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BOYD v. UNITED STATES

July 11, 1980

RICHARD W. BOYD
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

In this action to recover the value or replacement of a United States Treasury Note, the parties have stipulated to the following facts, and have filed cross-motions for Summary Judgment.

On December 8, 1977, a $ 5,000 bearer 77/8% Treasury Note, Series A-1986, Serial No. 10890, issued May 17, 1976, and due May 15, 1986, which had attached thereto eighteen (18) coupons, each valued at maturity at approximately $ 196.88 was stolen from plaintiff Boyd during a burglary of his Bethel Park, Pennsylvania home. The Note was originally purchased in May 1976 by the Dauphin Trust Co. in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was delivered to Boyd by Dauphin Trust as part of his inheritance in June 1977.

 Boyd had been away at college at the time of the burglary and learned of the theft on his return home on December 23, 1977 for vacation. On December 28, 1977, Boyd telephoned the Assistant Vice President and Trust Officer of the Dauphin Trust Co. regarding the theft and requested information and instructions regarding replacement of the Note. Boyd was advised to contact his local bank for assistance.

 On that same day, Boyd telephoned Michael Malone, Assistant Manager, Union National Bank, Bethel Park, Pa. about the theft and requested information regarding replacement of the Note. Malone telephoned the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Pa. (FRB Pittsburgh) and spoke with Dan Robinson, an Administrative Assistant in the Securities Department who referred Malone to the Correspondence and Claims Branch, Division of Securities Operations, Bureau of Public Debt, Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C. Mr. Malone telephoned the Correspondence and Claims Branch and spoke with Nancy Faucett, a Claims Analyst, who advised Malone that it would be necessary for written notification of the theft to be sent to that Branch. Mr. Malone so informed Boyd.

 In a letter dated Saturday, January 7, 1978, Boyd notified the Correspondence and Claims Branch of the Bureau of Public Debt in writing of the theft of Treasury Note No. 10890 and requested information and instructions regarding its replacement. Boyd's letter was postmarked January 9, 1978 and was received at the Division of Securities Operations on Friday, January 13, 1978. It was received at the Correspondence and Claims Branch on Monday, January 16, 1978.

 On Monday, January 16, 1978, Boyd telephoned Ms. Faucett to inquire about the status of his letter of January 7th. He was told that his letter had been received and was being processed.

 On January 31, 1978, forms and information were sent to Boyd in response to his January 7th letter. Boyd subsequently submitted a duly completed Form PD 1022-1, "Report/Application for Relief on Account of Loss, Theft, or Destruction of United States Bearer Securities (Individuals)," executed on February 20, 1978. Upon receipt of this form, Treasury Note 10890 was placed on the Federal Reserve Bank Checklist of U. S. Government and Agency Securities Reported as Stolen or Missing, on February 24, 1978.

 While all this correspondence was taking place, on Wednesday, January 11, 1978, Treasury Note 10890, with 17 coupons attached, was presented for sale at the Bellevue Branch of the Pittsburgh National Bank, by a customer of the bank, James Miller. John Rihs, Manager of the Branch, contacted Charles Sullivan, Safety and Security Officer, at Pittsburgh National's downtown office. Sullivan in turn, telephoned the Securities Department of the FRB Pittsburgh to inquire whether the security was listed on the Federal Reserve Bank Checklist. Mr. Sullivan was advised by the clerk in the Securities Department that the Note was not listed on the checklist.

 The Note was then sold on wire transfer to a purchaser in New York. In connection with this sale, Pittsburgh National forwarded the Note to FRB Pittsburgh on January 18, 1978, and FRB Pittsburgh, in turn, forwarded the Note to the Bureau of Public Debt on January 25, 1978.

 By letter dated March 8, 1978, the Bureau of Public Debt furnished to Boyd Form PD 4087 (Bond of Indemnity) with instructions and Circular 570 (Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds), relative to his obtaining replacement of the Note. This form has never been returned by Boyd.

 On March 24, 1978, Boyd and Tom Rice, a U. S. Secret Service Agent assisting him to locate the Note, visited the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, and spoke with Dan Robinson, who informed them that the Note had not as yet been reported by the Bureau of Public Debt as having been received.

 On or about May 17, 1978, the Correspondence and Claims Branch of the Bureau of Public Debt was advised by the Records Branch that Treasury Note 10890 had been received and honored. Accordingly, by letter dated May 23, 1978, Boyd was informed that because the stolen Note had been received and honored, his February 20, 1978 Report/Application could not be further considered.

 This lawsuit was initiated in May of 1979 for statutorily provided relief on account of the loss through theft of the Treasury Note with coupons attached and for damages caused by the negligence of the United States through its employees which resulted in the loss. The plaintiff brought this action under the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2), pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 738a, and under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. The defendant's Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted was denied by this court, and the parties have now filed Cross Motions for Summary Judgment.


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