CHAP. 438.- An act to amend section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, Revised Statutes of the United States, and for other purposes.
|Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-seven hundred and two, title fifty-seven, of the Revised Statutes of the United States is hereby amended so as to read as follows:
“Sec. 4702. If any person embraced within the provisions of sections forty-six hundred and ninety-two and forty-six hundred and ninety-three has died since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or hereafter dies, by reason of any wound, injury, or disease which under the conditions and limitations of such sections would have entitled him to an invalid pension had he been disabled, his widow or if there be no widow, or in case of her death without payment to her of any part of the pension hereinafter mentioned, his child or children under sixteen years of age, shall be entitled to receive the same pension as the husband or father would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled, to commence from the death of the husband or father, to continue to the widow during her widowhood, and to his child or children until they severally attain the age of sixteen years, and no longer; and if the widow remarry, the child or children shall be entitled from the date of remarriage, except when such widow has continued to draw the pension-money after her remarriage, in contravention of law, and such child or children have resided with and been supported by her, their pension will commence at the date to which the widow was last paid.”
SEC. 2. That marriages, except such as are mentioned in section forty-seven hundred and five of the Revised Statutes shall be proven in pension cases to be legal marriages according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of marriage or at the time when the right to pension accrued; and the open and notorious adulterous cohabitation of a widow who is a pensioner shall operate to terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation.
APPROVED, August 7, 1882.
I have a th grandmother that had her pension revoked because she had a long time affair which resulted in children. The man was married and they did not live together. They did not cohabit but they were not discrete. The whole community knew of their affair. From the above amendment, it seems she lost her pension unjustly. The word “cohabit” seems to be the loophole. They cut off her $10.00 a month when she was 65. I have the whole process and investigation on paper.
This has always bothered me.
I would agree that seems to be an overly broad, if not improper, interpretation of the statute. I am not a lawyer, but it would seem to me that “terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation.” makes it quite clear that cohabitation rather than adultery is the intended requirement for termination. Several volumes of “Decisions of the Department of the Interior in Appealed Pension and Retirement Claims, Also a Table of Cases Reported, Cited, Distinguished, Modified, and Overruled and of Statutes Cited and Construed” include cases brought under this statute and you may find the arguments interesting.