B-204703 September 29, 1981

B-204703: Sep 29, 1981

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Texas 78701 Dear Senator Bentsen: This is in response to your letter of August 28. We have learned that the check has been mailed and has in fact been received by the plaintiff's counsel. The judgment in question was rendered by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in the case of Manuel Rodriguez Carrillo v. The suit was an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages resulting from an automobile accident. Judgments against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act are paid. While it is an instrumentality of the United States for purposes of liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Is a nonappropriated fund activity and as such pays its own tort judgments.

B-204703 September 29, 1981

The Honorable Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate 912 Federal Building Austin, Texas 78701

Dear Senator Bentsen:

This is in response to your letter of August 28, 1981, concerning the delayed receipt of a judgment check by a constituent. We have learned that the check has been mailed and has in fact been received by the plaintiff's counsel.

The judgment in question was rendered by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in the case of Manuel Rodriguez Carrillo v. United States Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Civil No. P-80-CA- 009. The suit was an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages resulting from an automobile accident. Normally, judgments against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act are paid, on certification by the General Accounting Office, from a permanent judgment appropriation, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 724a. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), however, while it is an instrumentality of the United States for purposes of liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is a nonappropriated fund activity and as such pays its own tort judgments. This is specified in a joint Army-Air Force regulation (AR 60-10/AFR 147-7, paragraph 1-7).

The United States Attorney's office in El Paso originally sent the judgment to us, following the normal procedures to obtain payment from the judgment appropriation. We assume this was done through inadvertence. The confusion may have resulted from the fact that, by statute, contract judgments (as opposed to tort judgments) involving AAFES are paid initially from the judgment appropriation and later reimbursed by AAFES. In any event, when we discovered the error, we returned the judgment to the Assistant United States Attorney with advice to submit it to the Insurance Branch of AAFES in Dallas.

Telephone inquiries made after receipt of your letter disclosed that the checks were mailed to plaintiff's counsel, Mr. Warren Heagy, on September 8, 1981, and the certified mail receipt indicates that he received them on September 10.

We regret that we must also advise that, apart from any private relief legislation you may choose to introduce, delay by the Government in paying a claim or judgment against it does not create an entitlement to interest. United States v. N.Y. Rayon Importing Co., 329 U.S. 654, 659-60 (1947); Grey v. Dukedom Bank, 216 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1954); Economy Plumbing & Heating Co. v. United States, 470 F. 2d 585, 594 (Ct. Cl. 1972).

We hope the above information is helpful.

Sincerely yours,

Milton J. Socolar Acting Comptroller General of the United States