B-210113 March 2, 1983

B-210113: Mar 2, 1983

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Martin: This is in reference to your letter of December 3. This matter was referred to our Office for consideration under the provisions of the Meritorious Claims Act. It appears that Sergeant Lettice believes he is entitled to relief on the bases that in his more than 20 years of military service. Use of this extraordinary remedy is limited to extraordinary situations. It is generally the policy of this Office to so recommend to Congress only those cases involving circumstances of an unusual nature which are unlikely to constitute a recurring problem. We find that Sergeant Lettice's claim does not contain such elements of unusual liability or equity which are unlikely to recur. Since the incurrence of personal expenses because of overweight shipments is not uncommon.

B-210113 March 2, 1983

The Honorable David O'B. Martin House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Martin:

This is in reference to your letter of December 3, 1982, with which you forwarded a request from your constituent, Sergeant Wayne K. Lettice, dated November 19, 1982. Sergeant Lettice has requested that you introduce private relief legislation to relieve him of his indebtedness to the Government, incurred as a result of his shipment of household goods in excess of weight limitations imposed by the Joint Travel Regulations. Pursuant to information which you received from Chairman Sam B. Hall, Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Government Relations, House Committee on the Judiciary, this matter was referred to our Office for consideration under the provisions of the Meritorious Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3702(d) (1982).

It appears that Sergeant Lettice believes he is entitled to relief on the bases that in his more than 20 years of military service, he has never shipped goods in excess of the authorized weight limitation and that payment of the claim would create a financial hardship for him.

Section 3702(d) of title 31, United States Code, provides that when a claim against the United States may not lawfully be paid but, in the judgment of the Comptroller General, contains such legal or equitable elements as to be deserving of the consideration of Congress, the Comptroller General shall submit the claim to the Congress with a recommendation thereon.

Use of this extraordinary remedy is limited to extraordinary situations. Therefore, it is generally the policy of this Office to so recommend to Congress only those cases involving circumstances of an unusual nature which are unlikely to constitute a recurring problem.

On the basis of the record before us, we find that Sergeant Lettice's claim does not contain such elements of unusual liability or equity which are unlikely to recur, since the incurrence of personal expenses because of overweight shipments is not uncommon. Accordingly, we decline to recommend this claim to the Congress under the Meritorious Claims Act.

Sincerely yours,

Milton J. Socolar for Comptroller General of the United States