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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-637
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                  FOR THE RELIEF OF NORMAN R. GIRAULT

                                _______
                                

   June 26, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and 
                         ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2001]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2001), for the relief of Norman R. Girault, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                purpose

    H.R. 2001, for the relief of Norman R. Girault, would waive 
the statute of limitations with respect to Mr. Girault's claim 
for $10,709 for 21 paychecks he received while on active duty 
with the Navy, but which were never negotiated.

                               background

    Mr. Girault served as a Naval officer until his retirement 
in 1969. His wife managed his financial matters while he was on 
active duty. Gradually, however, Mrs. Girault became 
psychologically impaired and began secretly hoarding money. 
When Mr. Girault became aware of this, he attempted to 
determine the status of their finance. However, Mrs. Girault 
refused to tell Mr. Girault about the location of any funds. 
Mr. Girault finally took legal action to force her to provide 
the information, at which time they came to a settlement of 
their marital finances and separated. Although separated, Mr. 
Girault continued to support Mrs. Girault. Upon her death, 
while going through his mother's possessions, Mr. Girault's son 
discovered 21 of his father's paychecks that Mrs. Girault had 
hidden away, dating from August 1964 to January 1968.
    Section 3328 of Title 31, United States Code, requires that 
Treasury checks be negotiated within 12 months after the date 
of issuance. Because Mr. Girault did not present the paychecks 
within the statutory period, the Department of the Navy does 
not have legal authority to make payment on these checks or to 
issue replacement checks to him.
    The Department of the Navy indicated that it is apparent 
that the checks were not negotiated in a timely manner through 
no fault of Mr. Girault's, and that as soon as he became aware 
of the existence of the checks, he notified the appropriate 
office about reissuance of those checks. Due to the unique 
circumstances of this case, the Department of the Navy does not 
oppose this legislation.

                            committee action

    On May 23, 1996, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims 
favorably recommended the bill H.R. 2001, to the Judiciary 
Committee.
    On June 11, 1996, the Committee on the Judiciary ordered 
reported favorably by voice vote H.R. 2001, a quorum being 
present.

                      committee oversight findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports 
that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based 
on oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

         committee on government reform and oversight findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               new budget authority and tax expenditures

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House Rule XI is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets 
forth, with respect to the bill, H.R. 2001, the following 
estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 14, 1996.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 2001, a bill for the relief of Norton R. Girault, 
as ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on 
June 11, 1996. The bill would waive the statute of limitations 
for submitting claims against the United States government. 
This waiver would result in the payment of $10,709 by the 
Department of the Navy. Assuming the bill is enacted in the 
next two months, we expect this outlay would occur in fiscal 
year 1996. Because the bill would increase direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John R. 
Righter.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.

                     inflationary impact statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that H.R. 
2001 will have no significant inflationary impact on prices and 
costs in the national economy.

                              agency views

    The comments of the Department of the Navy are as follows:

                            Department of the Navy,
                             Office of Legislative Affairs,
                                     Washington, DC, April 3, 1996.
Hon. Lamar Smith,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Committee on the 
        Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: This is in response to your request for 
comments from the Department of the Navy on H.R. 2001, 104th 
Congress, a bill ``For the Relief of Norton R. Girault.''
    The purpose of H.R. 2001 is to waive the time limitations 
of 31 United States Code, section 3702(b), with respect to a 
claim by Norton R. Girault for $10,709 for 21 paychecks he 
received while on active duty in the United States Navy but 
were not negotiated in a timely manner.
    The information provided shows that Mr. Girault served on 
active duty as a Naval Officer and, at the time of his 
retirement in 1969, had attained the rank of Captain. During 
his naval career, Mr. Girault entrusted his financial affairs 
to his wife and experienced difficulties following that 
decision. After his wife's death on February 2, 1992, the 21 
unnegotiated paychecks were discovered among her papers. These 
21 paychecks were issued from 1964 through 1968, while Captain 
Girault was still serving on active duty in the Navy. Section 
3328 of Title 31, United States Code, requires negotiation of 
Treasury checks within 12 months after the date of issuance. 
Since Mr. Girault's paychecks were not presented within the 
statutory period, they are barred under 31 United States Code 
section 3702(b). The Department of the Navy does not have legal 
authority to issue replacement checks to Mr. Girault. The 
effect of H.R. 2001 would waive the statutory bar to payment of 
these paychecks.
    The Department of Defense generally opposes private relief 
legislation that waives the statute of limitations in a 
preferential manner. It is noted, however, that Mr. Girault's 
21 paychecks were issued for his services while he was still on 
active duty as a Naval Officer. The checks were not negotiated 
timely, apparently through no fault of Mr. Girault's. The 
information provided shows that Mr. Girault took reasonable 
steps to resolve his wife's handling of their finances when he 
became aware of the problems. Two days after his wife's death 
and the discovery of the checks, Mr. Girault notified the Navy 
Personnel Support Activity and requested reissuance of the 
checks. It was not until almost 11 months later that he was 
informed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service that the 
law prohibited reissuance of the checks and he would have to 
seek a private relief bill. Two week later, Mr. Girault 
requested such action from his Congressman. Under these unique 
circumstances, the Department of the Navy does not oppose H.R. 
2001.
    The Office of Management and Budget advises, that from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program, there is no 
objection to the presentation of this report for the 
consideration of the Committee
            Sincerely,
                                       R.J. Natter,
                                   Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy,
                                      Chief of Legislative Affairs.