B-173748, OCT 1, 1971

B-173748: Oct 1, 1971

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THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAUGHTER'S MOVE TO ST. BENSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 14. IN THE SETTLEMENT IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR DAUGHTER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SAN ANTONIO. WAS TRANSFERRED ON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FROM BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER. HE WAS ENTITLED INCIDENT TO THIS TRANSFER TO HAVE HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES DESIGNATED TO BE THEIR RESIDENCE. THE APPARENT REASON FOR THIS MOVE WAS THAT WITH THE DEPARTURE OF SPECIALIST PATE. WHILE SPECIALIST PATE WAS IN VIETNAM.

B-173748, OCT 1, 1971

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRANSFERS - SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DENYING CLAIM OF MRS. JANICE M BENSON FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING HER DAUGHTER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, TO ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, INCIDENT TO THE SERVICE IN THE ARMY OF DAUGHTER'S HUSBAND, MICHAEL J. PATE. AFTER MEMBER RECEIVED ORDERS TO CHANGE HIS PERMANENT STATION FROM TEXAS TO VIETNAM, HIS DEPENDENTS MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM APT. 107 TO APT. 108 AT THE SAME ADDRESS. THEREFORE, THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAUGHTER'S MOVE TO ST. PAUL, UNDERTAKEN WHEN MEMBER STOPPED SENDING AN ALLOTMENT TO HER, DESPITE HER OFFER TO SET-OFF THE AMOUNT GIVEN FOR THE FIRST MOVE. THE FIRST MOVE EXHAUSTED MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO ANY SHIPMENT OF GOODS UNDER THOSE CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS.

TO MRS. JANICE M. BENSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 14, 1971, TO PRESIDENT NIXON IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE IN SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 29, 1971. IN THE SETTLEMENT IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR DAUGHTER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, TO ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, INCIDENT TO THE SERVICE IN THE ARMY OF HER HUSBAND, MICHAEL J. PATE.

THE RECORD BEFORE THIS OFFICE SHOWS THAT YOUR SON-IN-LAW, SPECIALIST 5 MICHAEL J. PATE, WAS TRANSFERRED ON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FROM BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, TO VIETNAM BY ORDERS DATED JANUARY 3, 1968. SINCE HIS DEPENDENTS COULD NOT ACCOMPANY HIM, HE WAS ENTITLED INCIDENT TO THIS TRANSFER TO HAVE HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES DESIGNATED TO BE THEIR RESIDENCE. ON FEBRUARY 1, 1968, YOUR SON-IN -LAW EXERCISED HIS ENTITLEMENT BY HAVING THE GOVERNMENT, AT A COST TO IT OF $67 MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM APARTMENT 107, 211 NATALEN STREET, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, TO APARTMENT 108 AT THE SAME ADDRESS. THE APPARENT REASON FOR THIS MOVE WAS THAT WITH THE DEPARTURE OF SPECIALIST PATE, HIS FAMILY'S HOUSING REQUIREMENTS CHANGED.

ON JULY 1, 1968, WHILE SPECIALIST PATE WAS IN VIETNAM, YOU SAY HE STOPPED YOUR DAUGHTER'S ALLOTMENT AND SHE WAS WITHOUT FUNDS TO PAY THE RENT. YOU THEN WENT TO THE AID OF YOUR DAUGHTER AND ON YOUR OWN INITIATIVE MOVED HER TO ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA. UPON INCURRING CHARGES OF $759.01 FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO ST. PAUL, YOU REQUESTED THE U.S. ARMY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THIS MOVE AS A MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER SPECIALIST PATE'S VIETNAM ASSIGNMENT ORDERS.

IN YOUR LETTER TO THIS OFFICE DATED OCTOBER 31, 1970, YOU STATE THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO SETTLE FOR $698.58, THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT TO SHIP THE PERSONAL PROPERTY IN QUESTION FROM SAN ANTONIO TO ST. PAUL, LESS THE GOVERNMENT'S COST FOR THE FIRST MOVE FROM ONE APARTMENT TO ANOTHER IN THE SAME BUILDING.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406(B), STATES IN PART THAT:

"IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, *** WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION."

THIS LAW IS IMPLEMENTED BY CHAPTER 8 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH ARE STATUTORY REGULATIONS AND HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. PARAGRAPH M8011 OF THE REGULATIONS LIMITS A MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO A THROUGH SHIPMENT OF THE SAME LOT OF GOODS TO THE AUTHORIZED DESTINATION. PARAGRAPH M8051 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT NECESSARY DRAYAGE OR HAULING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM ONE AREA TO ANOTHER AREA WITHIN THE SAME METROPOLITAN AREA WHEN IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

UNDER THE CITED LAW AND REGULATIONS A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES IS ENTITLED TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT MOVE HIS AUTHORIZED WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WITHOUT REGARD TO COST WHEN SUCH MOVE IS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE IN HIS PERMANENT STATION, BUT UPON THE COMPLETION OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE AUTHORIZED DESTINATION, HIS ENTITLEMENT TO ANY FURTHER SHIPMENT IS EXHAUSTED.

YOUR SON-IN-LAW EXERCISED HIS ENTITLEMENT TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY WAS MOVED FROM ONE APARTMENT TO ANOTHER IN SAN ANTONIO. THIS MOVE WAS MADE NECESSARY BY AN ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION. THE GOVERNMENT WAS OBLIGATED TO MOVE THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHOUT REGARD TO COST OR DISTANCE, AND THE FACT THAT THE COST WAS ONLY $67 AND THE MOVE WAS FROM ONE APARTMENT TO ANOTHER IN THE SAME BUILDING DOES CHANGE THE CHARACTER OF THE MOVEMENT WHICH WAS TO THE LOCATION THE MEMBER DESIGNATED. THIS MOVE EXHAUSTED HIS ENTITLEMENT TO ANY FURTHER SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS UNDER HIS CHANGE OF-STATION ORDERS. ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER YOUR SON-IN-LAW'S ORDERS ASSIGNING HIM TO VIETNAM THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR AN ADDITIONAL SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE ARMY WILL REVALIDATE YOUR SON-IN-LAW'S ENTITLEMENT TO MOVE HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER HIS VIETNAM ASSIGNMENT ORDERS IF IT IS REIMBURSED FOR THE FIRST MOVE AND IF SPECIALIST PATE CONSENTS TO THE SECOND MOVE. THIS POSITION WAS ORIGINALLY SET FORTH IN A LETTER TO YOU DATED DECEMBER 4, 1968, FROM CHIEF TROOP MOVEMENTS DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF ARMY TRANSPORTATION, OFFICE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR LOGISTICS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. A NOTARIZED COPY OF SPECIALIST PATE'S CONSENT TO SUCH A MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS BEFORE US. HOWEVER, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH A MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS MAY BE REESTABLISHED AFTER HE HAS EXHAUSTED HIS RIGHT.

IT MUST BE POINTED OUT THAT EVEN IF THE MEMBER'S RIGHT TO SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS TO ST. PAUL COULD BE REESTABLISHED AFTER THE MOVE IN SAN ANTONIO, WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO DENY YOUR CLAIM BECAUSE THE ENTITLEMENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS THE RIGHT OF THE MEMBER RATHER THAN THE DEPENDENT OR RELATIVE OF THE DEPENDENT. THUS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING YOU FOR EXPENSES YOU INCURRED FOR SHIPPING SPECIALIST PATE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

ACCORDINGLY, WHILE WE APPRECIATE THE UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MADE IT NECESSARY TO MOVE THE MEMBER'S DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ST. PAUL, WE TRUST YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED. THEREFORE, THE CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 29, 1971, IS SUSTAINED.

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