B-111192, SEPTEMBER 26, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 144

B-111192: Sep 26, 1952

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MARRIAGES - VALIDITY OF PROXY MARRIAGES IN VIEW OF THE CURRENT DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS TO RECOGNIZE THE VALIDITY OF PROXY MARRIAGES IF PERFORMED IN A JURISDICTION WHERE COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE IS SANCTIONED. UNLESS PROXY MARRIAGES ARE PROHIBITED BY STATUTE OR HAVE BEEN HELD INVALID BY JUDICIAL DECISION. AN OFFICER WHO WHILE STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES EXECUTED A POWER OF ATTORNEY CONSTITUTING AND APPOINTING ANOTHER PERSON TO ACT IN HIS PLACE AND STEAD IN A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN TEXAS IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON ACCOUNT OF A LAWFUL WIFE. THERE WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR FOURTH ENDORSEMENT OF JUNE 26. YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION DOES NOT INDICATE THE PERIOD COVERED THEREBY AND NEITHER IS IT SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE DATED AFTER THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN PAID.

B-111192, SEPTEMBER 26, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 144

MARRIAGES - VALIDITY OF PROXY MARRIAGES IN VIEW OF THE CURRENT DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS TO RECOGNIZE THE VALIDITY OF PROXY MARRIAGES IF PERFORMED IN A JURISDICTION WHERE COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE IS SANCTIONED, UNLESS PROXY MARRIAGES ARE PROHIBITED BY STATUTE OR HAVE BEEN HELD INVALID BY JUDICIAL DECISION, AN OFFICER WHO WHILE STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES EXECUTED A POWER OF ATTORNEY CONSTITUTING AND APPOINTING ANOTHER PERSON TO ACT IN HIS PLACE AND STEAD IN A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN TEXAS IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON ACCOUNT OF A LAWFUL WIFE, OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO MAJ. J. G. BOLAND, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1952:

BY SIXTH ENDORSEMENT DATED JULY 31, 1952, OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, THERE WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR FOURTH ENDORSEMENT OF JUNE 26, 1952, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE "PROXY" MARRIAGE OF FIRST LIEUTENANT LEO BAGGETT, O- 1014208, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 6230TH R.C., FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, AND HIS RIGHT TO AN INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT WIFE.

IT APPEARS THAT THE OFFICER HAS BEEN PAID AN INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT WIFE FOR THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 10, 1951, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1952. YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION DOES NOT INDICATE THE PERIOD COVERED THEREBY AND NEITHER IS IT SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE DATED AFTER THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN PAID. HOWEVER, SINCE THE BASIC QUESTION RELATES TO THE VALIDITY OF HIS MARRIAGE, THE CERTIFICATE OF OCTOBER 10, 1951, WILL BE ACCEPTED IN THIS CASE AND YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WILL BE CONSIDERED AS COVERING THE PERIOD COMMENCING JULY 1, 1952.

AMONG THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR ENDORSEMENT WAS A CERTIFIED COPY OF A "POWER OF ATTORNEY" EXECUTED BY THE OFFICER ON SEPTEMBER 24, 1951, WHILE STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, CONSTITUTING AND APPOINTING HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, OLAN T. VENABLE, TO ACT IN HIS PLACE AND STEAD IN A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN DALLAS, TEXAS, WITH DORIS R. JESSUP, TOGETHER WITH A CERTIFIED COPY OF A MARRIAGE LICENSE SHOWING THE MARRIAGE ON OCTOBER 10, 1951, AT DALLAS, TEXAS, OF LEO BAGGETT AND DORIS RUTH JESSUP.

RECENT JUDICIAL DECISIONS TEND TO CLARIFY THE STATUS OF MARRIAGE BY PROXY OF INDIVIDUALS DOMICILED IN THE UNITED STATES AND INDICATE THAT SUCH MARRIAGES MIGHT BE HELD TO BE VALID IF PERFORMED IN A JURISDICTION WHICH RECOGNIZES COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE, UNLESS, OF COURSE, SUCH A MARRIAGE IS PROHIBITED BY STATUTE OR HAS BEEN HELD TO BE INVALID BY JUDICIAL DECISION. SEE UNITED STATES V. LAYTON, 68 F.1SUPP. 247; FERRARO V. FERRARO, 77 N.Y.S.2D 246, AFFIRMED AS FERNANDES V. FERNANDES, 87 N.Y.S.2D 707; HARDIN V. DAVIS, 16 OHIO SUPP. 19; RESPOLE V. RESPOLE, 70 N.E.2D 465, 170 A.L.R. 943; AND UNITED STATES V. BARRONS, 91 F.1SUPP. 319. ALSO, SEE THE ANNOTATION AT 170 A.L.R. 947. COMPARE 24 COMP. GEN. 595. COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE IS RECOGNIZED IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ( GRIGSBY V. REIB, ET AL, 153 S.W. 1124), AND THE MARRIAGE LAWS OF THAT STATE DO NOT APPEAR TO PROHIBIT MARRIAGE BY PROXY OR REQUIRE ANY PARTICULAR FORM OF MARRIAGE CEREMONY. WHILE NO DECISION BY COURT OF THE STATE OF TEXAS RECOGNIZING THE VALIDITY OF A PROXY MARRIAGE PERFORMED IN THAT STATE HAS BEEN FOUND, IN VIEW OF THE CURRENT DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS TO RECOGNIZE THE VALIDITY OF SUCH A MARRIAGE IF PERFORMED IN A JURISDICTION WHERE COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE IS SANCTIONED, NO REASON IS NOW PERCEIVED FOR NOT RECOGNIZING AS VALID A RELATIONSHIP OF HUSBAND AND WIFE RESULTING FROM A PROXY MARRIAGE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, IF OTHERWISE PROPER. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN LIEUTENANT BAGGETT AND DORIS RUTH JESSUP WAS VALID, AND THEREFORE, THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO AN INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON HER ACCOUNT AS HIS LAWFUL WIFE, IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO.