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92 C. Cls. Opinion of the Court contributions to these household expenses was $125; and he made additional small contributions and presents to his mother for clothes and traveling expenses.

6. Plaintiff was on duty at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, from September 9, 1935, to August 22, 1936. While there he was not furnished quarters for himself or a dependent. He was under instruction at the Naval Medical School at Washington, D. C., from September 8, 1936, to May 8, 1937, during which period he was not furnished quarters for himself or a dependent. He was attached to the U. S. S. Altair from May 31, 1937, to August 18, 1938. On August 18, 1938, he reported for his present duty with Destroyer Division Twenty-one. On November 22, 1938, he was married.

From December 1, 1935, to June 30, 1938, plaintiff was credited pay at $166.67 a month; rental allowance from December 1, 1935, to May 7, 1937, at $40 a month; and from December 1, 1935, to June 30, 1938, subsistence allowance at $0.60 a day. On account of lack of evidence, payments to plaintiff for the remainder of the period involved must be determined by the General Accounting Office.

7. Plaintiff's mother was dependent on him for her chief support during the period she kept house for him, as shown in finding 4, and was not dependent on him for her chief support during the period she was employed as chaperon, as shown in the same finding.

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The court decided that the plaintiff was entitled to recover. GREEN, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff, a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, with the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, brings this suit to recover rental and subsistence allowances on account of a dependent mother from December 1, 1935, to November 1, 1938, in which latter month he married.

There is no controversy over the facts in the case. Plaintiff's mother is a widow, who, during the period involved, was the owner of a small amount of property from which in the year 1936 she derived an income of $331; in the year 1937, $311; and in the year 1938, $300.


Opinion of the Court Plaintiff's family consists of his mother and his sister, a minor child, who at no time during the period of the claim has been gainfully employed or contributed to the support of her mother. Plaintiff's mother and sister have lived in a home maintained by him from December 1, 1935, to September 7, 1937, and during June, July, and August of 1938. Plaintiff's sister attended the University of Kansas during the school year 1937–38, and in September 1938 enrolled in the Colorado Agricultural School, Fort Collins, Colorado, During the period of this claim the sister has been supported by the plaintiff or her mother and it has been necessary for the mother to use for the support of her daughter all the income from the property she owned.

Finding 4 shows that during a part of the time covered by the claim plaintiff's mother kept house for him and was not otherwise employed. The remainder of the time, as specified in the findings, she had employment for which she received $45 a month in addition to room and board.

The household expenses of plaintiff's home averaged about $128 a month, to which he contributed an average amount of $125, and also made occasional small contributions to his mother for clothes and traveling expenses.

Finding 6 is with reference to the amount the plaintiff received from the Government, which did not include an allowance for a dependent mother.

We have heretofore held in dependent mother cases, see T'omlinson v. United States, 66 C. Cls. 697, that where the mother has a small amount of property the income of which is not sufficient to support her, the law does not require that she should make herself penniless by using up this fund before her son can make a claim on account of her dependency. She is, however, required to account for the income received from the property which she holds in determining the question of her dependency. In this particular case the mother used the income of her property in sending her daughter to collegiate institutions and the daughter's support generally. This was a proper expense on her part. The law, however, does not provide for the support of minor children but only for the mother herself. 92 C. Cls. Opinion of the Court Her income therefore must be considered in determining whether the plaintiff was her chief support.

There is no direct evidence as to what would be the reasonable expense incurred in supporting plaintiff's mother separate and alone. During a greater part of the period in controversy the plaintiff maintained a household in which his mother acted as housekeeper. She was not otherwise employed during this period and received nothing from plaintiff except some small contributions for clothes and traveling expenses. The expenses of maintaining this household were about $128 a month and without determining the precise share of the expenses caused by the mother being supported in this manner, we think the evidence shows that the cost to plaintiff of her necessary support exceeded the amount of income from her property and we therefore conclude that plaintiff was her chief support during the period when she acted as his housekeeper. In making this finding we do not take into consideration the services rendered by the mother. They were not contractual but presumably given on account of love and affection. If we were considering the support of a wife instead of the mother no one would contend that the housekeeping services which she rendered should be taken into consideration and we think the principle is the same here.

The only matter as to which the defendant makes serious contention relates to the period of the school year during which plaintiff's mother was employed as chaperon, for which service as stated above she received $45 a month in addition to her room and board. There is no direct evidence as to whether $45 a month would pay the reasonable expenses of plaintiff's mother outside of room and board, and we must determine this question from all the surrounding facts and circumstances shown by the evidence. We think it would be sufficient for that purpose but if there be any doubt on that point the fact that the mother was receiving other income at this time is material and when this fact is considered it leaves no doubt. We are not undertaking to lay down any general rule as to the amount which should be allowed for the support of a dependent mother. As was said in Tomlinson v. United States, supra,

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Syllabus "different circumstances might require a different holding."

We have found that plaintiff's mother was in fact dependent on him for her chief support during the period she was a member of his household and acting as his housekeeper, the length of which is shown in the findings. We have further found that his mother was not in fact dependent on him during the period she was acting as chaperon and receiving a salary besides her board and room, which is also shown by the findings.

Plaintiff is entitled to recover but in order to determine the amount of his recovery the matter is referred to the General Accounting Office for a computation and report as to the amount due him in accordance with the findings and this opinion. When this report is received judgment will be entered in his favor. It is so ordered.

LITTLETON, Judge; and WHALEY, Chief Justice, concur. WHITAKER, Judge, took no part in the decision in this


Upon the report from the General Accounting Office, filed December 11, 1940, the Court in accordance with the above opinion on January 6, 1941, entered judgment for the plaintiff in the sum of $1,230.13.


[No. 44015. Decided November 12, 1940]

On the Proof: Pay and allowances; occupation of Government quarters.-Where

plaintiff, a lieutenant, junior grade, United States Navy, on duty with aircraft squadrons at Coco Solo, C. Z., and having a dependent wife and child, was not assigned regular quarters at his base, no quarters there being available, and where plaintiff with the consent of the commanding officer at France Field, an Army flying field, obtained and occupied quarters at said France Field, which quarters had been abandoned by the Army as living quarters for its personnel ; it is held that since plaintiff and his dependents, during the period of his claim, resided in Government quarters, there can be no recovery for rental allowance. Byrne v. United States, 87 O. Cls. 241, cited.

92 C. Cls. Reporter's Statement of the Case Same.-Where plaintiff occupied Government quarters not in the best

of condition and made necessary repairs at his own expense, it is held that he is entitled to recover reasonable expenses which in his judgment it was essential to expend on the quar

ters furnished. Same; commutation for quarters not part of salary of officer.-Com

mutation of quarters is reimbursement to an officer for expenses paid by him for private quarters when the Government fails to furnish public quarters and is no part of the pay of an officer.

Odell v. United States, 38 C. Cls. 194, cited. Same.-Quarters furnished by the Government need not be elaborate.

The Reporter's statement of the case:
Mr. Rees B. Gillespie for the plaintiff.

Mr. L. R. Mehlinger, with whom was Mr. Assistant Attorney General Francis M. Shea, for the defendant.

The court made special findings of fact as follows:

1. May 23, 1936, the plaintiff, then a lieutenant, junior grade, United States Navy, reported for duty to the Commander, Aircraft Squadrons based at Coco Solo, Canal Zone, in compliance with orders, for permanent duty involving flying with V. P. Squadron 5 F. He had with him a dependent wife and child.

2. He made application to the Naval commanding officer for quarters, who refused the request with the statement that there were no quarters available for his occupancy. He thereupon requested of the Army commanding officer at France Field, an Army flying field about one and a half miles from Coco Solo, permission to live with his family in a set of quarters there, known as 3-C, and consisting of a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and bath.

3. Quarters 3-C had been abandoned by the Army as liv. ing quarters for its personnel, and furniture, stoves, and heaters had been moved out. In spots the floors were eaten through by termites. The plaintiff had endeavored to secure better quarters but had been unsuccessful.

4. He moved into Quarters 3-C May 25, 1936, with his family, and made some necessary renovation of the place at his own expense, including the installation of shelves, some painting and varnishing, and replacement of about half the

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