B-82422, JANUARY 31, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 439

B-82422: Jan 31, 1949

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1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 22. OR IF IT IS NOT PRACTICABLE TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER A RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE SHALL BE ALLOWED BUT NOT TO EXCEED $2 PER DAY. OR IF DAILY TRAVEL APPEARS IMPRACTICABLE SUBSISTENCE OF $2 PER DAY SHALL BE ALLOWED * THE LETTER OF THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA REFERS TO SITUATIONS WHERE JURORS ARE REQUIRED TO LEAVE HOME THE DAY BEFORE IN ORDER TO ATTEND COURT AT ITS CONVENING THE NEXT DAY. TO OCCASIONAL SITUATIONS WHERE A JUROR IS UNABLE TO REACH HIS HOME UNTIL THE DAY FOLLOWING ADJOURNMENT OF COURT. THE JUROR IS ALLOWED THE ATTENDANCE FEE OF $5 AND A SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF $2 A DAY FOR THE DAYS IN TRAVEL AS WELL AS FOR THE DAYS IN ATTENDANCE UPON COURT.

B-82422, JANUARY 31, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 439

COURTS - JURORS - SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR DAILY TRAVEL THE PROVISO TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 26, 1926, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE RATE OF $2 PER DAY IN LIEU OF "ADDITIONAL NECESSARY DAILY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES" TO JURORS IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS, HAS REFERENCE ONLY TO THE PAYMENT OF THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE FOR DAILY TRAVEL TO AND FROM COURT SUBSEQUENT TO THE INITIAL TRAVEL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM OF SERVICE AND PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL HOME AT THE END OF SUCH SERVICE, AND DOES NOT AUTHORIZE SUCH PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM COURT AT THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END OF THE TERM OF SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, JANUARY 31, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 22, 1948, ENCLOSING COPIES OF LETTERS FROM THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA AND THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, IN WHICH THEY REQUEST YOUR ADVICE REGARDING THE APPLICATION OF THE PROVISO IN PUBLIC LAW 779, 80TH CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 25, 1948, 62 STAT. 1016, RELATIVE TO THE PAYMENT TO JURORS OF ALLOWANCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND ADDITIONAL NECESSARY DAILY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. YOU REQUEST AN EXPRESSION OF THE VIEWS OF THIS OFFICE ON THE QUESTIONS RAISED IN THE SAID LETTERS.

IT APPEARS FROM THE LETTERS THAT THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED AROSE AFTER RECEIPT BY THE CLERKS OF BULLETIN NO. 358, DATED DECEMBER 10, 1948, ISSUED BY YOU AFTER YOUR RECEIPT OF OFFICE DECISION DATED DECEMBER 7, 1948, B- 81320, 28 COMP. GEN. 350, RELATIVE TO THE PAYMENT TO JURORS OF ADDITIONAL NECESSARY DAILY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT PROVIDES, IN PART, THAT JURORS IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, SHALL RECEIVE FOR ACTUAL ATTENDANCE AT THE PLACE OF TRIAL OR HEARING OF ANY COURT OR COURTS, AND FOR THE TIME NECESSARILY OCCUPIED IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THE PLACE OF TRIAL OR HEARING, EITHER AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF SERVICE OR AT ANY TIME DURING THE SAME, $5 PER DAY DURING SUCH ATTENDANCE. THE SAID SECTION FURTHER PROVIDES FOR AN ALLOWANCE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL OF JURORS FROM THEIR PLACES OF RESIDENCE TO AND FROM THE PLACE OF TRIAL OR HEARING AT THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END OF THE TERM OF SERVICE, WITH THE PROVISO:

* * * THAT FOR ADDITIONAL NECESSARY DAILY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER SHALL BE ALLOWED NOT TO EXCEED $2 PER DAY, OR IF IT IS NOT PRACTICABLE TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER A RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE SHALL BE ALLOWED BUT NOT TO EXCEED $2 PER DAY, OR IF DAILY TRAVEL APPEARS IMPRACTICABLE SUBSISTENCE OF $2 PER DAY SHALL BE ALLOWED *

THE LETTER OF THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA REFERS TO SITUATIONS WHERE JURORS ARE REQUIRED TO LEAVE HOME THE DAY BEFORE IN ORDER TO ATTEND COURT AT ITS CONVENING THE NEXT DAY, AND TO OCCASIONAL SITUATIONS WHERE A JUROR IS UNABLE TO REACH HIS HOME UNTIL THE DAY FOLLOWING ADJOURNMENT OF COURT, THE CLERK'S LETTER STATING THAT, IN THOSE CASES, THE JUROR IS ALLOWED THE ATTENDANCE FEE OF $5 AND A SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF $2 A DAY FOR THE DAYS IN TRAVEL AS WELL AS FOR THE DAYS IN ATTENDANCE UPON COURT. THE CLERK ASKS SPECIFICALLY FOR INSTRUCTIONS AS TO WHETHER THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF $2 PER DAY MAY BE PAID TO JURORS WHERE THEY ATTEND COURT FOR ONE DAY ONLY. IN THAT CONNECTION, HE REFERS TO A SPECIFIC INSTANCE WHERE THE COURT WAS IN SESSION FOR ONE DAY ONLY ON WHICH DAY IT ADJOURNED EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON. HE STATES THAT MOST OF THE JURORS LEFT HOME IN THE MORNING AND RETURNED THERE ON THE AFTERNOON OF THE SAME DAY AND THAT SOME OF THE JURORS COULD HAVE MADE DAILY TRIPS BETWEEN THE COURT AND HOME HAD COURT CONTINUED FOR SEVERAL DAYS AND, IN A NUMBER OF INSTANCES, SUCH ADDITIONAL TRAVEL WOULD HAVE AMOUNTED TO LESS THAN $2 PER DAY. THE CLERK ASKS WHETHER, IF THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF $2 PER DAY IS PAID FOR ONE DAY TO ANY JUROR, IT SHOULD BE PAID TO ALL JURORS, EXCEPT THOSE WHO RESIDE IN THE PLACE OF HOLDING COURT.

THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA APPEARS TO BE IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER JURORS WHO RESIDE SO FAR FROM THE PLACE OF HOLDING COURT THAT THEY FIND IT NECESSARY TO LEAVE HOME THE DAY BEFORE IN ORDER TO BE PRESENT AT THE COURT SESSION THE FOLLOWING DAY SHOULD RECEIVE SUBSISTENCE PAY OF $2 A DAY FOR THE DAY OF LEAVING HOME AS WELL AS FOR THE FOLLOWING DAY OR ONLY FOR THE LATTER. SHE ALSO APPEARS TO BE IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER A JUROR WHO SITS IN A CASE LATE AT NIGHT AND, FOR THAT REASON, WOULD NOT ARRIVE HOME UNTIL WELL AFTER MIDNIGHT IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID SUBSISTENCE FOR THE EXTRA DAY--- THAT IS, AFTER MIDNIGHT--- STATING THAT, IN SUCH CASES, HER OFFICE HAS ALWAYS PAID THE ATTENDANCE FEE FOR THE EXTRA DAY. HOWEVER, SHE STATES THAT THE QUESTION NOW ARISES AS TO WHETHER, IN SUCH CASES, A JUROR WOULD ALSO BE ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE FOR THE EXTRA DAY.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISO OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, HAS NO RELATION TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM COURT AT THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END OF A TERM OF SERVICE. TRAVEL FOR SUCH PURPOSE AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS A MILE, WITHOUT A MAXIMUM LIMITATION AS TO AMOUNT, IS AUTHORIZED BY THE PROVISION IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE QUOTED PROVISO. BY ITS EXPRESS TERMS, THE PROVISO RELATES TO "ADDITIONAL NECESSARY DAILY TRANSPORTATION"--- WHICH REASONABLY INTERPRETED CAN ONLY MEAN DAILY TRAVEL TO AND FROM COURT SUBSEQUENT TO THE INITIAL TRAVEL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM OF SERVICE AND PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL HOME AT THE END OF SUCH SERVICE--- AND TO SUBSISTENCE IN LIEU OF SUCH ADDITIONAL DAILY TRAVEL. SEE B-81320, DECEMBER 7, 1948, SUPRA. ACCORDINGLY, WHILE A JUROR WHO MUST LEAVE HIS HOME THE DAY BEFORE COURT CONVENES IN ORDER TO BE PRESENT AT THE OPENING OF COURT THE NEXT DAY IS ENTITLED TO AN ATTENDANCE FEE OF $5 FOR THE DAY OF TRAVEL, PLUS A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE TO THE JUROR FOR SUCH DAY.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE MATTER OF JURORS WHO ATTEND COURT FOR ONLY ONE DAY, IT IS STATED IN THE CASE REFERRED TO THAT THE COURT WAS IN SESSION BUT ONE DAY. IT, THEREFORE, IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ONE DAY INVOLVED CONSTITUTED THE WHOLE TERM OF SERVICE. IF SO, THE TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND COURT WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE TRAVEL AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE TERM OF SERVICE. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THE JURORS WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE PROVIDED IN THE ACT FOR SUCH TRAVEL BUT, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE PROVISO OF THE ACT WOULD HAVE NO APPLICATION. HENCE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE IN SUCH CASES.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE CASE OF A JUROR WHO IS REQUIRED TO SIT IN A CASE LATE AT NIGHT, THEREBY BEING PREVENTED FROM ARRIVING HOME UNTIL WELL AFTER MIDNIGHT, AND THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER IN SUCH A CASE THE JUROR IS ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE FOR THE EXTRA DAY--- THAT IS, AFTER MIDNIGHT--- IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH QUESTION CONTEMPLATES A SITUATION WHERE THE TERM OF SERVICE HAS ENDED AND THE JUROR IS NOT REQUIRED TO RETURN TO COURT THE NEXT DAY. FOR THE REASONS HEREINBEFORE STATED, NO SUBSISTENCE PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE EXTRA DAY.