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AGO 1956 No. 247 - April 18, 1956
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS; MARINE CORPS LEAGUE; ENTITLEMENT TO RENT PAYMENTS FROM COUNTIES FOR MEETING PLACES.

 A detachment of the Marine Corps League may qualify for relief, from the county indigent veterans' fund and thereby become qualified for the payment of rent by the county authorized by RCW 73.04.080.
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                                                                   April 18, 1956

Honorable John J. O'Connell
Prosecuting Attorney
Pierce County
County Court House
Tacoma, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 247

 Attention:  !ttMr. Keith D. McGoffin
            Civil Deputy

Dear Sir:

            You have requested our opinion upon the following question:

             May a detachment of the Marine Corps League qualify for relief from the Indigent Veterans' Fund, RCW 73.08.010, so that it may further qualify for the payment of rent provided for in RCW 73.04.080?

             Your question is answered in the affirmative.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]                                                                         

            RCW 73.08.010 provides in part:                                                                 

             "For the relief of indigent and suffering soldiers, sailors, and marines . . . . and their families or the families of those deceased, who need assistance in any city, town, or precinct in this state, the board of county commissioners shall provide such sum or sums of money as may be necessary.  This money may be drawn upon by the commander and quartermaster, or commander and adjutant, of any post, camp, or chapter of any national organization of veterans now, or which may hereafter be, chartered by an act of congress, in such city, town or precinct upon recommendation of the relief committee of said post, camp, or chapter: . . ."

             RCW 73.08.040 establishes a procedure prerequisite to qualifying for such assistance.  That section provides:

             "The commander of any post, camp, or chapter of any national organization of veterans now, or which may hereafter be, chartered by an act of congress which undertakes the relief of indigent veterans and their families, before the acts of the commander and quartermaster, or commander and adjutant, may become operative in any city, town, or precinct, shall file with the county auditor of such county, notice that the post, camp, or chapter intends to undertake such relief.  Such notice shall contain the names of the relief committee of the post, camp, or chapter in such city, town, or precinct, and the commander of the post, camp, or chapter  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] shall annually thereafter during the month of October file a similar notice with the auditor, and also a detailed statement of the amount of relief furnished during the preceding year, with the names of all persons to whom such relief has been furnished, together with a brief statement in each case from the relief committee upon whose recommendations the orders were drawn."

             RCW 73.04.080 provides:

             "Any post, camp, or chapter of any national organization of veterans now, or which may hereafter be, chartered by an act of congress and which has qualified for relief from the indigent veterans' fund of the county and which is not furnished quarters by the state or any municipality shall, upon filing a proper claim each month with the county auditor, be entitled to be paid out of the indigent veterans' fund for the rent of its regular meeting place but not to exceed the sum of one hundred eighty dollars in any one year."

             Thus, in order to receive rental payments from the county, the veterans' organization in question must be "chartered by an act of congress" and have complied with the procedure established by RCW 73.08.040 so as to be "qualified for relief from the indigent veterans' fund of the county" as contemplated by RCW 73.08.010.

             The Marine Corps League is a national veterans' organization and was chartered by an act of Congress, August 4, 1937, § 1, chapter 564, 50 Stat. 558 (36 U.S.C.A. § 57) which provides:

              [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]

            "Major General John A. Lejeune, United States Marine Corps, retired, honorary national commandant; Maurice A. Illch, national commandant; Roy S. Taylor, senior national vice commandant; Kenneth B. Collings, junior national vice commandant; Alexander F. Ormsby, national judge advocate; Reverend John H. Clifford, national chaplain; Edward A. Walker, national sergeant at arms; John B. Hinckley, Junior, national adjutant and paymaster; John E. Brock, national chief of staff, are created a body corporate of the name 'Marine Corps League.'"

             A detachment of the Marine Corps League may therefore be entitled to rental payments from the county for its meeting place in accordance with RCW 73.04.080 upon compliance with the procedure set forth in RCW 73.08.040.

             We hope the foregoing analysis may prove helpful to you.

 Very truly yours,
 DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

J. CALVIN SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

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