B-150129, NOV. 15, 1962

B-150129: Nov 15, 1962

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WERE VALUED AT $250. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE WOUNDED IN ACTION NEAR ZITES. WHILE SERVING AS A PRIVATE FIRST CLASS WITH THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THAT YOU WERE EVACUATED TO THE 240TH GENERAL HOSPITAL IN FRANCE. THAT YOU RECEIVED THE MARKS IN QUESTION AS PAY AT ABOUT THE TIME YOU WERE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL ON MARCH 15. YOU WERE PAID IN ALLIED MARKS BECAUSE IT WAS INTENDED THAT YOU WERE TO RETURN TO GERMANY AND THIS CURRENCY WAS THE LEGAL TENDER FOR USE BY THE ALLIED FORCES IN GERMANY. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR ORDERS WERE CHANGED AND YOU WERE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE USING THE MARKS. AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES YOU WERE UNABLE TO EXCHANGE THEM BECAUSE.

B-150129, NOV. 15, 1962

MR. FOREST E. WILLIAMS:

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1962, MR. MICHAEL E. TANCEY, ATTORNEY AT LAW, REQUESTED THAT WE CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR REDEMPTION OF 25 ALLIED MILITARY MARKS, WHICH, WHEN ACQUIRED BY YOU, WERE VALUED AT $250.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE WOUNDED IN ACTION NEAR ZITES, GERMANY, ON APRIL 13, 1945, WHILE SERVING AS A PRIVATE FIRST CLASS WITH THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THAT YOU WERE EVACUATED TO THE 240TH GENERAL HOSPITAL IN FRANCE. YOU INDICATE, IN YOUR AFFIDAVIT OF AUGUST 6, 1962, THAT YOU RECEIVED THE MARKS IN QUESTION AS PAY AT ABOUT THE TIME YOU WERE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL ON MARCH 15, 1946. YOU WERE PAID IN ALLIED MARKS BECAUSE IT WAS INTENDED THAT YOU WERE TO RETURN TO GERMANY AND THIS CURRENCY WAS THE LEGAL TENDER FOR USE BY THE ALLIED FORCES IN GERMANY. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT YOUR ORDERS WERE CHANGED AND YOU WERE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE USING THE MARKS. AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES YOU WERE UNABLE TO EXCHANGE THEM BECAUSE, AS YOU SAY, BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS "WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE" THAT CURRENCY.

MR. TANCEY REQUESTS THAT WE CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM AS A "MERITORIOUS CLAIM" UNDER 31 U.S.C. 236, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM OR DEMAND IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, HE SHALL SUBMIT THE SAME TO THE CONGRESS BY A SPECIAL REPORT CONTAINING THE MATERIAL FACTS AND HIS RECOMMENDATION THEREON.'

YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF OUR OFFICE BY LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28, 1962, FROM THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER WHICH ENCLOSED CORRESPONDENCE FROM MR. TANCEY ON YOUR BEHALF. ASSUMING THAT YOUR CLAIM IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR PRESENTATION TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE ABOVE- QUOTED ACT, THE AUTHORITY OF OUR OFFICE TO CONSIDER CLAIMS THEREUNDER SUBSEQUENTLY HAS BEEN LIMITED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A AND 237, TO THOSE CLAIMS WHICH ARE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED THEREIN. THIS LATTER ACT PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/1) EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND (EXCEPT A CLAIM OR DEMAND BY ANY STATE, TERRITORY, POSSESSION OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER SECTION 71 AND 236 OF THIS TITLE SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY, SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED:PROVIDED, THAT WHEN A CLAIM OF ANY PERSON SERVING IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES ACCRUES IN TIME OF WAR, OR WHEN WAR INTERVENES WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER ITS ACCRUAL, SUCH CLAIM MAY BE PRESENTED WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER PEACE IS ESTABLISHED.'

SINCE YOUR CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO AND WAS NOT PRESENTED WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER PEACE WAS ESTABLISHED, IT FOLLOWS THAT, AS A MATTER OF LAW AND ASIDE FROM ANY OTHER ..END :