Administrative Law – Judicial Control – Veterans Administration’s Findings of Law and Fact Are Not Conclusvie in Government’s Suit to Recover Sums Allegedly Due From Veteran

An action was brought by the United States to recover sums of money paid to a veteran as an employment readjustment allowance. It was claimed that the defendant was not entitled to the money because of his misstatement of earnings. Prior to this action, an administrative finding that the defendant had knowingly received the allowance contrary to law and was obliged to return it was approved by the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs. The government maintained that section 705 of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act required that the administrator’s findings of law and fact be conclusive and binding on the court. The federal district court, held, complaint dismissed with prejudice. It was not the congressional intent that the administrator’s findings should have retroactive finality when the government is seeking the recovery of pecuniary benefits already received by the veteran. United States v. Owens, (E.D. Ark. 1957) 147 F. Supp. 309.