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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.
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.
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.
On May 23, 1996, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
favorably recommended the bill H.R. 2001, to the Judiciary
On June 11, 1996, the Committee on the Judiciary ordered
reported favorably by voice vote H.R. 2001, a quorum being
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy,
Chief of Legislative Affairs.