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. Submitted to a federal agency. The claim is not properly presented until it is submitted to a federal agency. The claim should be submitted to the agency whose activities give rise to the claim. If the claim is submitted to the wrong federal agency, that agency must promptly  transfer  it  to  the  appropriate  one.  Although submission to any federal agency will stop the running of the statute of limitations, the 6-month waiting period does  not  begin  until  the  claim  is  received  by  the appropriate agency. That the United States is aware of the potential claim or has actual notice does not relieve the claimant of the requirement of presenting the claim to a federal agency.    Failure  to  formally  present  the claim can result in the dismissal of an action in court. Information  and  Supporting  Documentation Although the FTCA itself does not specify what information  and  supporting  documentation  arc  required for validating the claim, administrative regulations issued by the Attorney General of the United States and the Judge Advocate General of the Navy require that the claim include information such as the following: l l l l A  reasonably  detailed  description  of  the  incident on which the claim is based The identity of the federal agencies, employees, or  property  involved A description of the nature and extent of personal injury  or  property  damage Documentation  of  the  loss  (such  as  physicians’ reports,  repair  estimates,  and  receipts) In  some  instances,  failure  to  provide  the  required information may result in a court ruling that the claim was never properly presented. Minor technical failures will not nullify the claim. Prompt  action  is  necessary  when  a  command receives a claim. The following steps must be taken: 1. Record the date of receipt on the claim. 2.  Determine  which  military  activity  is  most directly  involved. 3.  When  the  receiving  command  is  the  activity most  directly  involved,  immediately  connvene  an investigation according to chapter II of the  JAG  Manual and,  when  the  investigation  is  complete,  promptly  send the  report  and  the  claim  to  the  appropriate  claims adjudicating authority. 4. When the receiving command is not the activity most  directly  involved,  immediately  send  the  claim  to the  activity  that  is  most  directly  involved. 5. Report to JAG, if required by the  JAG  Manual or JAGINST 5890.1. Investigation A JAG Manual investigation is required whenever a claim against the Navy is filed or is likely to be filed. An  investigation  not  requiring  a  hearing  usually suffices.  Responsibility  for  convening  and  conducting the investigation usually lies with the command most directly involved in the incident upon which the claim is  based.  When  circumstances  make  it  impractical  for the most directly involved command to conduct the investigation,  responsibility  may  be  assigned  to  some other command. Because  the  government  usually  will  have  only  6 months in which to investigate and take final action on the claim, the investigation must be done promptly. Witnesses’ memories fade quickly and evidence can become  mislaid. Moreover,  failure  to  investigate promptly could prejudice the government’s ability to defend  against  the  claim.  A  claim  involving  a  command is an urgent and important matter involving substantial amounts  of  money. Therefore,  when  a  person  is appointed  to  investigate  a  claim,  the  investigation ordinarily takes priority over all other duties. The  general  duties  of  the  claims  investigating officer  include  the  following: Considering  all  information  and  evidence already  compiled  about  the  incident Conducting  a  thorough  investigation  of  all aspects of the incident in a fair, impartial manner Interviewing all the witnesses as soon as possible Inspecting property damage and interviewing injured  persons Determining the nature, extent, and amount of property damage or personal injury and obtaining supporting   documentation In addition to these general duties, the investigating officer  also  must  make  specific  findings  of  fact.  Great care must be used to make sure all relevant, required findings of fact are made. A major purpose of the claims investigation is to preserve evidence for use months, even years, in the future. An incomplete investigation can prejudice the government’s ability to defend against 12-9

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