B-140641, OCT. 23, 1959

B-140641: Oct 23, 1959

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MURTICE RANDALL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 4. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT AUTHORIZED SINCE RANDY SILAS RANDALL WAS NOT A LEGITIMATE CHILD OF THE DECEDENT UNDER THE LAWS OF LOUISIANA AND. NELSON SAYS THAT YOUR MINOR SON HAS RECEIVED HIS SHARE OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAY AND THAT HE WILL RECEIVE HIS SHARE OF INDEMNITY COMPENSATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. INDEMNITY COMPENSATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE LAWS GOVERNING THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED AIR FORCE MEMBERS AND SUCH LAWS HAVE NO APPLICATION TO THE SETTLEMENT OF SUCH ACCOUNTS. AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 8.

B-140641, OCT. 23, 1959

TO MRS. MURTICE RANDALL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 4, 1959, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF BY MR. JOHN V. NELSON, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM AS NATURAL TUTRIX OF YOUR MINOR SON, RANDY SILAS RANDALL, FOR ARREARS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THE CASE OF THE LATE JAMES MELVIN HAUVER, WHO DIED OCTOBER 9, 1958, WHILE SERVING AS STAFF SERGEANT, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 8, 1959, OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT AUTHORIZED SINCE RANDY SILAS RANDALL WAS NOT A LEGITIMATE CHILD OF THE DECEDENT UNDER THE LAWS OF LOUISIANA AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT COME WITHIN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE AS SET FORTH IN 10 U.S.C. SECTION 2771, GOVERNING THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DIE AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1955. IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1959, MR. NELSON SAYS THAT YOUR MINOR SON HAS RECEIVED HIS SHARE OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAY AND THAT HE WILL RECEIVE HIS SHARE OF INDEMNITY COMPENSATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE THE DECEDENT ADMITTED PARENTHOOD OF YOUR MINOR CHILD, MR. NELSON URGES THAT YOUR CLAIM BE ALLOWED.

PAYMENTS OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY, INDEMNITY COMPENSATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE LAWS GOVERNING THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED AIR FORCE MEMBERS AND SUCH LAWS HAVE NO APPLICATION TO THE SETTLEMENT OF SUCH ACCOUNTS. AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 8, 1959, THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF AIR FORCE MEMBERS WHO DIED AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1955, IS GOVERNED BY 10 U.S.C. SECTION 2771, AND THAT LAW CONSTITUTES OUR SOLE AUTHORITY FOR DISPOSING OF AMOUNTS DUE SUCH PERSONNEL. THE CITED STATUTE PROVIDES, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE TO THE SURVIVING SPOUSE, CHILDREN, PARENTS, ETC. OF THE DECEASED MEMBER IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE THEREIN SET FORTH. WHILE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SURVIVING SPOUSE, CHILDREN OF THE DECEDENT ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE, THE TERMS USED IN THE STATUTE HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE LEGAL HEIRS UNDER STATE STATUTES OF DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION.

INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE AIR FORCE SHOWS THAT WHEN YOUR MINOR CHILD WAS BORN YOU WERE MARRIED TO MR. RANDALL, WHO WAS NAMED IN THE CHILD'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE AS THE FATHER, AND THAT YOU WERE NEVER MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT. IN THAT SITUATION THE CHILD LEGALLY IS ILLEGITIMATE AND ARTICLE 181 OF THE LOUISIANA CIVIL CODE DIVIDES ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN INTO TWO CLASSES. THE SECOND CLASS ARE CHILDREN BORN TO PARENTS WHO, AS IN YOUR CASE, COULD NOT CONTRACT A LEGAL MARRIAGE AND ARTICLE 920 OF THE CODE DECLARES THAT SUCH CHILDREN ARE INCAPABLE OF INHERITING. SINCE YOUR CHILD COMES WITHIN THIS SECOND CLASS OF CHILDREN HE IS NOT A LEGAL HEIR OF THE DECEDENT AND THEREFORE IS NOT HIS CHILD FOR PURPOSES OF 10 U.S.C. SECTION 2771.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 8, 1959, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 30, 1959, MRS. DOROTHY BAKER, 1114 LEGGETT STREET, ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA, THE LEGAL GUARDIAN OF SANDRA LYNN HAUVER,MINOR CHILD OF THE DECEDENT, WAS ALLOWED THE SUM OF $381.33, REPRESENTING ARREARS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THIS CASE. THIS SETTLEMENT WAS MADE IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH 10 U.S.C. SECTION 2771 AND THE UNITED STATES HAS NO FURTHER LIABILITY FOR ARREARS OF PAY.