B-1250, AUGUST 14, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 196

B-1250: Aug 14, 1939

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OF LAND AS A CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS CAMP SITE WAS DISALLOWED. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS SHOW THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO POSSESSION OF THE LAND BY PERMISSION OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA UNDER THE STATES'S REPRESENTATION OF TITLE THERETO. THAT NO CIRCUMSTANCES WERE PRESENT ESTABLISHING EXISTENCE OF A RELATIONSHIP UNDER WHICH THERE WOULD ARISE AN IMPLIED CONTRACT TO PAY RENTAL TO THE CLAIMANT. THE CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISAPPROVED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN ADVERSE FINDING BY A BOARD OF OFFICERS CONVENED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS. TO THE EFFECT THAT TITLE TO THE LAND WAS IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. SAID OPINION WAS MADE WITH THE AID OF AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE ATTACHED TO THE FILE.

B-1250, AUGUST 14, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 196

RENT, ETC. - ADVERSE TITLE CLAIMS - LAND USED BY UNITED STATES WITH PERMISSION OF A STATE UNDER STATE'S CLAIM OF TITLE WHERE CLAIM FOR RENTAL FOR USE AND OCCUPANCY, ETC., OF LAND AS A CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS CAMP SITE WAS DISALLOWED, AMONG OTHER REASONS, BECAUSE THE RECORDS SHOW THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO POSSESSION OF THE LAND BY PERMISSION OF A STATE UNDER THE STATE'S REPRESENTATION OF TITLE THERETO, MADE WITH THE AID OF AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE, AND, SUBJECT ONLY TO A DOUBTFUL TAX CLAIM BY THE CLAIMANT, PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED UPON REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT ON THE BASIS OF ANOTHER ABSTRACT OF TITLE FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMANT SHOWING SUBSEQUENT ENTRIES OF TRANSFERS PURPORTING TO ESTABLISH IN CLAIMANT ABSOLUTE TITLE TO THE LAND IN QUESTION, THERE BEING NO JURISDICTION IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO ADJUDICATE THE TITLE UPON FACTS PRESENTED BY ONLY ONE OF THE INTERESTED PARTIES, OR TO ADJUDICATE ON ANY BASIS, AN ISSUE OF TITLE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO KNUDSON AND BURRY, AUGUST 14, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR UNDATED LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 21, 1938, WHICH DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF WILLIAM F. PAULSON FOR RENTAL AT THE RATE OF $1,500 PER ANNUM FROM SEPTEMBER 3, 1935, FOR USE AND OCCUPANCY BY THE GOVERNMENT OF LANDS DESCRIBED AS LOT 3 AND THE NE 1/4 OF THE SW 1/4 OF SECTION 36, TOWNSHIP 136, RANGE 28, CROW WING COUNTY, NN., AS A CAMP SITE FOR THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS.

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS SHOW THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO POSSESSION OF THE LAND BY PERMISSION OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA UNDER THE STATES'S REPRESENTATION OF TITLE THERETO; THAT NO CIRCUMSTANCES WERE PRESENT ESTABLISHING EXISTENCE OF A RELATIONSHIP UNDER WHICH THERE WOULD ARISE AN IMPLIED CONTRACT TO PAY RENTAL TO THE CLAIMANT; AND THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TITLE PARAMOUNT TO THAT OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HELD POSSESSION, CLAIMANT DID NOT APPEAR OTHERWISE LEGALLY ENTITLED TO ANY PART OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED.

THE CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISAPPROVED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN ADVERSE FINDING BY A BOARD OF OFFICERS CONVENED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS, THE BOARD'S FINDINGS BEING BASED UPON A WRITTEN OPINION OF AN ATTORNEY OF THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE OF MINNESOTA, TO THE EFFECT THAT TITLE TO THE LAND WAS IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, SUBJECT TO A DOUBTFUL TAX CLAIM BY THE PRESENT CLAIMANT. SAID OPINION WAS MADE WITH THE AID OF AN ABSTRACT OF TITLE ATTACHED TO THE FILE.

IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW THERE HAS NOW BEEN SUBMITTED ANOTHER ABSTRACT OF TITLE INCLUDING SUBSEQUENT ENTRIES OF TRANSFERS PURPORTING TO ESTABLISH IN CLAIMANT ABSOLUTE TITLE TO THE LAND IN QUESTION. ALSO, THE CLAIM HAS BEN MODIFIED, THE CLAIM FOR RENTAL BEING NOW MADE ON THE BASIS OF $30 PER MONTH FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 1935, TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1938, WITH AN ADDITIONAL CLAIM FOR $860, OF WHICH $500 IS CLAIMED FOR DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY BY REMOVAL OF TREES, THE BALANCE OF $360 BEING CLAIMED AS THE VALUE OF TREES AS FIREWOOD, WHICH TREES, IT IS ALLEGED, WERE ALSO APPROPRIATED AND MADE UNAVAILABLE TO THE CLAIMANT.

SINCE THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY AS THE TENANT OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA THERE WOULD BE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THIS OFFICE TO APPROVE OR EVEN CONSIDER THE CLAIM OF ANY PERSON CLAIMING RENTAL OF THESE PREMISES OR DAMAGES THERETO UNDER A TITLE ANTAGONISTIC TO THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, REGARDLESS OF WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW SUCH TITLE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED AND REGARDLESS OF HOW PERFECT SUCH TITLE MAY APPEAR ON AN EX PARTE CONSIDERATION.

IN FACT, TITLE MAY NOT BE ADJUDICATED UPON THE CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS PRESENTED BY ONLY ONE OF THE INTERESTED PARTIES AND THIS OFFICE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO ADJUDICATE ON ANY BASIS AN ISSUE OF TITLE SUCH AS APPARENTLY IS PRESENTED HERE. ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 21, 1938, MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.