B-156873, AUG. 24, 1965

B-156873: Aug 24, 1965

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 17. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE GROUND THAT CLAIMS FOR RENTAL WHICH ACCRUED FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 22. WERE BARRED BY THE 10-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE IDENTITY OF ALL OF THE OWNERS OF THE LAND WAS NOT ESTABLISHED UNTIL MARCH 1964. THAT AT SUCH TIME THE NAVY WAS THEN IN A POSITION TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THE NECESSARY PARTIES AND OFFERED A LEASE COVERING THE PAST USE AND OCCUPANCY INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO RENEW THE LEASE UNTIL JUNE 30. THAT THE LEASE WAS DULY EXECUTED BY ALL PARTIES CONCERNED AND THAT THE NAVY EXERCISED ITS RIGHT TO RENEW THE LEASE.

B-156873, AUG. 24, 1965

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 17, 1965, 24 L/AF/JLA, FROM THE ACTING COUNSEL, BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON FEBRUARY 9, 1965, IN DISALLOWING $5,041.48 OF THE SUM OF $6,252 PROPOSED TO BE PAID ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS FOR RENTAL OF 240 ACRES OF LAND IN IMPERIAL COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 22, 1944, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1957. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE GROUND THAT CLAIMS FOR RENTAL WHICH ACCRUED FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 22, 1944, TO DECEMBER 23, 1954, INCLUSIVE, WERE BARRED BY THE 10-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE IDENTITY OF ALL OF THE OWNERS OF THE LAND WAS NOT ESTABLISHED UNTIL MARCH 1964, THAT AT SUCH TIME THE NAVY WAS THEN IN A POSITION TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THE NECESSARY PARTIES AND OFFERED A LEASE COVERING THE PAST USE AND OCCUPANCY INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO RENEW THE LEASE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1965, THAT THE LEASE WAS DULY EXECUTED BY ALL PARTIES CONCERNED AND THAT THE NAVY EXERCISED ITS RIGHT TO RENEW THE LEASE.

APPARENTLY THE EXECUTION OF THE LEASE, WITH CERTAIN RIGHTS HAVING BEEN ACQUIRED BY THE NAVY CONCERNING THE FUTURE OCCUPANCY OF THE LAND, MAY BE REGARDED IN ITSELF AS SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY PAYMENT OF THE RENTAL CLAIMS WHICH ACCRUED MORE THAN 10 YEARS BEFORE THE MATTER WAS SUBMITTED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION. WE NOTE THAT THE COURT OF CLAIMS HAS ADOPTED THE RULE THAT THE BAR OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AFFECTING ITS JURISDICTION "IS REMOVED BY THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE DEBT COUPLED WITH A PROMISE, EVEN WITHOUT ANY NEW CONSIDERATION, TO PAY THE DEBT.' ELLIOTT V. UNITED STATES, 134 CT.CL. 197, 138 F.SUPP. 873; ALSO, SEE MARR V. UNITED STATES, 123 CT.CL. 474, 106 F.SUPP. 204, CERTIORARI DENIED, 345 U.S. 956. IN THE ELLIOTT CASE, THE PLAINTIFFS WERE HELD NOT ENTITLED TO RECOVER BY REASON OF THE COURT'S DETERMINATION THAT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF DEBT BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED WAS NOT APPARENT AND WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPROPER IN THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THAT IS NOT THE SITUATION IN THE PRESENT CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WITH A VIEW TOWARD EFFECTING PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $5,041.48 TO THE OWNERS OF THE LAND, SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF THE RENTAL CHARGES INVOLVED.