B-180886, AUG 19, 1974

B-180886: Aug 19, 1974

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CHURILO: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO CLAIM OF FORMER ARMY MEMBER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ONE MONTHS' RENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $178.01 INCURRED IN SETTLEMENT OF HIS LEASE AT THE OLD STATION INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN GERMANY. THE CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE BY THE FIELD SERVICES OFFICE. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT THE MEMBER'S DUTY STATION (HANDORF DETACHMENT. GERMANY) WAS OPERATIONALLY CLOSED IN THE LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1972. THE LEASE ON THE MEMBER'S LOCAL APARTMENT REQUIRED 90 DAY'S NOTICE PRIOR TO VACATING AND ALTHOUGH THE MEMBER GAVE NOTICE TO HIS LANDLORD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE HE WAS NOT ABLE TO COMPLY WITH THAT REQUIREMENT.

B-180886, AUG 19, 1974

WHERE FORMER ENLISTED MAN CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR ONE MONTH'S RENTAL COST INCURRED IN SETTLEMENT OF HIS LEASE AT THE OLD STATION INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, CLAIM DOES NOT CONTAIN SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO WARRANT SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS AS MERITORIOUS CLAIM UNDER MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928.

RENTAL COST INCIDENT TO ARMY SERVICE UNDER MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT - MR. JAMES N. CHURILO:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO CLAIM OF FORMER ARMY MEMBER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ONE MONTHS' RENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $178.01 INCURRED IN SETTLEMENT OF HIS LEASE AT THE OLD STATION INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN GERMANY. THE CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE BY THE FIELD SERVICES OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928, 31 U.S.C. 236.

IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT THE MEMBER'S DUTY STATION (HANDORF DETACHMENT, BORDER SITE COMMAND, AUGSBURG, GERMANY) WAS OPERATIONALLY CLOSED IN THE LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1972. THE LEASE ON THE MEMBER'S LOCAL APARTMENT REQUIRED 90 DAY'S NOTICE PRIOR TO VACATING AND ALTHOUGH THE MEMBER GAVE NOTICE TO HIS LANDLORD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE HE WAS NOT ABLE TO COMPLY WITH THAT REQUIREMENT. THE ARMY DID NOT REQUIRE THE MEMBER AND HIS WIFE TO MOVE TO HIS NEW ASSIGNED STATION AT AUGSBURG UNTIL JANUARY 1, 1973, AT WHICH TIME HE VACATED THE LEASED APARTMENT. A NEW TENANT TOOK OVER THE APARTMENT ON FEBRUARY 1, 1973. AS A RESULT, THE MEMBER HAD TO FORFEIT ONE MONTH'S RENTAL (JANUARY 1973) OF $178.01 TO HIS LANDLORD. THIS AMOUNT WAS COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION FROM THE MEMBER'S RENT DEPOSIT, THE EXCESS OF SUCH DEPOSIT BEING RETURNED TO HIM. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE MEMBER SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT FOR ONE MONTH'S RENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $178.01.

SINCE THE LAW AND REGULATIONS AFFORDED NO LEGAL BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF RENTAL COST IN SITUATIONS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, THE CLAIM WAS FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928, 31 U.S.C. 236.

THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT PROVIDES THAT WHEN A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS FILED IN THIS OFFICE THAT MAY NOT BE LAWFULLY ADJUSTED BY USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM IN OUR JUDGMENT CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, IT SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESS WITH OUR RECOMMENDATIONS. THE REMEDY IS AN EXTRAORDINARY ONE AND ITS USE IS LIMITED TO EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY ON WHICH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WOULD TAKE ACTION AND ALLOW BUT FOR THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR ADJUSTMENT. 34 COMP. GEN. 490 (1955).

WHILE WE APPRECIATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO THE CLAIM FOR THE EXPENSE OF ONE MONTH'S RENTAL, THERE ARE NUMEROUS CASES WHERE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN PUT TO SIMILAR ADDITIONAL PERSONAL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGES OF STATION, INCLUDING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. THE CONGRESS HAS NOT SEEN FIT TO PROVIDE SPECIFICALLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS TYPE OF EXPENSE. MISCELLANEOUS COSTS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER ARE PROVIDED FOR TO A LIMITED EXTEND THROUGH THE GRANT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE UNDER 37 U.S.C. 407.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT THIS CASE INVOLVES SUCH UNUSUAL ELEMENTS OF EQUITY WHICH WOULD WARRANT SUBMISSION OF THE CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT. ACCORDINGLY, NO FURTHER ACTION WILL BE TAKEN ON THE MATTER.