B-144685, FEB. 17, 1961

B-144685: Feb 17, 1961

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HUDGINS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7. YOUR RANK AT THAT TIME WAS CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MOVED IN THREE SHIPMENTS. WAS MADE BY VANPAC CARRIERS. WAS DESCRIBED AS 1 LOT HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE SECOND SHIPMENT WAS FROM THE SAME PLACE TO EAST HUNTSVILLE. IT WAS BILLED AS 10 BOXES PERSONAL EFFECTS. THE THIRD SHIPMENT WAS FROM FORT WORTH. THE SETTLEMENT STATED THAT UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS YOU WERE ENTILED TO SHIP 9. THAT SINCE THE FIRST SHIPMENT APPARENTLY WAS MADE BY SEA-VAN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN COMPUTING EXCESS COST ALLOWED FIVE PERCENT FOR PACKING. 975 POUNDS YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF SHIPPING EXCESS WEIGHT ON THAT SHIPMENT AND THE ENTIRE COST INCURRED IN MAKING THE SECOND AND THIRD SHIPMENTS.

B-144685, FEB. 17, 1961

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES W. HUDGINS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7, 1960, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 30, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $678.82, REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU AS THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN MAY AND JUNE 1959, INCIDENT TO ARMY ORDERS OF MAY 20, 1959, TRANSFERRING YOU FROM A STATION IN FRANCE TO REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA. YOUR RANK AT THAT TIME WAS CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER, W-4.

YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MOVED IN THREE SHIPMENTS. THE FIRST SHIPMENT, FROM YOUR RESIDENCE NEAR ORLEANS, FRANCE, TO REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, WAS MADE BY VANPAC CARRIERS, INCORPORATED, AND WAS DESCRIBED AS 1 LOT HOUSEHOLD GOODS, GROSS WEIGHT 12,472 POUNDS, TARE 1,910 POUNDS, NET 10,562 POUNDS. THE SECOND SHIPMENT WAS FROM THE SAME PLACE TO EAST HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, BY EXPRESS. IT WAS BILLED AS 10 BOXES PERSONAL EFFECTS, ACTUAL WEIGHT 830 POUNDS. THE THIRD SHIPMENT WAS FROM FORT WORTH, TEXAS, TO EAST HUNTSVILLE BY RAIL IN FOUR WOODEN BOXES.

THE SETTLEMENT STATED THAT UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS YOU WERE ENTILED TO SHIP 9,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WITH A FIVE PERCENT INCREASE TO COVER PACKING MATERIAL FOR SHIPMENT BY VAN; THAT SINCE THE FIRST SHIPMENT APPARENTLY WAS MADE BY SEA-VAN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN COMPUTING EXCESS COST ALLOWED FIVE PERCENT FOR PACKING, THUS INCREASING YOUR ALLOWANCE TO 9,975 POUNDS; AND THAT SINCE THE WEIGHT OF THE FIRST SHIPMENT EXCEEDED 9,975 POUNDS YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF SHIPPING EXCESS WEIGHT ON THAT SHIPMENT AND THE ENTIRE COST INCURRED IN MAKING THE SECOND AND THIRD SHIPMENTS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (FIRST SHIPMENT) WERE NOT SHIPPED BY VAN IN THE SENSE OF BEING PLACED IN A VAN WITH THE USUAL BLANKETS AND PADDING MATERIAL BUT WERE PACKED IN HEAVY WOODEN BOXES; THAT SMALL ITEMS WERE PACKED IN ABOUT 40 OR 50 WOODEN BOXES WHICH IN TURN WERE PLACED IN LARGE CRATES, AND THAT YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED 40 PERCENT FOR PACKING AND CRATING.

PARAGRAPH 8001-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 79, APRIL 1, 1959, PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCES SET FORTH FOR SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE INTENDED TO REPRESENT ACTUAL NET WEIGHTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; THAT WHEN ANY PORTION OF THE MOVEMENT IS BY WATER OR RAIL THE ALLOWANCE IS INCREASED 40 PERCENT TO COVER THE WEIGHT OF MATERIALS USED IN PACKING AND CRATING, AND THAT WHEN THE SHIPMENT IS FORWARDED BY VAN UNPACKED AND UNCRATED THE ALLOWANCE IS INCREASED BY FIVE PERCENT TO COVER THE WEIGHT OF THE MATERIALS USED FOR PACKING FOR VAN SHIPMENT. PARAGRAPH 8001-2 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE PACKED IN ESPECIALLY DESIGNED CONTAINERS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES, LIFT VANS OR TRANSPORTERS, THE GROSS WEIGHT AND THE TARE WEIGHT WILL BE SHOWN AND TO ALLOW FOR THE WEIGHT OF THE PACKING MATERIAL WITHIN THE CONTAINER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GROSS WEIGHT AND THE TARE WEIGHT WILL BE REDUCED BY 15 PERCENT AND THE REMAINING WEIGHT WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE OWNER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.

SINCE IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE FIRST SHIPMENT WAS PACKED IN A SPECIAL CONTAINER HAVING GROSS AND TARE WEIGHTS, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A 15 PERCENT REDUCTION IN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE WEIGHTS TO ALLOW FOR THE PACKING. ON THAT BASIS THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS 8,978 POUNDS (10,562 LESS 1,584), OR 522 POUNDS LESS THAN YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 9,500 POUNDS. THUS, YOU ARE NOT CHARGEABLE WITH ANY EXCESS COST ON THAT SHIPMENT. SINCE THE SECOND SHIPMENT WAS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT BY WATER AND ONLY A PACKED WEIGHT IS SHOWN, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE YOUR AVAILABLE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE INCREASED TO 731 POUNDS (522 PLUS 40 PERCENT) AND ARE CHARGEABLE WITH EXCESS COST ON 99 POUNDS (830 LESS 731). SINCE YOUR WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WAS EXHAUSTED BY THE FIRST TWO SHIPMENTS THE ENTIRE COST OF THE THIRD SHIPMENT WAS PROPERLY CHARGED TO YOU.

INASMUCH AS THE AMOUNT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO YOU AS EXCESS COST IS LESS THAN THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU, A SETTLEMENT FOR THE AMOUNT DUE ON THE BASIS INDICATED ABOVE WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE.

RELATIVE TO YOUR QUESTION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY BE ABLE TO OBTAIN FURTHER ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE FEDERAL COURTS, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE ON CLAIMS PRESENTED HERE IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. INDEPENDENTLY OF THE ACTIONS OF THIS OFFICE, HOWEVER, THE COURTS HAVE JURISDICTION TO CONSIDER AND DETERMINE CERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. SEE 28 U.S.C. 1346 (A) (2), 1491 AND 2501.