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INTERNATIONAL UNION

January 20, 1948

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AIRCRAFT AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW-CIO) et al.
v.
BRADLEY, Administrator Veterans' Administration



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LETTS

By their complaint plaintiffs seek judgment ordering the defendant, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, to withdraw his decision, dated November 13, 1946, denying the claim of plaintiff, August J. Golas, to readjustment allowances under the provisions of Title V, Public Law 346, 78th Congress, approved June 22, 1944, 58 Stat. 295-301, as amended, 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 696-697g. The specific prayer of the complaint is (1) that the defendant be enjoined from (a) putting into effect his decision denying the claim of plaintiff Golas, and (b) putting into effect his regulation permitting the employer to be an interested party in cases involving a labor dispute and permitting said employer to appeal decisions in the administration of said act; (2) that the court order and direct the defendant to reinstate the decision of the Readjustment Allowance Agent for the State of Michigan (a Veterans' Administration employee), favorable to the claim of the aforesaid plaintiff Golas which said decision was reversed by the defendant; (3) that the court declare that the provisions of the aforesaid act, particularly Section 1500 thereof, 58 Stat. 300, 38 U.S.C.A. § 697, denying judicial review of the decision of the defendant relating to readjustment allowances, are unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

It is clearly shown by the allegations of the complaint that the subject matter thereof relates exclusively to the decision of the defendant, denying the claim for readjustment allowances of the plaintiff Golas for a period subsequent to November 21, 1945. It is alleged in the complaint that the said plaintiff Golas filed a claim for readjustment allowances on November 23, 1945; that by a determination dated December 18, 1945 the State Agency determined that said claimant was disqualified from receiving allowances; that said plaintiff appealed to the Tribunal of the State Agency which affirmed the aforesaid determination; that said plaintiff appealed to the Readjustment Allowance Agent of the State of Michigan, who, on July 25, 1946, reversed the decision of the aforesaid Tribunal and held in favor of the claim of the said plaintiff for readjustment allowances; that on November 13, 1946, the defendant, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, rendered his decision in respect to the claim of said plaintiff, reversing the decision of the said Readjustment Allowance Agent and disqualifying the said plaintiff from receiving readjustment allowances on and after November 21, 1945.

 By his motion the defendant moves the court to dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction; to dismiss the action because the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and to dismiss the action as to the plaintiff, International Union United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW -- CIO), an unincorporated association, upon the ground that said plaintiff is not a necessary or proper party to this suit.

 The benefits which the defendant denied to plaintiff Golas are governed by the provisions of Title V of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act. Section 700 of said act contains general provisions in respect to the eligibility and qualifications of persons who served in the active military or naval service of the United States after September 16, 1940 and prior to the termination of the war to receive readjustment allowances. Section 800 of the act pertains to the 'disqualifications' of claimants which prevent them from receiving readjustment allowances. Subparagraph (b) of said Sec. 800 under the provisions of which the defendant found the plaintiff Golas to be disqualified from receiving readjustment allowances during the period in question, provides as follows:

 'Notwithstanding the provisions of section 700, a claimant shall also be disqualified from receiving an allowance for any week with respect to which it is found that his unemployment is due to a stoppage of work which exists because of a labor dispute at the factory, establishment, or other premises at which he is or was last employed: Provided, That this subsection shall not apply if it is shown that -- (1) he is not participating in or directly interested in the labor dispute which causes the stoppage of work; and (2) he does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the stoppage there were members employed at the premises at which the stoppage occurs, any of whom are participating in or directly interested in the dispute: * * * .'

 Section 1500 of the Act provides in pertinent part:

 'Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the administrative, definitive, and penal provisions under Public, Numbered 2, Seventy-third Congress, as amended, and the provisions of Public, Numbered 262, Seventy-fourth Congress, as amended (38 U.S.C. 450, 451, 454a and 556a), shall be for application under this Act.'

 Among the provisions of Public Law 2, 73rd Congress, 38 U.S.C.A. § 701 et seq., specifically made applicable in respect to the administration of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act is Section 5 reading as follows:

 'All decisions rendered by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs under the provisions of this title, or the regulations issued pursuant thereto, shall be final and conclusive on all questions of law and fact, and no other official or court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to review by mandamus or otherwise any such decision.'

 Section 11, Public 866, 76th Congress, approved October 17, 1940, 54 Stat. 1197, 38 U.S.C.A. § 11a -- 2, provides:

 'Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, except as provided in section 19 of the World War Veterans' Act, 1924, as amended, and in section 817 of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, the decisions of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs on any question of law or fact concerning a claim for benefits or payments under this or any other Act administered by the Veterans' Administration shall be final and conclusive and no other official or any court of the United States shall have power or jurisdiction to review any such decisions.'

 In Van Horne v. Hines, supra, in which the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs successfully contended that Section 11, Public Law 866, 76th Congress, denied jurisdiction to the courts to review the Administrator's decisions in respect to benefit ...


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