B-136600, AUG. 6, 1958

B-136600: Aug 6, 1958

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 14. FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THE DECEDENT MAY HAVE BEEN SURVIVED BY A WIFE WHO. YOU SAY THAT AT THAT TIME SHE WAS MARRIED TO ARTHUR RILEY A NATIVE OF MALONE. MARSH AND NOTHING WAS HEARD FROM HER UNTIL YOU RECEIVED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 28. IN IT SHE SAID "ALICE AND JACK HAVE BEEN MARRIED SEVERAL MONTHS. YOU SAY THIS MARRIAGE WOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE BEFORE THE DEATH OF KEARNS WHICH OCCURRED ON DECEMBER 27. WHILE WE UNDERSTAND IT IS DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO ESTABLISH THE MARITAL STATUS OF MR. WE ARE SURE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT. WE MUST HAVE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF MR. YOUR UNSUPPORTED STATEMENTS AND THOSE OF THE PERSONS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF HIS COMMON LAW MARRIAGE WITH ALICE MONOHAN.

B-136600, AUG. 6, 1958

TO MRS. WILLIAM J. TROY:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1958, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM AS SISTER OF LEROY J. KEARNS FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE HIM AT DATE OF DEATH AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE ORDNANCE CORPS, WATERVLIET ARSENAL, WATERVLIET, NEW YORK. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 14, 1958, FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THE DECEDENT MAY HAVE BEEN SURVIVED BY A WIFE WHO, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE HIS UNPAID COMPENSATION TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHER PERSONS INCLUDING YOU, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, 64 STAT. 395.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FURNISHED YOU INFORMATION THAT LEROY J. KEARNS APPLIED FOR A DISABILITY PENSION ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1949, AND STATED HE HAD A COMMON LAW MARRIAGE WITH ALICE MONOHAN IN JULY 1926. YOU SAY THAT AT THAT TIME SHE WAS MARRIED TO ARTHUR RILEY A NATIVE OF MALONE, NEW YORK, WHO DIED WITHIN THE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS. YOU ALSO SAY THAT ON JULY 23, 1957, ALICE MONOHAN LEFT LATHAM WITH JOHN (KNOWN AS JACK) V. MARSH AND NOTHING WAS HEARD FROM HER UNTIL YOU RECEIVED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 28, 1958, FROM ST. CLOUD, FLORIDA, SAYING SHE HAD JUST HEARD OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED. ON JANUARY 22, 1958, YOU RECEIVED A LETTER FROM MRS. CHARLES MARSH, ST. CLOUD, FLORIDA, AND IN IT SHE SAID "ALICE AND JACK HAVE BEEN MARRIED SEVERAL MONTHS, I KNEW THAT ROY HAD NOT BEEN NOTIFIED OF THE MARRIAGE.' YOU SAY THIS MARRIAGE WOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE BEFORE THE DEATH OF KEARNS WHICH OCCURRED ON DECEMBER 27, 1957.

WHILE WE UNDERSTAND IT IS DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO ESTABLISH THE MARITAL STATUS OF MR. KEARNS AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, WE ARE SURE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT, IN VIEW OF HIS STATEMENT TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION THAT HE HAD A COMMON LAW WIFE AND THE COPY IN OUR FILES OF A VERIFIED TRANSCRIPT FROM THE REGISTER OF DEATHS, SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, WHICH SHOWS "ALICE MOYNIHAN" AS THE WIFE OF THE DECEDENT, WE MUST HAVE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF MR. KEARNS' MARITAL STATUS AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. YOUR UNSUPPORTED STATEMENTS AND THOSE OF THE PERSONS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF HIS COMMON LAW MARRIAGE WITH ALICE MONOHAN.

ACCORDINGLY, NO FURTHER ACTION MAY BE TAKEN UPON YOUR CLAIM AS SISTER UNLESS YOU CAN FURNISH US WITH A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN ALICE MONOHAN AND ARTHUR RILEY WITH A STATEMENT FROM ALICE MONOHAN THAT WHILE SHE WAS LIVING WITH LEROY J. KEARNS SHE WAS LEGALLY MARRIED TO ARTHUR RILEY. ALSO, AN AFFIDAVIT FROM ALICE MONOHAN SHOULD BE FURNISHED STATING THAT SHE WAS NOT THE LEGAL WIDOW OF LEROY J. KEARNS ON THE DATE OF HIS DEATH, DECEMBER 27, 1957, AND THAT THE STATEMENT ON THE DEATH CERTIFICATE, OR ANY OTHER DOCUMENT SHOWING THAT SHE WAS THE WIDOW OF LEROY J. KEARNS IS IN ERROR.

AS AN ALTERNATIVE IT MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO OBTAIN FROM THE AUTHORITIES IN OSCELA COUNTY, FLORIDA, IN WHICH SAINT CLOUD IS LOCATED, A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE OF ALICE MONOHAN TO JOHN MARSH PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF YOUR BROTHER. THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH A CERTIFICATE TO OUR OFFICE MAY WARRANT FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM.