B-125966, DECEMBER 22, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 369

B-125966: Dec 22, 1955

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SUCH EMPLOYEES WHEN SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM ARE ENTITLED TO JURY FEES AND COMPENSATION WITHOUT A DIMINUTION OF SALARY. THE MATTER OF EXCLUDING EMPLOYEES OF GUAM FROM RECEIVING JURORS' FEES IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARIES FROM THE TERRITORY IS FOR THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 31. ARE SALARIED EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM TO BE CONSIDERED AS SALARIED EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE INTENT OF 5 U.S.C. 30N AND 30O WHEN CALLED UPON TO SERVE AS JURORS IN THE DISTRICT COURT FOR GUAM? 2. WILL IT BE PROPER FOR THE DISTRICT COURT FOR GUAM TO EXCLUDE SUCH EMPLOYEES BY ORDER OF COURT FROM PAYMENT OF JUROR'S FEES AND ALLOWANCES?

B-125966, DECEMBER 22, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 369

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - JURY SERVICE - COMPENSATION PAYABLE - EMPLOYEES OF GOVERNMENT OF GUAM EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM WHO RECEIVE SALARIES FROM THE TERRITORY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTIONS 26 (A) (B) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1950, DO NOT RECEIVE COMPENSATION AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF 5 U.S.C. 30N AND 30O WHICH AUTHORIZE JURY LEAVE FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, AND, THEREFORE, SUCH EMPLOYEES WHEN SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM ARE ENTITLED TO JURY FEES AND COMPENSATION WITHOUT A DIMINUTION OF SALARY. THE MATTER OF EXCLUDING EMPLOYEES OF GUAM FROM RECEIVING JURORS' FEES IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARIES FROM THE TERRITORY IS FOR THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES; HOWEVER, THE GUAM LEGISLATURE COULD ENACT LEGISLATION EITHER TO AUTHORIZE EMPLOYEES TO ACT AS JURORS WITHOUT A DIMINUTION OF SALARY OR LEAVE BUT REQUIRE THAT THE COMPENSATION FOR JURY SERVICES BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE TERRITORY, OR ENACT LEGISLATION TO AUTHORIZE JURY LEAVE ONLY ON CONDITION THAT THE SALARIES OF THE JURORS BE REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF THE JURY FEES.

TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, DECEMBER 22, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1955, FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, REQUESTING DECISION UPON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. ARE SALARIED EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM TO BE CONSIDERED AS SALARIED EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE INTENT OF 5 U.S.C. 30N AND 30O WHEN CALLED UPON TO SERVE AS JURORS IN THE DISTRICT COURT FOR GUAM?

2. IF NOT SO CONSIDERED, WILL IT BE PROPER FOR THE DISTRICT COURT FOR GUAM TO EXCLUDE SUCH EMPLOYEES BY ORDER OF COURT FROM PAYMENT OF JUROR'S FEES AND ALLOWANCES?

THE ORGANIC ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1950, 64 STAT. 384, 393, ESTABLISHED A CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR GUAM CONSISTING OF THREE BRANCHES--- EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, AND JUDICIAL--- WITH A GOVERNOR TO BE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. THE GOVERNOR IS VESTED WITH AUTHORITY TO APPOINT AND REMOVE THE HEADS OF ALL DEPARTMENTS AND INSTRUMENTALITIES OF THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT AND ALL OFFICERS WHOSE APPOINTMENTS ARE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR. THE LEGISLATURE IS DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH A MERIT SYSTEM AND SO FAR AS APPLICABLE ALL APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS ARE TO BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH MERIT SYSTEM.

SECTION 26 (A) (B) OF THE ORGANIC ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1950, 64 STAT. 391, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE SECRETARY BY THE UNITED STATES. UNDER SUBSECTION (D) OF SECTION 26 THE COMPENSATION OF "ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM" NOT OTHERWISE FIXED BY THAT ACT ARE TO BE PAID AND FIXED BY THE LAWS OF GUAM, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT HAVING GENERAL SUPERVISION OVER THAT TERRITORY OR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO MAY BE DETAILED TO GUAM.

IT MAY BE CONCLUDED, THEREFORE, THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM (OTHER THAN THE GOVERNOR AND THE SECRETARY) ARE NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF 5 U.S.C. 30N AND 30O AND, WHEN SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY, WILL BE ENTITLED TO THE FEES AND OTHER COMPENSATION PAYABLE FOR SUCH SERVICE. CF. 27 COMP. GEN. 552, AND 25 ID. 912. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

REGARDING THE SECOND QUESTION, SINCE JUROR FEES IN FEDERAL COURTS ARE FIXED BY FEDERAL STATUTE IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER THE JUDGE OR THE LEGISLATURE OF GUAM WOULD HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO EXCLUDE EMPLOYEES OF GUAM FROM THE RECEIPT OF SUCH FEES. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND, AS IT IS INDICATED THAT IT IS NOT DESIRABLE FOR EMPLOYEES OF GUAM TO RECEIVE JUROR FEES IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARIES, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT A STATUTE BE ENACTED BY THE GUAM LEGISLATURE AUTHORIZING EMPLOYEES OF GUAM TO ACT AS JURORS IN FEDERAL COURTS WITHOUT A DIMINUTION OF SALARY OR LEAVE BUT REQUIRING THAT ANY COMPENSATION RECEIVED FOR SERVICES (NOT EXPENSES) AS JURORS BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE TERRITORY. OR, THE LEGISLATURE COULD AUTHORIZE JURY LEAVE ONLY ON CONDITION THAT THE SALARIES OF JURORS FOR THE PERIOD OF JURY LEAVE BE REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF JURY FEES RECEIVED. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 54 STAT. 689, 5 U.S.C. 30N, 30O, AND 30P; ALSO, 28 U.S.C. 1823.

OF COURSE, THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES COULD PROPERLY EXCLUDE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM FROM THE RECEIPT OF JURY FEES WHEN RECEIVING THEIR FULL SALARY FROM THE TERRITORY.