B-133452, OCT. 1, 1957

B-133452: Oct 1, 1957

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PELAGIA DE PINOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 13. WAS NOT ENCLOSED WITH THAT LETTER. THAT YOU WERE ADVISED IN THAT LETTER THAT A SETTLEMENT FOR THE BALANCE OF PAY DUE THE ESTATE OF THE DECEDENT WOULD BE MADE IN DUE COURSE. IF IN THE EXAMINATION OF THE CLAIM AN AMOUNT WAS FOUND DUE. IT IS PRESUMED THAT A SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED ALLOWING SUCH AMOUNT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVICE YOU RECEIVED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 23. SINCE THE RECORDS RELATING TO SUCH AN OLD CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW. YOUR PRESENT LETTERS MAY NOT BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION AS A CLAIM FOR ANY AMOUNT DUE SINCE IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT WHERE A CLAIMANT HAS SLEPT ON HIS RIGHTS FOR A LONG PERIOD OF YEARS HE IS GUILTY OF LACHES AND A PRESUMPTION ARISES THAT THE CLAIM NEVER WAS VALID.

B-133452, OCT. 1, 1957

TO MRS. PELAGIA DE PINOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 13, 1957, MAKING FURTHER INQUIRY RELATIVE TO ANY ARREARS OF PAY DUE IN THE CASE OF YOUR LATE HUSBAND, TEODORO PINOR, AS OF NOVEMBER 15, 1935, THE DATE OF HIS DEATH.

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 4, 1957, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1957, MAKING INQUIRY WHETHER THE ARREARS OF PAY HAD BEEN PAID TO YOU, INFORMED YOU THAT SINCE THE RECORDS IN OUR OFFICE OF A PRIOR CLAIM FILED IN THE NAME OF THE DECEDENT HAD BEEN DESTROYED, THE INFORMATION REQUESTED BY YOU COULD NOT BE FURNISHED.

THE LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1938, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 13, 1957, WAS NOT ENCLOSED WITH THAT LETTER. YOU SAY, HOWEVER, THAT YOU WERE ADVISED IN THAT LETTER THAT A SETTLEMENT FOR THE BALANCE OF PAY DUE THE ESTATE OF THE DECEDENT WOULD BE MADE IN DUE COURSE. IF IN THE EXAMINATION OF THE CLAIM AN AMOUNT WAS FOUND DUE, IT IS PRESUMED THAT A SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED ALLOWING SUCH AMOUNT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVICE YOU RECEIVED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1938. AS STATED ABOVE, THAT CANNOT NOW BE VERIFIED, HOWEVER, SINCE THE RECORDS RELATING TO SUCH AN OLD CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW. AND, YOUR PRESENT LETTERS MAY NOT BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION AS A CLAIM FOR ANY AMOUNT DUE SINCE IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT WHERE A CLAIMANT HAS SLEPT ON HIS RIGHTS FOR A LONG PERIOD OF YEARS HE IS GUILTY OF LACHES AND A PRESUMPTION ARISES THAT THE CLAIM NEVER WAS VALID, OR IF VALID, THAT IT ALREADY HAS BEEN PAID. 4 COMP. DEC. 276; 4 COMP. GEN. 805.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1957, IN EFFECT DENYING YOUR CLAIM, IS SUSTAINED.