERS UNNECESSARY ANY ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 2 AND 3.