325 F.2d 307 (4th Cir. 1963), 9099, United States v. Hayes

Docket Nº:9099.
Citation:325 F.2d 307
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. Joan D. HAYES, Appellee.
Case Date:December 09, 1963
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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325 F.2d 307 (4th Cir. 1963)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellant,


Joan D. HAYES, Appellee.

No. 9099.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

December 9, 1963

Argued Nov. 11, 1963.

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Peter Edelman, Atty., Dept. of Justice (John W. Douglas, Asst. Atty. Gen., Claude V. Spratley, Jr., U.S. Atty., and Sherman L. Cohn and David J. McCarthy, Jr., Attys., Dept. of Justice, on the brief), for appellant.

Eli S. Chovitz, Norfolk, Va. (Steingold, Steingold & Chovitz, Norfolk, Va., on the brief), for appellee.

Before BOREMAN, BRYAN and BELL, Circuit Judges.


We must disagree with the holding of the District Court that the Comptroller General's designation of one of his employees to certify copies of records in the General Accounting Office is invalid because not published in the Federal Register. The publication was not required by § 3(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 1002(a), 1 the basis of the decision below, but was excepted therefrom by its own terms as a 'matter relating solely to the internal management of an agency'. No such requirement, we note as well, appears in the Federal Register Act. 44 U.S.C. § 305 (Supp.1962).

The United States initiated this action in the District Court for the recovery of overpayments of allotments to the wife of a serviceman. Photostatic copies of the checks certified as true by an employee of the Comptroller General were offered in evidence. 2 Objection to

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their admission on the ground that there was no proof of their genuineness-- that the certifying official was not shown to have been empowered to act for the Comptroller General-- was seasonably but unsuccessfully interposed. Afterwards a verdict for the United States was directed; whereupon the defendant moved for a judgment non obstante veredicto.

This motion reasserted the objection to the authentication of the copies. In response the United States produced the order of the Comptroller General giving the employee authority to certify copies of records in the Office. Because this order, confessedly had not been published in the Federal Register, the Court reversed its ruling and found the check reproductions incompetent to prove the overdrafts. With no other proof of the indebtedness, the directed verdict was vacated and judgment entered for the defendant.

The instant delegation of...

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