B-124830, OCT. 3, 1955

B-124830: Oct 3, 1955

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MEDINA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 15. THERE ALSO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF THE SAME DATE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY RELATIVE TO THE MATTER. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT ON NOVEMBER 26. YOU CONTEND THAT THE PAYMENTS OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY AND THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE ERRONEOUS AND THAT LIKE PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO YOU. SINCE YOU WERE THE FIRST WIFE OF THE DECEDENT AND WERE NEVER DIVORCED FROM HIM. THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE ALLOWED TO PEARL MEDINA ON THE BASIS OF HER CERTIFIED AND WITNESSED CLAIM FOR THE PAY AS WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT AND A REPORT OF DEATH FURNISHED US BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SHOWING PEARL MEDINA AS WIFE. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY WAS MADE TO HER SINCE SHE WAS IN RECEIPT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS AS WIFE OF THE LATE ENLISTED MAN ON THE BASIS OF AN AUTHORIZED BY HIM.

B-124830, OCT. 3, 1955

TO MRS. RITA B. MEDINA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 15, 1955, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM, AS WIDOW, FOR ARREARS OF PAY AND THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY BELIEVED TO BE DUE IN THE CASE OF THE LATE ANICETO MEDIA, CHIEF STEWARD, UNITED STATES NAVY, AS OF OCTOBER 2, 1945, THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF EVIDENCE OF HIS DEATH IN THE NAVAL SERVICE. THERE ALSO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF THE SAME DATE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY RELATIVE TO THE MATTER.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 12, 1955, OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT ON NOVEMBER 26, 1945, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY PAID THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY TO PEARL MEDINA, AS WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT, AND THAT BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1948, THE CLAIMS DIVISION ALLOWED THE ARREARS OF PAY TO HER, BASED UPON EVIDENCE FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. IN YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 15, 1955, YOU CONTEND THAT THE PAYMENTS OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY AND THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE ERRONEOUS AND THAT LIKE PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO YOU, SINCE YOU WERE THE FIRST WIFE OF THE DECEDENT AND WERE NEVER DIVORCED FROM HIM.

THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE ALLOWED TO PEARL MEDINA ON THE BASIS OF HER CERTIFIED AND WITNESSED CLAIM FOR THE PAY AS WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT AND A REPORT OF DEATH FURNISHED US BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SHOWING PEARL MEDINA AS WIFE. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY WAS MADE TO HER SINCE SHE WAS IN RECEIPT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS AS WIFE OF THE LATE ENLISTED MAN ON THE BASIS OF AN AUTHORIZED BY HIM, AND THAT HE HAD NAMED HER AS HIS WIFE AND BENEFICIARY OF THE GRATUITY IN A BENEFICIARY SLIP EXECUTED BY HIM ON MARCH 16, 1945.

IN VIEW OF THE LATE ENLISTED MAN'S EXPRESS REPRESENTATION THAT PEARL MEDINA WAS HIS WIFE, HIS DESIGNATION OF HER AS BENEFICIARY OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY, AND HIS AUTHORIZATION OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO HER AS HIS WIFE, TOGETHER WITH THE FACT THAT NOTHING OTHERWISE APPEARED IN THE FILE TO RAISE A DOUBT THAT PEARL MEDINA WAS THE DECEDENT'S WIDOW, THE PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY WAS MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE ALLOWED TO HER BY THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 16, 1948. IF THE ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND THE CLAIMS DIVISION WAS ERRONEOUS, THE ERROR RESULTED FROM THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DECEDENT AND THE COURTS HAVE HELD THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE A SECOND PAYMENT UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES. UNITED STATES V. BARKER, 70 F.2D 1002; UNITED STATES V. CAMPBELL, 139 F.2D 424; EVANGELIOU V. UNITED STATES, 84 F.SUPP. 609. IT FOLLOWS THAT A SECOND PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY AND OF THE ARREARS OF PAY MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED IN YOUR FAVOR.