B-154988, AUG. 21, 1964

B-154988: Aug 21, 1964

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THE JUDGMENT IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $21. 200 WHICH SUM WAS AWARDED THE OWNERS OF CERTAIN LAND ACQUIRED THROUGH CONDEMNATION BY THE UNITED STATES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE RECREATIONAL AREA. IF THE PRICE WAS DEEMED TO BE REASONABLE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PRIVATE LAND HERE INVOLVED WAS ACQUIRED UPON THE FILING OF A DECLARATION OF TAKING ON OCTOBER 21. WAS DEPOSITED INTO THE REGISTRY OF THE COURT AS ESTIMATED JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE TAKING. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR STATES THAT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DID NOT RECEIVE AN APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 1965 FOR GENERAL LAND ACQUISITION PURPOSES AND THE CARRYOVER FUNDS FROM FISCAL YEAR 1964 ARE ALL SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED FOR OTHER AUTHORIZED PROGRAM ITEMS.

B-154988, AUG. 21, 1964

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

BY LETTER OF JULY 30, 1964, YOUR ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, D. OTIS BEASLEY, FORWARDED TO US FOR PAYMENT A COPY OF A DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT RENDERED BY THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA, ELIZABETH CITY DIVISION, ON JULY 18, 1964, IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. CERTAIN LANDS, ETC.

THE JUDGMENT IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $21,200 WHICH SUM WAS AWARDED THE OWNERS OF CERTAIN LAND ACQUIRED THROUGH CONDEMNATION BY THE UNITED STATES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE RECREATIONAL AREA, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 17, 1937, 50 STAT. 669, AS AMENDED, 16 U.S.C. 459, ET SEQ. SECTION 1 OF THAT ACT, 16 U.S.C. 459, PROVIDES IN PART THAT THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT PURCHASE BY APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC MONEYS ANY LANDS WITHIN THE PARK AREA BUT RATHER THAT SUCH LANDS SHALL BE SECURED BY THE UNITED STATES ONLY BY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE DONATION. SECTION 2 OF THE ACT PERMITTED THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO ACQUIRE LAND UNDER ANY DONATED FUNDS BY PURCHASE, IF THE PRICE WAS DEEMED TO BE REASONABLE, OTHERWISE BY CONDEMNATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1888, 25 STAT. 357, 40 U.S.C. 257. SUBSEQUENTLY, BY ACT OF AUGUST 6, 1956, 70 STAT. 1066, 16 U.S.C. 459A-6 THROUGH 459A-8, THE CONGRESS PROVIDED THAT ALL DONATED FUNDS WOULD THEREAFTER BE MATCHED BY ANY FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LANDS WITHIN AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM, SUBJECT, HOWEVER, TO AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $250,000.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PRIVATE LAND HERE INVOLVED WAS ACQUIRED UPON THE FILING OF A DECLARATION OF TAKING ON OCTOBER 21, 1955, AND THAT THE SUM OF $3,800, DERIVED FROM DONATIONS, WAS DEPOSITED INTO THE REGISTRY OF THE COURT AS ESTIMATED JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE TAKING. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR STATES THAT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DID NOT RECEIVE AN APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 1965 FOR GENERAL LAND ACQUISITION PURPOSES AND THE CARRYOVER FUNDS FROM FISCAL YEAR 1964 ARE ALL SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED FOR OTHER AUTHORIZED PROGRAM ITEMS. CONSEQUENTLY, THE MATTER HAS BEEN FORWARDED HERE WITH THE REQUEST THAT PAYMENT BE MADE FROM THE PERMANENT INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 1302 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957, APPROVED JULY 27, 1956, 70 STAT. 694, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 724A.

SECTION 1302 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957, AS AMENDED, APPROPRIATES SUCH FUNDS AS ARE NEEDED TO PAY JUDGMENTS AWARDED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FOR WHICH PAYMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED. IN VIEW OF SUCH SPECIFIC LANGUAGE THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR ARE NOT PAYABLE FROM THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION ESTABLISHED BY 31 U.S.C. 724A. THUS, FOR EXAMPLE, JUDGMENTS RELATING TO UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT LIFE INSURANCE ARE PAYABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 38 U.S.C. 755 AND THOSE RELATING TO NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE ARE PAYABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 38 U.S.C. 719 (A), 720 AND 784.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO ACQUIRE LAND IN THE CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE RECREATIONAL AREA EITHER BY PURCHASE OR BY CONDEMNATION AND APPROPRIATED FUNDS, NOT TO EXCEED $250,000 WERE MADE EXPRESSLY AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PURPOSE. IN THIS CONNECTION WE UNDERSTAND THAT FINAL JUDGMENTS IN SIMILAR CASES YET PENDING MAY INVOLVE A TOTAL DEFICIENCY IN THE AMOUNT OF APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION DOLLARS.

WHILE THE APPROPRIATION FOR GENERAL LAND ACQUISITION PURPOSES IS NOT EXPRESSLY AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS, IT IS, AS STATED ABOVE, SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR ACQUISITION OF LAND BY PURCHASE OR BY CONDEMNATION AND SINCE CONDEMNATION NECESSARILY CONTEMPLATES LITIGATION IT SEEMS OBVIOUS THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR LAND ACQUISITION IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RESULTING FROM SUCH LIMITATION. THUS, JUDGMENTS SUCH AS THE ONE NOW IN QUESTION NORMALLY WOULD BE PAID THEREFROM. THE FACT THAT PAYMENT OF THIS OR SIMILAR JUDGMENTS CANNOT NOW BE MADE FROM SUCH FUNDS BECAUSE THEY ARE EXHAUSTED DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, MEET THE REQUIREMENT OF 31 U.S.C. 724A THAT THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS FROM THE PERMANENT INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION BE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR.

YOU ARE ADVISED THEREFORE, THAT THE PERMANENT INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION PROVIDED BY 31 U.S.C. 724A IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENT HERE IN QUESTION.