B-113677, APRIL 14, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 447

B-113677: Apr 14, 1953

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OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM - EMPLOYEES OF GUAM OR UNITED STATES FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE PURPOSES OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM ARE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN SECTION 26 (C) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM. NOTWITHSTANDING THE COURT IS UNDER THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES. SO THAT SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ONCE EVERY TWO YEARS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR THEMSELVES AND IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM GUAM TO THEIR HOMES RETURN AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2. IS APPLICABLE TO THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM.

B-113677, APRIL 14, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 447

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM - EMPLOYEES OF GUAM OR UNITED STATES FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE PURPOSES OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM ARE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN SECTION 26 (C) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM, NOTWITHSTANDING THE COURT IS UNDER THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES, SO THAT SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ONCE EVERY TWO YEARS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR THEMSELVES AND IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM GUAM TO THEIR HOMES RETURN AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, APRIL 14, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2, 1953, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER SECTION 26 (C) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM, 64 STAT. 384, 391, IS APPLICABLE TO THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM. YOUR INQUIRY IS DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY TO THAT PART OF SECTION 26 (C) WHICH PROVIDES THAT "ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM * * * ONCE DURING EVERY TWO YEARS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THEMSELVES AND IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM GUAM TO THEIR HOMES AND RETURN," AND "FOR PURPOSES OF TRANSPORTATION TO THEIR HOMES AND RETURN, THEY SHALL BE ALLOWED TRAVEL TIME NOT IN EXCESS OF THIRTY DAYS WITHOUT CHARGE AGAINST ANNUAL LEAVE AND DURING SUCH TRAVEL TIME THEY SHALL BE PAID THEIR SALARIES AS PRESCRIBED BY THIS ACT OR THE LAWS OF GUAM.'

PRESUMABLY DOUBT IN THE MATTER EXISTS BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT UNDER SECTION 24 (C) OF THE ORGANIC ACT, AND THAT SECTION AS AMENDED BY SECTION 55 (A) OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 31, 1951, 65 STAT. 710, 728, AND SECTIONS 38, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, AND 50 OF THE SAID ACT OF OCTOBER 31, 1951, THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM AND THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES THEREOF ARE SUBJECT TO VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF TITLE 28, U.S.C. RELATING TO THE PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS, AND TO THE HIRING, COMPENSATION, DUTIES AND OTHER MATTERS PERTAINING TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF SUCH COURTS. IT THUS APPEARS THAT, BY REASON OF THE FOREGOING ENACTMENTS, FOR PURPOSES OF ADMINISTRATION, THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM ARE UNDER THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IN MY OPINION IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ARE THEREBY EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE CITED SECTION 26 (C) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM.

THE ORGANIC ACT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM SHALL CONSIST OF THREE BRANCHES, THE EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, AND JUDICIAL, AND UNDER THE TITLE " THE JUDICIARY," ESTABLISHES THE " DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM" IN WHICH THE JUDICIAL AUTHORITY OF GUAM SHALL BE VESTED.

IT IS THUS CLEAR THAT THE COURT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM. FURTHER, THE COURT IS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS IN THAT IN ADDITION TO ITS JURISDICTION OVER FEDERAL CASES IT HAS ORIGINAL JURISDICTION IN ALL OTHER CAUSES, THE JURISDICTION OVER WHICH HAS NOT BEEN TRANSFERRED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF GUAM TO OTHER COURT OR COURTS ESTABLISHED BY IT. SEE SECTION 22 (A) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM. IN VIEW OF SUCH DUAL JURISDICTION IT MAY BE SAID THAT THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE COURT PERFORM SERVICES BOTH IN THE INTERESTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ORGANIC ACT OR OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 31, 1951, SUPRA, THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED OTHERWISE, THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM MAY BE REGARDED AS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 26 (C) OF THE ACT.