than entirely challenging, he decided to drive in reverse
with his eyes closed.
In doing so, YN3 Snootfull
smashed into the front window of Anywheres Country
Kitchen. Mama Cook has filed an Article 139 claim
with YN3 Snootfulls CO. Is this claim payable under
Article 139, UCMJ?
Solution. No. YN3 Snootfulls conduct certainly
qualified as acts showing reckless and wanton disregard
of the property rights of others. However, this claim
would also be compensable under the nonscope claims
statute because it involved use of a federal government
vehicle while not within the scope of federal
employment. Therefore, it is not payable under Article
CLAIMS ON BEHALF OF THE
GOVERNMENT FEDERAL CLAIMS
Under the Federal Claims Collection Act, 31 U.S.C.
§ 3711 (1982) (FCCA), the federal government may
recover compensation for claims on behalf of the United
States for damage to or loss or destruction of
government property through negligence or wrongful
The extent of any FCCA recovery by the federal
government is determined by the law where the damage
occurred. As a general rule, if a private person would
be entitled to compensation under the same
circumstances, the federal government may recover
under the FCCA.
FCCA claims may be pursued against private
persons, corporations, associations, and nonfederal
An FCCA claim also can be
asserted against any federal employee responsible for
the damage and, if the responsible party is insured, the
claim may be presented to the insurer. See Federal
Drivers Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2679(b) (1982), prescribing
immunity for federal drivers.
MEASURE OF DAMAGES
The amount of the governments recovery for an
FCCA claim is determined by the measure-of-damages
rules of the law where the damage occurred. There is
no maximum limit to recovery.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The government has 3 years after the damage occurs
in which to make a written demand on the responsible
Specific procedures and collection policies are
issued in JAGINST 5890.1. Among the notable features
of FCCA procedures are the following:
. Authority to handle FCCA claims. JAGINST
5890.1 lists the officers authorized to pursue, collect,
compromise, and terminate action on FCCA claims.
These include certain officers in OJAG and COs of
NLSOs, except NLSOs in countries where another
service has single service responsibility according to
DOD Directive 5515.8. Claims over $20,000 can be
terminated or compromised only with permission of the
Department of Justice.
. Repair or replacement in kind. In some cases, the
party responsible for the damage, or that partys insurer,
may offer to repair or replace the damaged property. If
such a settlement is in the governments best interest,
the CO of the property may accept repair or replacement
under conditions described in JAGINST 5890.1.
. Collection problems. Collecting the full amount
claimed under an FCCA claim can often be difficult for
a number of reasons. Therefore, the Joint Regulations
authorize specific procedures to resolve or overcome
Collection by offset.
The U.S. Government
may deduct the amount of the FCCA claim from
any pay, compensation, or payment it owes the
Suspension or revocation of federal license or
eligibility, This can be a strong incentive for an
entity desiring to do business with the
government to pay a claim.
Collection in installments. In cases where the
responsible party is unable to make a lump-sum
payment, an installment payment schedule may
be used. Terms, conditions, and limitations on
installment payment plans are set forth in
JAGINST 5890.1. A substantial portion of
FCCA claims against individuals are liquidated
through installment payments.
When the responsible party is
unable to pay the full amount of the claim within