B-124769, AUG. 4, 1955

B-124769: Aug 4, 1955

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EFURD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 21. ONE OF WHICH WAS THAT THERE SHOULD BE PROVIDED AUTOMOBILE PARKING SPACE FOR HALF OF ALL LIVING UNITS. WHEN THE ASSIGNMENT WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND THE MORTGAGEE THEY EXECUTED A FORMAL REJECTION THEREOF. THE MORTGAGE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING COMMISSIONER. A RECEIVER WAS APPOINTED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE AFFAIRS AND ASSETS OF DUMONT. THE PROJECT WAS SOLD TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER THAT ADMINISTRATION GAVE NOTICE TO THE TENANTS OF "TOWN HOUSE" THAT THEY HAD NO FURTHER RIGHT TO USE THE PARKING LOT BY REASON OF THEIR BEING TENANTS OF THE PROJECT. IT IS CONTENDED THAT SINCE THE PARKING LOT WAS LEASED TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION.

B-124769, AUG. 4, 1955

TO MR. HORACE C. EFURD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 21, 1955, FROM DIMICK AND HAMILTON, REQUESTING, IN YOUR BEHALF, REVIEW OF OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 10, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $472.50, REPRESENTING RENTAL ALLEGED TO BE DUE ON A PARKING LOT LEASED FOR USE BY THE TENANTS OF ,TOWN HOUSE," A FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION INSURED PROJECT LOCATED IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA.

THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION INSURED THE LOAN FOR THE PROJECT MADE BY WACHOVIA BANK AND TRUST COMPANY TO DUMONT, INC., ON CERTAIN CONDITIONS, ONE OF WHICH WAS THAT THERE SHOULD BE PROVIDED AUTOMOBILE PARKING SPACE FOR HALF OF ALL LIVING UNITS. IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS REQUIREMENT DUMONT, INC., ENTERED INTO A LEASE WITH YOU, ARTICLE 13 OF WHICH ASSIGNED THE LEASE IN TRUST TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING COMMISSIONER AND THE BANK, SUCH ASSIGNMENT TO BECOME ABSOLUTE IN CASE OF DEFAULT OF THE MORTGAGOR ON THE LOAN. WHEN THE ASSIGNMENT WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND THE MORTGAGEE THEY EXECUTED A FORMAL REJECTION THEREOF. AFTER THE LOAN WENT INTO DEFAULT, THE MORTGAGE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING COMMISSIONER. A RECEIVER WAS APPOINTED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE AFFAIRS AND ASSETS OF DUMONT, INC. THESE ASSETS INCLUDED THE LEASE IN QUESTION. ON DECEMBER 29, 1954, THE PROJECT WAS SOLD TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER THAT ADMINISTRATION GAVE NOTICE TO THE TENANTS OF "TOWN HOUSE" THAT THEY HAD NO FURTHER RIGHT TO USE THE PARKING LOT BY REASON OF THEIR BEING TENANTS OF THE PROJECT. YOU ALLEGE THAT THE TENANTS CONTINUED TO USE THE LOT FOR PARKING UNTIL MARCH 1, 1955. BY REASON THEREOF YOU MADE CLAIM FOR $472.50.

IT IS CONTENDED THAT SINCE THE PARKING LOT WAS LEASED TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, YOU, AS LESSOR, SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADVISED, AS WERE THE TENANTS, THAT THEY HAD NO FURTHER RIGHT TO THE USE OF THE PARKING LOT.

IT IS OUR VIEW THAT, SINCE THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION WAS NOT A PARTY TO THE LEASE AND HAD GIVEN NOTICE OF REJECTION OF ANY ASSIGNMENT OF THE LEASE TO IT, AND SINCE IT NEVER HAD POSSESSION OF THE LEASED PREMISES, AND DISAVOWED ANY INTEREST THEREIN, THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED OR OBLIGATED TO ADVISE YOU CONCERNING THE DIRECTIVE GIVEN THE TENANTS. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WAS NO PRIVITY OF CONTRACT BETWEEN YOU AND THE GOVERNMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS MORALLY OBLIGATED TO PAY FOR USE OF THE LOT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TO SETTLE CLAIMS IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH LEGAL PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE THERETO AND IT HAS NO AUTHORITY OR JURISDICTION TO ALLOW CLAIMS BASED SOLELY ON A MORAL OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE CASE OF THE PACIFIC HARDWARE AND STEEL COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 49 C.CLS. 327, 335, IN WHICH IT WAS SAID THAT:

"IT IS UNQUESTIONABLY TRUE THAT AN OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO GIVE AWAY OR REMIT A CLAIM DUE THE GOVERNMENT. THIS RULE IS GROUNDED IN A SOUND POLICY AND IS NOT TO BE WEAKENED. * * *"

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR REQUEST THAT YOU BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO FURNISH EVIDENCE THAT THE PARKING LOT WAS USED BY TENANTS OF "TOWN HOUSE" DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ..END :