B-130098, JAN. 17, 1957

B-130098: Jan 17, 1957

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LAUN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 6. WHICH WERE LOADED ABOARD THE M.F.'MARY ROBERT MULLER. THAT THIS AMOUNT WAS NOT PAID BY THE ARMY UNTIL APRIL 19. IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST BY THE GOVERNMENT ON ITS UNPAID ACCOUNTS OR CLAIMS MAY NOT BE MADE EXCEPT WHERE INTEREST IS STIPULATED FOR IN LEGAL AND PROPER CONTRACTS. OR WHERE ALLOWANCE OF INTEREST IS SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED BY STATUTE. THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT HELD THAT: "* * * THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT LIABLE TO PAY INTEREST ON CLAIMS AGAINST THEM. THAT INTEREST IS NOT ALLOWED ON CLAIMS AGAINST IT. THE ONLY RECOGNIZED EXCEPTIONS ARE. WHERE THE GOVERNMENT STIPULATES TO PAY INTEREST AND WHERE INTEREST IS GIVEN EXPRESSLY BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS.

B-130098, JAN. 17, 1957

TO DRES. PAPENDIECK AND V. LAUN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 6, AND OCTOBER 6, 1956, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR DM 395,56 REPRESENTING INTEREST AND LAWYER'S FEES ALLEGED TO BE DUE IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS OF ARMY AMMUNITION, TRANSPORTED FOR THE MILITARY SEA TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, WHICH WERE LOADED ABOARD THE M.F.'MARY ROBERT MULLER," AT ZEEBRUGGE, ST. NAZAIRE, AND LA PALLICE, FOR TRANSPORTING TO ISTANBUL AND PIRAUS, DURING DECEMBER 1954 AND JANUARY 1955.

YOU STATE THAT YOUR CLIENT ROBERT MULLER, THE SHIPOWNER, CLAIMED $1,321.94 FOR DEMURRAGE ON JANUARY 10, 1955, AND THAT THIS AMOUNT WAS NOT PAID BY THE ARMY UNTIL APRIL 19, 1956. THE SUM OF DM 395,56 NOW CLAIMED BY YOU REPRESENTS INTEREST (DM 282,93) FROM JANUARY 10, 1955, TO APRIL 19, 1956, PLUS YOUR LAWYER'S FEES (DM 112,63) FOR EFFECTING THE COLLECTION.

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST BY THE GOVERNMENT ON ITS UNPAID ACCOUNTS OR CLAIMS MAY NOT BE MADE EXCEPT WHERE INTEREST IS STIPULATED FOR IN LEGAL AND PROPER CONTRACTS, OR WHERE ALLOWANCE OF INTEREST IS SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED BY STATUTE. ANGARICA V. BAYARD, 127 U.S. 251; UNITED STATES V. NORTH AMERICAN TRANSPORTATION AND TRADING CO., 253 U.S. 330; SEABOARD AIR LINE RY. CO. V. UNITED STATES, 261 U.S. 299; SMYTH V. UNITED STATES, 302 U.S. 329; UNITED STATES V. HOTEL CO., 329, U.S. 585. AT PAGE 260 OF THE ANGARICA CASE, THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT HELD THAT:

"* * * THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT LIABLE TO PAY INTEREST ON CLAIMS AGAINST THEM, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISION TO THAT EFFECT. HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, AS A GENERAL RULE, IN THE PRACTICE OF THE GOVERNMENT, THAT INTEREST IS NOT ALLOWED ON CLAIMS AGAINST IT, WHETHER SUCH CLAIMS ORIGINATE IN CONTRACT OR IN TORT, AND WHETHER THEY ARISE IN THE ORDINARY BUSINESS OF ADMINISTRATION OR UNDER PRIVATE ACTS OF RELIEF, PASSED BY CONGRESS ON SPECIAL APPLICATION. THE ONLY RECOGNIZED EXCEPTIONS ARE, WHERE THE GOVERNMENT STIPULATES TO PAY INTEREST AND WHERE INTEREST IS GIVEN EXPRESSLY BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS, EITHER BY THE NAME OF INTEREST OR BY THAT OF DAMAGES.'

GENERALLY, THE MATTER OF THE EMPLOYMENT AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEYS IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE CLIENT AND THE ATTORNEY AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTORY PROVISION OR A VALID AGREEMENT BASED ON A STATUTORY PROVISION, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWANCE OF AN ATTORNEY'S FEE TO A PARTY IN A CLAIM OR SUIT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. IN PIGGLY WIGGLY CORP. V. UNITED STATES, 112 C.CLS. 391, 432; 81 F.SUPP. 819, 822, THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS REFUSED TO AWARD ATTORNEY'S FEES UNDER "* * * THE GENERAL RULE THAT ATTORNEY'S FEES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN SUITS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISION ALLOWING THEM * *

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOUR CLAIM FOR INTEREST AND ATTORNEY'S FEES DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE FOREGOING EXCEPTIONS, WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT.