B-120561, B-111239, APR. 26, 1957

B-111239,B-120561: Apr 26, 1957

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ATTORNEY AT LAW: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20. OUR REPORTS TO THE COMMITTEES AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL. BE WARRANTED IN FURNISHING YOU A STATEMENT OF OUR OFFICIAL ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PRIVATE BILL IN WHICH YOU ARE INTERESTED. ALTHOUGH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU WERE FREE TO TAKE SUCH ACTION AS YOU DESIRED REGARDING THE INTRODUCTION OF A BILL FOR RELIEF FROM THE SIX- YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. IT MAY BE NOTED THAT YOUR CLIENT'S RIGHT TO PRESS HIS CLAIMS FOR UNDERCHARGES IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE GOVERNMENT'S ASSERTION OF CLAIMS AGAINST HIM. OR THAT EXCESSIVE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE HERE TO ACCOUNT FOR OVERPAYMENTS. HE COULD HAVE FILED HIS CLAIMS WITH OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WITHIN TEN YEARS AFTER HIS CLAIMS FIRST ACCRUED.

B-120561, B-111239, APR. 26, 1957

TO MAYNARD F. ROBINSON, ATTORNEY AT LAW:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20, 1957, RELATIVE TO UNITED STATES V. WINTON TRUCK LINES, CIVIL ACTION NO. 2101, AND WINTON TRUCK LINES V. UNITED STATES, CIVIL ACTION NO. 2091. YOU REQUEST INFORMATION CONCERNING OUR OFFICIAL POSITION ON H.R. 4050; YOU SEEK AT CONFERENCE ON THESE CASES, PREFERABLY IN SAN ANTONIO, WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR OFFICE, IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE AGREED FACTS FOR STIPULATION; AND, FINALLY, YOU PROPOSE THAT WE AUTHORIZE ONE OF OUR TRANSPORTATION TECHNICIANS TO RECOMMEND A BASIS UPON WHICH THE CASES CAN BE COMPROMIZED.

AT HIS REQUEST, WE MADE A REPORT TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON H.R. 4050, WHICH, IF ENACTED, WOULD GIVE JURISDICTION TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT IN SAN ANTONIO TO ADJUDICATE TIME-BARRED CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF CIVIL ACTIONS NO.S 2101 AND 2091, AND TIME-BARRED CLAIMS OF T. W. WHEELER, DOING BUSINESS AS ROBERTSON AUTO TRANSPORT. OUR REPORTS TO THE COMMITTEES AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL, UNTIL MADE PUBLIC BY SUCH COMMITTEES OR MEMBERS. WE WOULD NOT THEREFORE, BE WARRANTED IN FURNISHING YOU A STATEMENT OF OUR OFFICIAL ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PRIVATE BILL IN WHICH YOU ARE INTERESTED. AS TO A SIMILAR BILL INTRODUCED IN THE 84TH CONGRESS, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS INFORMED US THAT NO STATEMENT HAD BEEN MADE TO YOU CONCERNING THE POSITION IT WOULD TAKE IF ASKED TO REPORT ON SUCH A BILL, ALTHOUGH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU WERE FREE TO TAKE SUCH ACTION AS YOU DESIRED REGARDING THE INTRODUCTION OF A BILL FOR RELIEF FROM THE SIX- YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

YOU POINT OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S CLAIMS ACCRUED IN THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME AS THE CLAIMS FOR WHICH YOUR CLIENT SEEKS RELIEF FROM THE STATUTORY BAR. IT MAY BE NOTED THAT YOUR CLIENT'S RIGHT TO PRESS HIS CLAIMS FOR UNDERCHARGES IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE GOVERNMENT'S ASSERTION OF CLAIMS AGAINST HIM. IF YOUR CLIENT BELIEVED THAT HE DID NOT COLLECT THE FULL LAWFUL CHARGES IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, OR THAT EXCESSIVE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE HERE TO ACCOUNT FOR OVERPAYMENTS, HE COULD HAVE FILED HIS CLAIMS WITH OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WITHIN TEN YEARS AFTER HIS CLAIMS FIRST ACCRUED, OR HE COULD HAVE MAINTAINED SUITS IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS OR A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT WITHIN THE SIX-YEAR PERIOD PRESCRIBED IN 28 U.S.C. 2501 AND 2401. AT NO TIME WAS THERE A REQUIREMENT THAT HE WITHHOLD HIS CLAIMS FOR FILING AS COUNTER-CLAIMS IN SUITS BY THE UNITED STATES. THUS THE SAME ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL REMEDIES WHICH THE CONGRESS CONSIDERED ADEQUATE FOR CLAIMANTS GENERALLY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AVAILABLE TO YOUR CLIENT. CONCERNING CIVIL ACTION NO. 2091, TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REPORTS THAT THE ITEMS INVOLVED TOTAL $24,915.54, RATHER THAN THE AMOUNT OF $24.924.54 SUED FOR, AND THAT $9,926.07 (YOU INDICATE APPROXIMATELY $15,000) APPEARS TO BE TIME-BARRED.

WE ARE, AS ALWAYS, WILLING TO STUDY THE ITEMS INVOLVED IN BOTH SUITS HERE AT OUR OFFICE WITH A VIEW TO AGREEING UPON ACTS WHICH WE CAN RECOMMEND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AS BEING PROPER FOR STIPULATION. WE REQUIRE ONLY SUFFICIENT NOTICE TO PERMIT ASSEMBLY OF THE NECESSARY RECORDS AND TO MAKE AVAILABLE FOR CONFERENCE THE ATTORNEYS AND TRANSPORTATION TECHNICIANS FAMILIAR WITH THEM. AS TO YOUR PREFERENCE THAT SUCH A CONFERENCE BE HELD IN SAN ANTONIO, THE HISTORY OF THESE CASES IS SUCH THAT WE DO NOT FEEL THAT PROBABLE RESULTS WOULD JUSTIFY ARRANGING A MEETING IN SAN ANTONIO IN THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES. OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REPORTS THAT ONE OF ITS REPRESENTATIVES CALLED ON YOUR CLIENT IN SAN ANTONIO IN APRIL 1953 TO DISCUSS HIS INDEBTEDNESS. NO PROGRESS WAS MADE AT THAT MEETING, SINCE YOUR CLIENT PREFERRED TO COME HERE THE FOLLOWING MONTH TO DISCUSS THE MATTER. TO DATE HE HAS NOT DONE SO. IN JUNE 1955, ONE OF OUR TRANSPORTATION TECHNICIANS SURVEYED CIVIL ACTION NO. 2101 IN SAN ANTONIO WITH YOUR CLIENT'S RATE EXPERT. OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT A PORTION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS, AMOUNTING TO $29,085.82 WAS ADMITTED BY THE DEFENDANT. WORKSHEETS COVERING THE DISPUTED BALANCE WERE SUBMITTED BY THE RATE EXPERT TO BE EVALUATED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION; YOU WERE THEN TO COME TO WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS THE RESULTS OF THE EVALUATION WITH A VIEW TO POSSIBLE SETTLEMENT. WE ARE INFORMED THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET DONE SO.

WE ARE UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH YOUR THIRD REQUEST THAT WE AUTHORIZE A TRANSPORTATION TECHNICIAN TO RECOMMEND A BASIS FOR COMPROMISING THESE CASES, SINCE THE AUTHORITY TO DECIDE WHETHER AND IN WHAT MANNER TO COMPROMISE PENDING SUITS IS VESTED EXCLUSIVELY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933.

YOU COMMENT UNFAVORABLY UPON THE POSSIBILITY THAT THESE CASES MIGHT BE SUBMITTED TO A SPECIAL MASTER; HOWEVER, THIS PROCEDURE MIGHT WELL BE IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH PARTIES FROM THE STANDPOINT OF TIME CONSUMED IN PROVING THE CLAIMS. TWO SIMILAR CASES IN THE SAN ANTONIO JURISDICTION, CIVIL ACTIONS NOS. 1573 AND 2087, AGAINST FISHER TRUCK LINES AND GLOBE TRANSIT COMPANY, WERE CONSOLIDATED AND TRIED BEFORE A SPECIAL MASTER DURING AUGUST 1956. THE HEARINGS REPORTEDLY WERE VERY EFFICIENTLY CONDUCTED AND TOOK LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK.

COPIES OF THIS LETTER ARE BEING FURNISHED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE HONORABLE PAUL KILDAY, ..END :