B-138901, MAY 26, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 785

B-138901: May 26, 1959

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INFORMED THE CLERKS OF THE DISTRICT COURTS FOR ALASKA THAT IT IS THE VIEW OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE THAT ALL NATURALIZATION FEES COLLECTED IN THE STATE OF ALASKA AFTER JANUARY 3. FEES COLLECTED FOR NATURALIZATION IN ALASKA HAVE BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR UNDER 8 U.S.C. 1455 (C) AND (D). 000 ARE PAID TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. YOU ADVISE THAT AUTHORITY FOR THIS ACTION WAS BASED ON 8 U.S.C. 1455 (D) WHICH EXCEPTED CLERKS IN ALASKA FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS SHOULD ACCOUNT FOR AND PAY NATURALIZATION FEES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA WAS ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16. IS QUALIFIED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 18 OF THE STATEHOOD ACT.

B-138901, MAY 26, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 785

ALASKA - STATEHOOD - COURTS - NATURALIZATION FEES NATURALIZATION FEES COLLECTED BY THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA AFTER JANUARY 3, 1959--- THE DATE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION ESTABLISHING THE STATE OF ALASKA--- SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR PURSUANT TO THE LAWS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT UNTIL THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA CEASES TO FUNCTION AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN SECTION 18 OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT, 72 STAT. 350.

TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, MAY 26, 1959:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 4, 1959, REQUESTS A DECISION CONCERNING THE ACCOUNTING TO BE MADE OF MONEYS COLLECTED AS FEES IN NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS BY THE " CLERKS OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS IN ALASKA.'

IT APPEARS THAT BY MEMORANDUM DATED JANUARY 27, 1959, THE ACTING DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, INFORMED THE CLERKS OF THE DISTRICT COURTS FOR ALASKA THAT IT IS THE VIEW OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE THAT ALL NATURALIZATION FEES COLLECTED IN THE STATE OF ALASKA AFTER JANUARY 3, 1959,"MUST BE REMITTED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL" PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1958, 72 STAT. 351, 8 U.S.C. 1455 (D). YOU SAY THAT, HERETOFORE, FEES COLLECTED FOR NATURALIZATION IN ALASKA HAVE BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR UNDER 8 U.S.C. 1455 (C) AND (D), NAMELY, ONE HALF OF THE FIRST $6,000 IN NATURALIZATION FEES COLLECTED IN A FISCAL YEAR AND ALL SUCH FEES IN EXCESS OF $6,000 ARE PAID TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE OTHER PORTION OF THE FEES COLLECTED HAS BEEN RETAINED BY THE CLERKS IN FUND "C.' YOU ADVISE THAT AUTHORITY FOR THIS ACTION WAS BASED ON 8 U.S.C. 1455 (D) WHICH EXCEPTED CLERKS IN ALASKA FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS SHOULD ACCOUNT FOR AND PAY NATURALIZATION FEES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA WAS ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1900, 31 STAT. 321, 322, AS AMENDED, 48 U.S.C. 101. THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT, PUBLIC LAW 85-508, APPROVED JULY 7, 1958, 72 STAT. 339, 48 U.SC. PREC. 21 NOTE, IN EFFECT, TERMINATES THE JURISDICTION OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA ESTABLISHED BY THE 1900 ACT AND SECTION 12 OF THE 1958 ACT, 28 U.S.C. 81 A, ESTABLISHES A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR ALASKA. THIS TERMINATION OF JURISDICTION, HOWEVER, IS QUALIFIED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 18 OF THE STATEHOOD ACT, 72 STAT. 350.

SECTION 1455 OF TITLE 8, U.S.C. IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

(C) THE CLERK OF ANY NATURALIZATION COURT SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION 1421 OF THIS TITLE (EXCEPT THE COURTS SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (D) OF THIS SECTION) SHALL ACCOUNT FOR AND PAY OVER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ONE-HALF OF ALL FEES UP TO THE SUM OF $6,000, AND ALL FEES IN EXCESS OF $6,000, COLLECTED BY ANY SUCH CLERK IN NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS IN ANY FISCAL YEAR.

(D) THE CLERK OF ANY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT (EXCEPT IN ALASKA AND IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES AND IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM) SHALL ACCOUNT FOR AND PAY OVER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ALL FEES COLLECTED BY ANY SUCH CLERK IN NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE CLERK OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES AND OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF GUAM SHALL REPORT BUT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PAY OVER THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THE FEES COLLECTED BY ANY SUCH CLERK IN NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS.

SECTION 26 OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT (72 STAT. 351) AMENDED SECTION 1455 (D) OF TITLE 8 BY DELETING THE WORDS "IN ALASKA AND.' THUS ASSUMING, BUT NOT DECIDING, THAT THE DISTRICT COURT WHICH FUNCTIONED IN ALASKA PRIOR TO STATEHOOD AND WHICH CONTINUES TO FUNCTION THERE IS A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 1455 (D), IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UNDER THAT SECTION, AS NOW WORDED, THE CLERKS OF THAT COURT MUST PAY OVER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ALL FEES COLLECTED IN NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS. HOWEVER, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT SECTION 26 OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT, WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH SECTON 18 OF THAT ACT, CONTEMPLATES A CHANGE IN THE ACCOUNTING AND PAYMENT OF NATURALIZATION FEES ONLY WHEN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 12 OF THAT ACT IS, IN FACT, FUNCTIONING, AND THE JURISDICTION OF THE DISTRICT COURT CREATED BY THE 1900 ACT IS TERMINATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 18 OF THE 1958 ACT.

THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRECEDING SECTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TERMINATION OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA, THE CONTINUATION OF SUITS, THE SUCCESSION OF COURTS, AND THE SATISFACTION OF RIGHTS OF LITIGANTS IN SUITS BEFORE SUCH COURTS, SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL THREE YEARS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, UNLESS THE PRESIDENT, BY EXECUTIVE ORDER, SHALL SOONER PROCLAIM THAT THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA, ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, IS PREPARED TO ASSUME THE FUNCTIONS IMPOSED UPON IT. DURING SUCH PERIOD OF THREE YEARS OR UNTIL SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDER IS ISSUED, THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA SHALL CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AS HERETOFORE. THE TENURE OF THE JUDGES, THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS, MARSHALS, AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA SHALL TERMINATE AT SUCH TIME AS THAT COURT SHALL CEASE TO FUNCTION AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT ESTABLISHED BY THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT APPARENTLY IS NOT, AS YET, FUNCTIONING AND THERE CONTINUES TO FUNCTION, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 18, THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA CREATED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1900. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SECTION 18 DISCLOSES THE FOLLOWING--- PAGE 23, HOUSE REPORT NO. 624, 85TH CONGRESS, ST SESSION, ON H.R. 7999, WHICH BECAME THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1958:

SECTION 18 PROVIDES THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PRECEDING SECTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TERMINATION OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA AND RELATED MATTERS SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL 3 YEARS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT UNLESS THE PRESIDENT SHOULD SOONER PROCLAIM THAT THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR ALASKA IS PREPARED TO ASSUME THE FUNCTIONS IMPOSED UPON IT. DURING THIS INTERIM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA SHALL PERFORM THE NECESSARY FUNCTIONS. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE CITED HOUSE REPORT (PAGE 23) ALSO INDICATES THAT SECTIONS 22 THROUGH 26 OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT, 8 U.S.C. 1101 (A) (36), 1455 (D), ARE MERELY TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION ACT. FURTHERMORE, SECTION 18 OF THE ALASKA STATEHOOD ACT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT DURING THE 3-YEAR PERIOD REFERRED TO THEREIN, OR UNTIL THE PRESIDENT (WITHIN THE 3-YEAR PERIOD) PROCLAIMS THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT IS READY TO FUNCTION, THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA "SHALL CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AS HERETOFORE.' SINCE HERETOFORE, PURSUANT TO LAW, NATURALIZATION FEES COLLECTED BY THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA HAVE BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR BY PAYING OVER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ONE-HALF OF ALL FEES UP TO $6,000 AND ALL FEES IN EXCESS OF $6,000 COLLECTED IN A FISCAL YEAR (THE RETAINED PORTION BEING PLACED IN FUND "C"), IT IS OUR VIEW THAT SUCH FEES SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE SAME MANNER UNTIL THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA CEASES TO FUNCTION AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 18. THAT IS, UNTIL THE PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS THAT THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 12 IS READY TO ASSUME THE FUNCTIONS IMPOSED ON IT OR UNTIL THE 3 YEARS FIXED BY SECTION 18 ELAPSE, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER.