B-124746, SEP. 29, 1955

B-124746: Sep 29, 1955

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268-65-49: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER POSTMARKED MAY 18. YOU FURTHER ALLEGE THAT (SOME "4 OR 5 MONTHS LATER") IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT YOUR DIVORCE PAPERS HAD NOT BEEN FURNISHED A PROPER NAVY OFFICIAL UPON YOUR COMPLAINT THAT THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE WAS CONTINUED IN EFFECT AT THE TIME. IT APPEARS (1) THAT YOUR MARRIAGE WAS TERMINATED BY JUDICIAL DECREE WITHOUT ALIMONY IN SEPTEMBER 1946. (2) THAT THE DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE WERE IMPROPERLY REFUNDED TO YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. AS FOLLOWS: "FROM INFORMATION INCLUDED IN SAID (YOUR FAMILY ALLOWANCE) FOLDER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT (YOU) THE SERVICEMAN NOTIFIED HIS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CHANGE IN HIS MARITAL STATUS ON 25 JULY 1947 AS THAT IS THE DATE OF A DISPATCH AND A FOLLOW-UP LETTER SENT TO BUPERS REQUESTING TERMINATION OF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE IN BEHALF OF LAURA MAY COKER.

B-124746, SEP. 29, 1955

TO HARRY LOWE COKER, MNI, 268-65-49:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER POSTMARKED MAY 18, 1955, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES, IN THE AMOUNT OF $780, COVERING THE BALANCE DUE FOR FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE TO YOUR FORMER WIFE DURING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 1946 THROUGH JULY 1947, LESS THE AMOUNT OF $71.52 APPLIED IN PARTIAL LIQUIDATION THEREOF BY OUR OFFICE.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE THAT YOU FIRST REPORTED YOUR CHANGE IN MARITAL STATUS TO THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. SPERRY IN JANUARY 1947. YOU FURTHER ALLEGE THAT (SOME "4 OR 5 MONTHS LATER") IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT YOUR DIVORCE PAPERS HAD NOT BEEN FURNISHED A PROPER NAVY OFFICIAL UPON YOUR COMPLAINT THAT THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE WAS CONTINUED IN EFFECT AT THE TIME. IT APPEARS (1) THAT YOUR MARRIAGE WAS TERMINATED BY JUDICIAL DECREE WITHOUT ALIMONY IN SEPTEMBER 1946, AND (2) THAT THE DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE WERE IMPROPERLY REFUNDED TO YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.

SECTION 107 OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 383, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7/B) OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, 57 STAT. 579, 37 U.S.C. 207/B), IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE MONTHLY FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHOULD BE TERMINATED OR REDUCED, AS MIGHT BE REQUIRED, ON THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH IN WHICH THE DISBURSING OFFICER PAYING THE ALLOWANCE RECEIVED NOTICE OF A CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF THE ENLISTED MAN OR A DEPENDENT WHICH TERMINATED OR LIMITED THE RIGHT OF THE DEPENDENT TO RECEIVE THE ALLOWANCE, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE RIGHT TO FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHOULD TERMINATE OR BE MODIFIED AT THE END OF THE MONTH IN WHICH THE CHANGE IN STATUS OF THE ENLISTED MAN OR A DEPENDENT OCCURRED. SECTION 106/C) OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 206/C), PROVIDED THAT NO FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAYABLE TO A WIFE LIVING SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE ENLISTED AGREEMENT, IF SUCH ORDER, DECREE, OR WRITTEN AGREEMENT PROVIDED NO AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO SUCH WIFE.

WITH REGARD TO THE DATE ON WHICH YOU NOTIFIED A PROPER NAVY OFFICIAL RELATIVE TO THE CHANGE IN YOUR MARITAL STATUS WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTORY PROVISIONS, THE DIRECTOR, FAMILY ALLOWANCE UNIT, BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 14, 1955, REPORTED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"FROM INFORMATION INCLUDED IN SAID (YOUR FAMILY ALLOWANCE) FOLDER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT (YOU) THE SERVICEMAN NOTIFIED HIS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CHANGE IN HIS MARITAL STATUS ON 25 JULY 1947 AS THAT IS THE DATE OF A DISPATCH AND A FOLLOW-UP LETTER SENT TO BUPERS REQUESTING TERMINATION OF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE IN BEHALF OF LAURA MAY COKER. THE DISPATCH WAS STAMPED RECEIVED ON 28 JULY 1947 AND THE LETTER WAS STAMPED RECEIVED ON 31 JULY 1947. FROM OTHER INFORMATION IN THE CASE FOLDER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT ON 5 AUGUST 1947 THE ALLOTMENT OFFICE RECEIVED NOTIFICATION OF THE SERVICEMAN'S DIVORCE.'

OUR OFFICE HAS NO FIRST-HAND INFORMATION OF THE FACTS IN YOUR CASE AND NECESSARILY MUST RELY UPON THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. HENCE, IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE REPORT THE CANCELLATION OF ALL OR PART OF THE INDEBTEDNESS IS NOT AUTHORIZED UPON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD. SEE 33 COMP. GEN. 309. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF OUR OFFICE IN SETTING OFF THE AMOUNT OF $71.52, OTHERWISE DUE YOU, AGAINST THE INDEBTEDNESS, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE STATEMENTS IN YOUR LETTER, POSTMARKED MAY 18, 1955, ACTION IS BEING TAKEN TO REFER THE BALANCE OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS ($708.48) TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FOR CONSIDERATION OF A RECOMMENDATION TO OUR OFFICE FOR WAIVER OF SUCH AMOUNT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13 OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, 64 STAT. 797. YOU WILL BE FURTHER ADVISED IN REGARD THERETO AT A LATER DATE.