B-41726, MAR. 8, 1957

B-41726: Mar 8, 1957

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THAT DECISION THE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. " A JUDGE OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT ENTITLED. - AND NEITHER ARE JUDGES ENTITLED TO ACCUMULATE VACATION LEAVE. ARE THEY ENTITLED TO A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT FOR ANY UNUSED PORTION OF THEIR ALLOWABLE VACATION LEAVE.'.

B-41726, MAR. 8, 1957

TO HONORABLE LEONARD P. WALSH, CHIEF JUDGE, THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25, 1957, DIRECTS OUR ATTENTION TO OUR DECISION OF MAY 6, 1944, B-41726, CONCERNING THE LEAVE STATUS OF JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PARTICULARLY TO THE QUESTION WHETHER A JUDGE WHOSE TERM HAS EXPIRED MAY RECEIVE PAY COVERING LEAVE UNUSED AT THE TIME HIS SUCCESSOR ENTERS UPON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE. THAT DECISION THE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. YOU REQUEST TO BE INFORMED WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN ANY CHANGE IN POLICY WHICH WOULD NOW PERMIT SUCH A PAYMENT.

SUBSEQUENT TO THE ABOVE REFERRED-TO DECISION THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARSE, THEN CHIEF JUDGE, SUBMITTED FOR OUR CONSIDERATION OTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING THE LEAVE STATUS OF JUDGES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT, AND IN OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1951, TO HIM, 31 COMP. GEN. 93, WE HELD, AT PAGE 94:

"THE LANGUAGE OF THE SAID SECTION (SECTION 3, ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 191), IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, AND SIMILAR LEAVE ACTS, MAKES NO SPECIFIC GRANT OF VACATION OR ANNUAL LEAVE BUT MERELY PROVIDES THAT EACH JUDGE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A VACATION WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEED 36 COURT DAYS IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR. IN OTHER WORDS, UNDER THE "VACATION SECTION," A JUDGE OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT ENTITLED, AS A MATTER OF RIGHT, TO 36 DAYS OF VACATION LEAVE IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR, THAT NUMBER BEING MERELY A LIMITATION UPON THE LEAVE THAT CAN BE GRANTED, APPARENTLY AS PERMITTED BY THE BUSINESS OF THE COURT IN THE DISCRETION OF THE CHIEF JUDGE. NEITHER DOES THE SAID SECTION, IN FURTHER VARIANCE FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1936 ACT, AUTHORIZE THE ACCUMULATION OF UNUSED VACATION LEAVE FROM ONE CALENDAR YEAR TO ANOTHER. SEE B-41726, MAY 6, 1944.

"* * * AS INDICATED ABOVE, SUCH JUDGES DO NOT EARN LEAVE IN THE SENSE OF THE LANGUAGE OF SECTION 601--- THE LEAVE AUTHORIZED BY THE "VACATION SECTION" OF THE ACT OF APRIL 1, 1942, BEING UNRELATED TO THE AMOUNT OF SERVICE RENDERED BY THE JUDGES IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR--- AND NEITHER ARE JUDGES ENTITLED TO ACCUMULATE VACATION LEAVE, NOR, UPON SEPARATION, ARE THEY ENTITLED TO A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT FOR ANY UNUSED PORTION OF THEIR ALLOWABLE VACATION LEAVE.'

THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN POLICY OR IN ANY STATUTE REQUIRING ANY CHANGE IN THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN THAT PART OF THE DECISION JUST QUOTED. ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD NOT BE PROPER TO MAKE PAYMENT TO A RETIRING JUDGE FOR ANY LEAVE NOT GRANTED AND TAKEN IN KIND PRIOR TO THE DATE HIS SUCCESSOR TAKES OFFICE.