B-133851, OCT. 4, 1957

B-133851: Oct 4, 1957

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THE CHECKS WERE RETURNED TO OUR OFFICE INASMUCH AS ACCEPTANCE WAS REFUSED FOR THE REASON THAT NO INTEREST OR COSTS WERE ALLOWED. NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE OF COSTS WAS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO ALLOWANCE OF THE BASIC AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT AND A CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED AUGUST 7. SINCE PAYMENT WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH. WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW ON BEHALF OF YOUR CLIENT. THERE WERE NO FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND IT WAS NECESSARY THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT BE CERTIFIED TO THE CONGRESS FOR A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT. THAT SECTION PROVIDES: "THERE ARE APPROPRIATED. 000 IN ANY ONE CASE) RENDERED BY THE DISTRICT COURTS AND THE COURT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES WHICH HAVE BECOME FINAL.

B-133851, OCT. 4, 1957

TO MR. HERBERT L. COBIN, ATTORNEY AT LAW:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1957, TRANSMITTED HERE BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 15, 1957, OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, MAKES DEMAND FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENT RENDERED IN FAVOR OF ROBERT J. WILSON IN THE ABOVE REFERRED TO CASE, TOGETHER WITH INTEREST THEREON FROM MAY 8, 1956, AND COSTS. OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, PURSUANT TO SECTION 1302 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1957, PUBLIC LAW 814, APPROVED JULY 27, 1956, 70 STAT. 694, ISSUED A CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT (WITHOUT INTEREST OR COSTS), AND FORWARDED THE CHECKS TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, FOR DELIVERY TO THE PARTIES ENTITLED. THE CHECKS WERE RETURNED TO OUR OFFICE INASMUCH AS ACCEPTANCE WAS REFUSED FOR THE REASON THAT NO INTEREST OR COSTS WERE ALLOWED. NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE OF COSTS WAS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO ALLOWANCE OF THE BASIC AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT AND A CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED AUGUST 7, 1957, WITH RESPECT TO COSTS. SINCE PAYMENT WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, QUESTION OF COSTS NO LONGER APPEARS TO BE AT ISSUE. YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1957, WITH RESPECT TO THE DEMAND FOR INTEREST, AND THE REFUSAL TO ACCEPT THE CHECK, WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW ON BEHALF OF YOUR CLIENT, MR. ROBERT J. WILSON, OF THE SETTLEMENT ISSUED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF SECTION 1302 OF PUBLIC LAW 814 INTO LAW, THERE WERE NO FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND IT WAS NECESSARY THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT BE CERTIFIED TO THE CONGRESS FOR A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT. SECTION 1302 ESTABLISHED A PERMANENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS (NOT IN EXCESS OF $100,000) AND INTEREST THEREON IN CERTAIN CASES. THAT SECTION PROVIDES:

"THERE ARE APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, AND OUT OF POSTAL REVENUES, RESPECTIVELY, SUCH SUMS AS MAY HEREAFTER BE NECESSARY FOR THE PAYMENT, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, AS CERTIFIED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, OF JUDGMENTS (NOT IN EXCESS OF $100,000 IN ANY ONE CASE) RENDERED BY THE DISTRICT COURTS AND THE COURT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES WHICH HAVE BECOME FINAL, TOGETHER WITH SUCH INTEREST AND COSTS AS MAY BE SPECIFIED IN SUCH JUDGMENTS OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW: PROVIDED, THAT, WHENEVER A JUDGMENT OF A DISTRICT COURT TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2411 (B) OF TITLE 28, U.S.C. APPLY, IS PAYABLE FROM THIS APPROPRIATION, INTEREST SHALL BE PAID THEREON ONLY WHEN SUCH JUDGMENT BECOMES FINAL AFTER REVIEW ON APPEAL OR PETITION BY THE UNITED STATES, AND THEN ONLY FROM THE DATE OF THE FILING OF THE TRANSCRIPT THEREOF IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THE DATE OF THE MANDATE OF AFFIRMANCE * * *.'

THE RECORD HERE SHOWS THE ORIGINAL JUDGMENT IN WHICH DAMAGES WERE AWARDED IN YOUR CASE WAS DATED MAY 8, 1956, THAT MRS. CHARLOTTE M. O TOOLE, APPEALED FROM THAT PORTION OF THE JUDGMENT AWARDING HER $400,000 ON HER CLAIM AS WIDOW OF THOMAS B. O-TOOLE UNDER THE DELAWARE DEATH STATUTE, THAT THE GOVERNMENT APPEALED THE JUDGMENT AS TO ALL PLAINTIFFS, AND THAT THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT, ON MARCH 14, 1957, AFFIRMED THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AS TO PLAINTIFFS CHARLOTTE M. O-TOOLE, CHARLOTTE M. OTOOLE, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF THOMAS B. O-TOOLE, ST. PAUL FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE, A CORPORATION, AND ROBERT J. WILSON ON THE APPEAL OF THE UNITED STATES. THE CLAIM WAS NOT OF THE TYPE WHICH DRAWS INTEREST AS A MATTER OF LAW NOR DOES THE JUDGMENT SPECIFY INTEREST SHOULD BE ALLOWED. IF INTEREST IS ALLOWABLE ON THE JUDGMENT, IT WOULD BE ONLY BY VIRTUE OF THE APPLICATION OF 28 U.S.C. 2411 (B). AS TO JUDGMENTS PROPERLY PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 1302 OF PUBLIC LAW 814, INTEREST FORMERLY AUTHORIZED UNDER 28 U.S.C. 2411 (B) IS LIMITED AND RESTRICTED BY THE LANGUAGE OF THE SECTION AND THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING IT.

SECTION 1302 APPROPRIATES SUCH MONEYS AS THEREAFTER MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY JUDGMENTS, LESS THAN $100,000 IN ANY CASE, RENDERED BY THE DISTRICT COURTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, WHICH HAVE BECOME FINAL. THE JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF YOUR CLIENT IS IN AN AMOUNT LESS THAN $100,000, WAS RENDERED BY A DISTRICT COURT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND HAS BECOME FINAL. WHILE THE STATUTE BY ITS TERMS REFERS TO JUDGMENTS NOT IN EXCESS OF $100,000 "IN ANY ONE CASE" THE WORDS IN QUOTES ARE VIEWED AS RELATING TO THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT DUE EACH INDIVIDUAL JUDGMENT CREDITOR AND NOT TO THE TOTAL OF ALL INDIVIDUAL JUDGMENTS SET FORTH IN A DOCKETED CASE. THUS, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF MR. WILSON WAS HENCE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY SECTION 1302.

THE INTENT AND EFFECT OF THE PERTINENT LANGUAGE OF 1302 WAS TO CHANGE THE PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENTS, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION, SO AS TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST ON JUDGMENTS, TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF 28 U.S.C. 2411 (B) APPLY, ONLY IN CASES APPEALED BY THE UNITED STATES AND AFFIRMED ON APPEAL. ALSO, THE PROVISO GENERALLY PERMITS PAYMENTS IN SUCH CASES ONLY FROM THE DATE OF FILING OF THE TRANSCRIPT OF JUDGMENT WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THE DATE OF MANDATE OF AFFIRMANCE BY THE APPELLATE COURT. HOWEVER, IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT AT THE TIME THE ORIGINAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF YOUR CLIENT WAS RENDERED THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT THAT JUDGMENTS BE FILED HERE, THERE WAS NO ACTION WE PROPERLY COULD TAKE DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE APPEAL HAVE BEEN SATISFIED, WE HAVE TODAY AUTHORIZED OUR IF IT HAD BEEN FILED. ACCORDINGLY, AND AS EXCEPT FOR SUCH NONFILING, THE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 1302 FOR PAYMENT OF INTEREST DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE APPEAL HAVE BEEN SATISFIED, WE HAVE TODAY AUTHORIZED OUR CLAIMS DIVISION TO ALLOW INTEREST ON THE JUDGMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL COURT JUDGMENT, MAY 8, 1956--- WHICH ASSUMES THE FILING IN THIS OFFICE, ON THE DATE OF ENTRY, OF THE ORIGINAL JUDGMENT--- TO APRIL 17, 1957, THE DATE OF THE MANDATE OF AFFIRMANCE. A SUPPLEMENTAL SETTLEMENT FOR SUCH INTEREST, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE, THE AMOUNT ALLOWED ON THAT ACCOUNT TOGETHER WITH THE AMOUNTS PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED TO BE IN FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT OF THE JUDGMENT, INTEREST, AND COSTS, PAYABLE THEREUNDER. THE CHECKS RETURNED, TOGETHER WITH THE AMOUNT OF THE INTEREST, WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR DELIVERY.

WE BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND, FROM WHAT IS SET OUT ABOVE, THAT NO INTEREST PROPERLY CAN BE ALLOWED FOR ANY PERIOD AFTER THE DATE OF THE MANDATE OF AFFIRMANCE.