B-207634 L/M, MAR 28, 1983

B-207634 L/M: Mar 28, 1983

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RODGERS' CONTENTION THAT THE ACCURACY OF THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES SUBMITTED BY THE CARRIER IS PLACED IN QUESTION BECAUSE OF "MISSTATEMENTS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS" MADE AT THE TIME OF THE 1979 MOVE AND BY EVENTS WHICH HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THAT DATE. AT THE TIME THE GOODS WERE LOADED THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS 11. HE WAS TOLD THAT OTHER GOODS WERE BEING LOADED AND THAT HIS GOODS WOULD BE WEIGHED AT THE DESTINATION RATHER THAN AT THE ORIGIN. AN AGENCY REPRESENTATIVE CONTACTED THE CARRIER ON TWO OCCASIONS WHILE THE GOODS WERE IN STORAGE AND WAS ADVISED THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS ONLY 11. RODGERS WAS TRANSFERRED AGAIN IN JANUARY 1981. THE TOTAL NET WEIGHT OF HIS GOODS AT THAT TIME WAS ONLY 11.

B-207634 L/M, MAR 28, 1983

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

VIRGINIA LEIST, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE:

WE REFER TO YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WHICH WE RECEIVED ON MAY 26, 1982, CONCERNING MR. KEITH RODGERS' LIABILITY FOR EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. YOU ADVISED US THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAS NOT BEEN CONCLUSIVELY DETERMINED AND THEREFORE MR. RODGERS SHOULD BE RELIEVED OF THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES OF $741 INCURRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION.

YOUR REPORT SUPPORTS MR. RODGERS' CONTENTION THAT THE ACCURACY OF THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES SUBMITTED BY THE CARRIER IS PLACED IN QUESTION BECAUSE OF "MISSTATEMENTS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS" MADE AT THE TIME OF THE 1979 MOVE AND BY EVENTS WHICH HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THAT DATE. AT THE TIME THE GOODS WERE LOADED THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS 11,200 POUNDS. ALTHOUGH MR. RODGERS ASKED TO ACCOMPANY THE CARRIER TO THE WEIGH STATION, HE WAS TOLD THAT OTHER GOODS WERE BEING LOADED AND THAT HIS GOODS WOULD BE WEIGHED AT THE DESTINATION RATHER THAN AT THE ORIGIN.

THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES OBTAINED BY THE CARRIER INDICATED THE NET WEIGHT OF THE GOODS AS 13,470 POUNDS. HOWEVER, AN AGENCY REPRESENTATIVE CONTACTED THE CARRIER ON TWO OCCASIONS WHILE THE GOODS WERE IN STORAGE AND WAS ADVISED THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS ONLY 11,470 POUNDS.

IN ADDITION, MR. RODGERS WAS TRANSFERRED AGAIN IN JANUARY 1981, AND THE TOTAL NET WEIGHT OF HIS GOODS AT THAT TIME WAS ONLY 11,790 POUNDS. DURING THE PERIOD FROM 1979 TO 1981 MR. RODGERS DISPOSED OF ONLY TWO ITEMS OF FURNITURE AND SOME CLOTHING AND ADDED A COMPLETE DINING ROOM SET. YOUR REPORT CONCLUDES THAT THE WEIGHT OF HIS GOODS IN 1981 EXCEEDED THE WEIGHT OF HIS GOODS IN 1979.

THUS, YOU CONTEND THAT THE PRESUMED VALIDITY OF THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SHIPMENT OF MR. RODGERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN 1979 HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY REBUTTED BY THE FACTS DESCRIBED ABOVE.

WE AGREE THAT THE COMBINED MISTAKES AND MISREPRESENTATIONS, AS WELL AS THE CATALOGUE OF FRUSTRATIONS AND PROCEDURAL UNCERTAINTIES THAT ATTENDED MR. RODGERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT IN 1979, PLACE THE VALIDITY OF THE NET WEIGHT FIGURE PROVIDED BY THE CARRIER FOR MR. RODGERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN SERIOUS QUESTION.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT WHETHER AND TO WHAT EXTENT AUTHORIZED SHIPPING WEIGHTS HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED IN THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE QUESTIONS OF FACT PRIMARILY FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY. ORDINARILY, WE WILL NOT QUESTION THOSE DETERMINATIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING SUCH DETERMINATIONS TO BE CLEARLY IN ERROR.

THUS, IN VIEW OF THE REPORTED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CONCERNING MR. RODGERS' CLAIM, AND YOUR CONCLUSION THAT THERE IS NO SUFFICIENT BASIS ON WHICH TO IMPOSE EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES ON MR. RODGERS FOR HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR AGENCY'S SUSPENDING FURTHER COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST MR. RODGERS.

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