B-3762, JUNE 2, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 899

B-3762: Jun 2, 1939

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MINORS - SMALL AMOUNTS DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES - PAYMENTS WITHOUT LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP APPOINTMENTS WHERE NO LEGAL GUARDIAN HAS BEEN APPOINTED AND SUCH APPOINTMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE NECESSARY OR CONTEMPLATED. THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDINGS ARE DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE AMOUNT INVOLVED. IN PROPER CASES AND WHERE THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CASE OF JASON MORGAN. IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION THAT THE DECEASED IS SURVIVED BY ERNEST MORGAN. A DEPENDENT BROTHER WHOSE AGE AT THE DATE OF THE DECEASED'S DEATH WAS 16 YEARS 4 MONTHS AND 1 DAY. THERE WILL BECOME DUE AND PAYABLE ON HIS ACCOUNT COMPENSATION AGGREGATING $167.44.

B-3762, JUNE 2, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 899

MINORS - SMALL AMOUNTS DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES - PAYMENTS WITHOUT LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP APPOINTMENTS WHERE NO LEGAL GUARDIAN HAS BEEN APPOINTED AND SUCH APPOINTMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE NECESSARY OR CONTEMPLATED, AND THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDINGS ARE DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE AMOUNT INVOLVED, PAYMENT OF SMALL AMOUNTS DUE MINORS FROM THE UNITED STATES MAY BE MADE, IN PROPER CASES AND WHERE THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED, TO THE PERSON ACTING IN LOCO PARENTIS WHO HAS CUSTODY OF THE MINOR AND CONTRIBUTES TO HIS OR HER SUPPORT. PRESENT CASE INVOLVES MONTHLY PAYMENTS DUE A MINOR UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT, 39 STAT. 744.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, JUNE 2, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CASE OF JASON MORGAN, DECEASED, FORMER ENROLLED OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATIVE CORPS, NO. CC5-245408, COMPANY 2511, REPORTING CAMP BONANZA F-83 AT CLAYTON, IDAHO, NORTH CORPS AREA, WHO DIED ON JULY 25TH, 1938.

IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION THAT THE DECEASED IS SURVIVED BY ERNEST MORGAN, A DEPENDENT BROTHER WHOSE AGE AT THE DATE OF THE DECEASED'S DEATH WAS 16 YEARS 4 MONTHS AND 1 DAY. AN AWARD OF COMPENSATION ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR BROTHER FOR $8.40 PER MONTH FOR A PERIOD OF EIGHT YEARS, COMMENCING JULY 25TH, 1938, UNLESS, BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THAT TIME, HE DIES, MARRIES, OR BECOMES EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE HAS BEEN APPROVED. ASSUMING THIS MINOR DOES NOT DIE OR MARRY BEFORE HE REACHES EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, THERE WILL BECOME DUE AND PAYABLE ON HIS ACCOUNT COMPENSATION AGGREGATING $167.44.

IT HAS FURTHER BEEN DETERMINED THAT ERNEST MORGAN IS WITHOUT NATURAL GUARDIAN AND RESIDES WITH MARTIN MORGAN, AN ADULT BROTHER WHO STANDS IN LOCO PARENTIS TO ERNEST MORGAN. IN VIEW OF THE SMALL AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION THAT WILL ACCRUE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THIS MINOR, MARTIN MORGAN HAS REQUESTED THAT SUCH COMPENSATION BE PAID TO HIM WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF A LEGALLY APPOINTED GUARDIAN IN ORDER TO AVOID THE EXPENSE WHICH WOULD NATURALLY RESULT FROM SUCH PROCEDURE. THROUGH HIS ATTORNEY, SIDNEY C. BRANT, ESQUIRE, CINCINNATI, OHIO, HE HAS CALLED ATTENTION TO SECTION 10507 -5 OF THE GENERAL CODE OF OHIO UNDER WHICH HE BELIEVES THE COMMISSION MAY PROPERLY PAY COMPENSATION IN THIS CASE WITHOUT A LEGAL GUARDIAN. A COPY OF MR. BRANT'S LETTER TO THE COMMISSION UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 6TH, 1939, IS ENCLOSED.

INASMUCH AS THE COST OF A LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP WOULD HAVE TO BE PAID FROM THE PROCEEDS OF THE AWARD IN THIS CASE, THE NET AMOUNT RECEIVED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MINOR WOULD BE MATERIALLY REDUCED. TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION UNTIL THE MINOR BECOMES TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE SEEMS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSE OF COMPENSATION.

SECTION 10 (G) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT PROVIDES "THE COMPENSATION OF A BROTHER, SISTER, OR GRANDCHILD UNDER LEGAL AGE SHALL BE PAID TO HIS OR HER GUARDIAN.' IN VIEW OF THIS PROVISION OF THE LAW, AN OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER COMPENSATION IN THIS CASE MAY BE PAID TO MARTIN MORGAN, ADULT BROTHER OF THE BENEFICIARY, WITHOUT LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP. A DRAFT OF THE PROPOSED AFFIDAVIT TO BE USED IN THIS CONNECTION IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

THE BENEFICIARY IN THIS CASE IS AT PRESENT SOLELY DEPENDENT UPON THE BENEFICENCE OF HIS ADULT BROTHER AND HAS GREAT NEED OF THE COMPENSATION DUE HIM IN THIS CASE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AN EARLY DECISION IS URGENTLY REQUESTED IN ORDER THAT COMPENSATION ACCRUED TO DATE MAY BE PAID AND REGULAR SEMI-MONTHLY PAYMENTS UNDER THE AWARD COMMENCED.

IN CASES SUCH AS THIS WHERE NO LEGAL GUARDIAN HAS BEEN APPOINTED AND SUCH APPOINTMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE NECESSARY OR CONTEMPLATED AND THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDINGS ARE DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE AMOUNT INVOLVED, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NOT OBJECTED TO THE PAYMENT OF SMALL AMOUNTS DUE MINORS FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE PERSON ACTING IN LOCO PARENTIS WHO HAS CUSTODY OF THE MINOR AND CONTRIBUTES TO HIS OR HER SUPPORT. IN THE PRESENT CASE, UPON THE EXECUTION OF THE AFFIDAVIT, A DRAFT OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO YOUR SUBMISSION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED IF THE MONTHLY PAYMENTS DUE THE MINOR PURSUANT TO SECTION 10 OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT, 39 STAT. 744, ARE MADE TO THE MINOR'S BROTHER TO BE USED FOR THE MINOR'S SUPPORT.