B-145392, APR. 4, 1961

B-145392: Apr 4, 1961

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SUGGESTS THAT IN OUR CONSIDERATION AND DISALLOWANCE OF THIS CLAIM WE DID NOT GIVE EFFECT TO THE LAWS OF NEW JERSEY WHICH YOU SAY WAS THE DOMICILE OF THE DECEDENT AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. SUCH CHILD SHALL BE TREATED THE SAME AS IF HE WERE THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF HIS MOTHER. SUCH CHILD SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN MADE THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF BOTH OF HIS PARENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION TO. VICKERS' CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

B-145392, APR. 4, 1961

TO MR. IRA J. KATCHEN:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 7, 1961, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF YOUR CLIENT, MARY ALICE VICKERS, AS GUARDIAN OF INFANT JAMES GABRIEL VICKERS, "ALSO KNOWN AS JAMES GABRIEL BROWN," FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE INFANT'S ALLEGED FATHER, GABRIEL B. BROWN, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, AT THE DATE OF DEATH, SUGGESTS THAT IN OUR CONSIDERATION AND DISALLOWANCE OF THIS CLAIM WE DID NOT GIVE EFFECT TO THE LAWS OF NEW JERSEY WHICH YOU SAY WAS THE DOMICILE OF THE DECEDENT AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

SECTION 4-7 OF TITLE 3A, NEW JERSEY STATUTES, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR THE PURPOSE OF DECENT AND DISTRIBUTION UNDER THIS CHAPTER TO, THROUGH AND FROM AN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD, SUCH CHILD SHALL BE TREATED THE SAME AS IF HE WERE THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF HIS MOTHER, SO THAT HE AND HIS ISSUE SHALL INHERIT AND TAKE FROM HIS MOTHER AND FROM HIS MATERNAL KINDRED, INCLUDING HIS MATERNAL ANCESTORS, DESCENDANTS AND COLLATERALS; AND THEY, FROM HIM AND HIS ISSUE. WHEN PARENTS OF AN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD SHALL MARRY SUBSEQUENT TO HIS BIRTH AND RECOGNIZE AND TREAT HIM AS THEIR CHILD, SUCH CHILD SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN MADE THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF BOTH OF HIS PARENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION TO, THROUGH AND FROM HIM UNDER THIS CHAPTER.'

SINCE THE RECORD DOES NOT SHOW THAT THE DECEDENT (ALLEGED FATHER) EVER MARRIED THE MOTHER OF THE INFANT CLAIMANT, THE LATTER NEVER BECAME THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF BOTH OF HIS PARENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DECENT AND DISTRIBUTION; AND THEREFORE SUCH CHILD CAN INHERIT ONLY FROM HIS MOTHER UNDER THE STATUTE.

UPON REVIEW OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 2, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED MRS. VICKERS' CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.