B-125470, OCT. 25, 1955

B-125470: Oct 25, 1955

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE DECEDENT LEFT A PERSON (WIDOW) WHO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION IN PREFERENCE TO THE CHILDREN OF THE DECEDENT. MERELY CRITICIZES THE OPERATION OF THE ACT BECAUSE IT FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE RIGHT OF MINOR CHILDREN WHERE THE DECEDENT IS DIVORCED FROM HIS FIRST WIFE AND REMARRIES. TO WHOM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT WAS PAID AS HIS WIDOW. WAS NOT LAWFULLY MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT. YOUR BASIS FOR THIS ALLEGATION IS STATED TO BE A LETTER FROM MARGARET HUDDLESTON'S MOTHER TO THE EFFECT THAT SHE (MARGARET) HAS ANOTHER HUSBAND WITH WHOM SHE HAS NOT LIVED SINCE 1947. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION WAS PAID TO MARGARET HUDDLESTON UPON HER STATEMENT.

B-125470, OCT. 25, 1955

TO MRS. FERN H. HUDDLESTON:

YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 22, 1955, AND A PRIOR UNDATED LETTER REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 10, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FILED ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR CHILDREN OF ALBERT J. HUDDLESTON, DECEASED, FOR COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT AS A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE DECEDENT LEFT A PERSON (WIDOW) WHO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, 64 STAT. 395, IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION IN PREFERENCE TO THE CHILDREN OF THE DECEDENT.

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1955, DOES NOT DISPUTE THE CORRECTNESS OF THE ACTION UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, BUT MERELY CRITICIZES THE OPERATION OF THE ACT BECAUSE IT FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE RIGHT OF MINOR CHILDREN WHERE THE DECEDENT IS DIVORCED FROM HIS FIRST WIFE AND REMARRIES, SUCH AS HERE. HOWEVER, IN YOUR PRIOR LETTER YOU ALLEGE THAT MARGARET V. HUDDLESTON, TO WHOM THE AMOUNT DUE THE DECEDENT WAS PAID AS HIS WIDOW, WAS NOT LAWFULLY MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT. YOUR BASIS FOR THIS ALLEGATION IS STATED TO BE A LETTER FROM MARGARET HUDDLESTON'S MOTHER TO THE EFFECT THAT SHE (MARGARET) HAS ANOTHER HUSBAND WITH WHOM SHE HAS NOT LIVED SINCE 1947.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION WAS PAID TO MARGARET HUDDLESTON UPON HER STATEMENT, WITNESSED BY TWO OTHER PERSONS, THAT SHE HAD BEEN MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT AND THAT HER MARRIAGE TO HIM HAD NOT BEEN DISSOLVED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH. MOREOVER, THE RECORDS HERE SHOW THAT THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEDENT HAD BEEN PAID BY MARGARET HUDDLESTON, AND THAT SHE ALSO HAD BEEN APPOINTED AS THE ADMINISTRATRIX OF HIS ESTATE BY THE PROPER COURT IN TENNESSEE. IT IS NOTED THAT WHEN YOU MADE CLAIM ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR CHILDREN YOU MADE NO MENTION THAT MARGARET HUDDLESTON WAS NOT ALBERT J. HUDDLESTON'S LAWFUL WIDOW. IN FACT, THE FORM YOU SIGNED ACTUALLY NAMED MARGARET HUDDLESTON AS THE WIDOW.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT MARGARET HUDDLESTON WAS NOT THE DECEDENT'S LAWFUL WIDOW--- SUCH AS SWORN STATEMENTS FROM PERSONS ACQUAINTED WITH HER--- THE ACTION IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR CHILDREN MUST BE SUSTAINED.