B-145720, JUN. 13, 1961

B-145720: Jun 13, 1961

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR DELAY IN FILING YOUR CLAIM NULLIFIED THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RECOURSE AGAINST THE INDORSERS UNDER THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 6. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22. WHICH BARS CLAIMS ON GOVERNMENT CHECKS WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARE NOT PRESENTED HERE OR TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK. FAILS TO SHOW THAT THE INVOLVED CHECK WAS NOT MAILED TO THE ADDRESS INDICATED BY YOU FOR RECEIPT OF SUCH MATTERS. THE POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEGOTIATED THE CHECK AND LATER FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. THE CHECK MAY HAVE BEEN INDORSED BY A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY.

B-145720, JUN. 13, 1961

TO MR. BILLY BELL:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF CHECK NO. 26,850,320, DATED APRIL 9, 1952, IN THE AMOUNT OF $90 AND DRAWN TO YOUR ORDER. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR DELAY IN FILING YOUR CLAIM NULLIFIED THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RECOURSE AGAINST THE INDORSERS UNDER THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 6, 1946,31 U.S.C. 129. THIS ACT LIMITS THE TIME THAT THE UNITED STATES MAY INSTITUTE COURT PROCEEDINGS ON NEGOTIATED CHECKS TO SIX YEARS AFTER THE PRESENTATION TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES OR OTHER DRAWEE OF SUCH CHECKS, UNLESS EITHER A CLAIM HAS BEEN PROPERLY FILED ON SUCH CHECKS OR OTHER NOTICE OF IMPROPER OR FRAUDULENT NEGOTIATION OR LOSS HAS BEEN GIVEN DURING THAT SIX- YEAR PERIOD.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU FIRST FILED A CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF THE INVOLVED CHECK ON JUNE 6, 1960, WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. SUBSEQUENTLY, ON JUNE 20, 1960, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1926, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 122, WHICH BARS CLAIMS ON GOVERNMENT CHECKS WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARE NOT PRESENTED HERE OR TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK. OUR OFFICE CONCURRED IN THIS DISALLOWANCE BY SETTLEMENT ISSUED TO YOU ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1960, FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, AND ADVISED YOU THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' CIVIL RELIEF ACT WHICH TOLLS THE RUNNING OF BARRING ACTS, SUCH AS 31 U.S.C. 122, FOR THE PERIOD OF POTENTIAL CLAIMANT'S MILITARY SERVICE YOUR UNREASONABLE DELAY PRECLUDED ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE MERE SUSPENSION OR TOLLING OF A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DOES NOT PERFECT AN OTHERWISE UNSUPPORTED CLAIM. YOUR CORRESPONDENCE, AS WELL AS THE RECORD BEFORE US, FAILS TO SHOW THAT THE INVOLVED CHECK WAS NOT MAILED TO THE ADDRESS INDICATED BY YOU FOR RECEIPT OF SUCH MATTERS. ALSO IN VIEW OF THE LAPSE OF TIME, THE POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEGOTIATED THE CHECK AND LATER FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. OR, THE CHECK MAY HAVE BEEN INDORSED BY A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY, PERHAPS WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT. IN ANY EVENT YOU OFFER NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE POSSIBILITY OF FORGERY. THIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH YOUR CLAIM TO THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK, SINCE OUR JURISDICTION IS CONFINED TO REVIEW OF THE WRITTEN RECORD IN THE MATTER, AND OUR DECISIONS ARE BASED UPON THE LAW APPLICABLE THERETO.

WE FIND NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT THE INVOLVED CHECK WAS IMPROPERLY POSTED, OR THAT IT WAS CASHED ON A FORGED INDORSEMENT.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE LOSS OCCASIONED BY YOUR DELAY SHOULD BE BORNE BY YOU RATHER THAN BY THE UNITED STATES, THERE APPEARING TO BE FOR APPLICATION THE EQUITABLE PRINCIPLE THAT, AS BETWEEN TWO INNOCENT PARTIES, HE WHOSE NEGLIGENCE CAUSED THE LOSS SHOULD BE MADE TO BEAR IT.

THEREFORE, OUR SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.