B-135872, JUN. 3, 1958

B-135872: Jun 3, 1958

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VDA DE PERMITO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE WAR CLAIM COMMISSION (NOW THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION) IS THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO BENEFITS PAYABLE UNDER THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948. THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN ALLOWING OR DENYING ANY CLAIM UNDER THIS ACT IS MADE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE PARTIES AS TO ALL QUESTIONS OF LAW AND FACT AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHEREIN THE FINALITY AND CONCLUSIVENESS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION ON AWARD OR DENIAL OF BENEFITS UNDER A SIMILAR PROVISION WAS UPHELD. SINCE THE COMMISSION HAS CONSIDERED YOUR CLAIM AND HAS DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS IN QUESTION.

B-135872, JUN. 3, 1958

TO MRS. MILAGROS J. VDA DE PERMITO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1958, REQUESTING CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 6 (D) OF THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C. APP. 2005. YOUR LETTER ALSO REQUESTS, IN EFFECT, A REVIEW OF THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES RESULTING FROM ERRONEOUS PAYMENT TO YOU OF THE BENEFITS PROVIDED UNDER SECTION 6 (D) OF THE SAME STATUTE.

RESPECTING YOUR PRESENT CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 6 (D) OF THE STATUTE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE WAR CLAIM COMMISSION (NOW THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION) IS THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO BENEFITS PAYABLE UNDER THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1948, 62 STAT. 1246, 50 U.S.C. APP. 2010, THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN ALLOWING OR DENYING ANY CLAIM UNDER THIS ACT IS MADE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE PARTIES AS TO ALL QUESTIONS OF LAW AND FACT AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. COMPARE LYNCH V. UNITED STATES, 292 U.S. 571, 587; VAN HORNE V. HINES, 122 F.2D 207, CERTIORARI DENIED 314 U.S. 689, REHEARING DENIED 314 U.S. 717; UNITED STATES V. MROCH, 88 F.2D 888, 890, WHEREIN THE FINALITY AND CONCLUSIVENESS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION ON AWARD OR DENIAL OF BENEFITS UNDER A SIMILAR PROVISION WAS UPHELD. SINCE THE COMMISSION HAS CONSIDERED YOUR CLAIM AND HAS DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS IN QUESTION, WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM.

THE PAYMENT OF BENEFITS ALREADY RECEIVED BY YOU UNDER SECTION 6 (B) OF THE STATUTE WAS DETERMINED TO BE ERRONEOUS BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION WHEN, UPON REVIEW OF THAT AWARD IS CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR FURTHER BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 6 (D), IT WAS ESTABLISHED, THROUGH OFFICIAL RECORDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE COMMISSION THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THAT THE LATE MR. ILDEFONSO PERMITO WAS NOT HELD AS A PRISONER OF WAR AS A RESULT OF HIS SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES DURING WORLD WAR II WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 6 OF THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948, AS AMENDED. THEREFORE, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE PAYMENTS PREVIOUSLY MADE IN THE AMOUNT OF $309 CONSTITUTED AS INDEBTEDNESS DUE THE UNITED STATES AND THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE FOR COLLECTION.

THE FACT THAT A PERSON MAY HAVE INNOCENTLY RECEIVED ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS DOES NOT RELIEVE HIM OF LIABILITY, SINCE IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT PERSONS RECEIVING MONEY ERRONEOUSLY PAID BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR OFFICIAL ACQUIRE NO RIGHT THERETO AND THE COURTS CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT SUCH PERSONS ARE BOUND IN EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE TO MAKE RESTITUTION. SEE BARNES, ET AL. V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 22 C.CLS. 366, AND THE CASES COLLECTED AND DISCUSSED IN UNITED STATES V. SUTTON CHEMICAL COMPANY, 11 F.2D 24, AND IN 63 A.L.R. 1346.

IN VIEW OF THE FINALITY OF THE COMMISSION'S DETERMINATION, WE ARE WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO CONSIDER THE AFFIDAVITS SUBMITTED BY YOU REGARDING THE DETENTION STATUS OF MR. PERMITO DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION HAVING MADE A CONCLUSIVE DETERMINATION THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $283.25, AND THAT MR. ORLANDO PERMITO IS INDEBTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $25.75, THIS OFFICE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 71, MUST INSIST UPON PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE AMOUNTS DUE BE REMITTED TO OUR OFFICE. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PAY THE AMOUNTS IN FULL IN ONE INSTALLMENT, YOU SHOULD SUBMIT AN INITIAL PAYMENT TOGETHER WITH A DEFINITE PLAN FOR PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS OVER A REASONABLE LENGTH OF TIME. EACH PAYMENT SHOULD BE IN THE FORM OF A BANK DRAFT, CHECK OR POSTAL MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" AND FORWARDED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., REFERRING TO CLAIM NO. Z-1768047.