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DEPARTMENTAL ORDERS AND REGULATIONS CITED

51

52

19

Code of Federal Regulations:

Code of Federal RegulationsTitle 25:

Page

Continued Part 15.. 114 1960 Supp.—Continued

Page 8 17.12 143 $ 192.43

134 Part 81. 114 8 192.80 (b) (1)

84 $ 121.24 52 8 192.140

5 $ 121.49

§ 192.140

23, 24 8 241.24

Revised : 8 241.49 51 8 192.141

23 Title 30:

8 200.3(c)

172 8 221.34 94 $ 200.6

169 8 226.12 111 $ 200.8(d)

169 8 241 94 $ 200.8(g) (1) (ii)

169 § 241.6

94, 95
$ 200.8(g) (2) (ii)

170 Title 43:

$ 221.32(c)

72 8 4.4

222

1960 Supp. : § 4.6 (a)-(C)---223 § 221.33

19, 72 8 4.9

223

§ 221.92(b) $ 4.15 12, 222 § 221.98

72 8 65.23 78 $ 231.15

185 $ 65.27 78 8 232.13

182 1960 Supp. :

$ 250.5

2 § 101.20(c)

4
$ 295.8

134 $ 102.22

71, 72, 73 $ 102.22(a).

74, 75, 78 Miscellaneous Regulations: $ 161.6(e) (3)

99 1917, July 17: Circular No. g 161.6 (f)

99

393 (44 L.D. 32, 37)------ 75 § 161.9(d)

100

1959, Jan. 8: Circ ar $ 161.10(j)

101

No. 2009 Miscellaneous 8 166.45

78

Amendments (24 F.R. § 166.46

78
281)

132 $ 192.3(e) (2)

132

1959, June 1: Circular No. 8 192.42

233, 238

2019 (24 F.R. 4630)------ 24 8 192.42(d)

31, 32, 231 1961, Dec. 12: Circular No. 8 192.42a (a)

23

2072 (26 F.R. 12126)---- 73, 78 8 192.42 (a) (b)

18 1959, Jan. 7: Secretarial 192.42(e) (4) 230, 231, 236, 237

General Order (24 F. $ 192.42(g) (2) (iii)

231, 232
R. 127)--

205

XLVII

DECISIONS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

AUTRICE C. COPELAND

A-28454 (SUPP.)

Decided February 27, 1962

Public Sales: Generally
The conservation policy announced on February 14, 1961, does not require the

cancellation of a public sale held prior to the announcement because, after the date of the sale, the market value of the land has increased substantially

over its value on the date of sale. Public Sales: Generally The consummation of a public sale, under the conservation policy announced

on February 14, 1961, will depend upon whether the amount bid or offered by the successful purchaser is equal to or over the fair market value of the land on the date of the sale.

ON RECONSIDERATION

By decision dated October 23, 1960, the Department affirmed a decision by the Director, Bureau of Land Management, dated February 12, 1960, which, in turn, affirmed a decision by the Arizona State Supervisor dated January 5, 1959, rejecting the preference rights asserted by Leslie N. Baker and others to purchase land offered at public sale on August 28, 1958, pursuant to the provisions of the public sale law (43 U.S.C., 1958 ed., sec. 1171), and declaring Mrs. Autrice C. Copeland to be the purchaser of the land. The Department held that, it having been established that no other party was entitled to a preference right, Mrs. Copeland, as the high bidder at the sale, must be declared to be the purchaser of the land.

Thereafter, the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Land Management, in a decision approved by the Secretary of the Interior on April 14, 1961, vacated the sale on the ground that it did not accord with

1 Leslie N. Baker et al. A-28454 (Oct. 26, 1960). 2 Leslie N. Baker et al. (Arizona 019268 etc.).

69 I.D. 1-4

1

639036—62)

the then recently announced land conservation policy. The decision noted that over 21/2 years had elapsed since the date of the sale and that the value of the land was approximately 10 times the value at which it was appraised before the sale.

Mrs. Copeland filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of April 14, 1961, and presented oral argument in support thereof.

The conservation policy to which the decision of April 14, 1961, referred was announced on February 14, 1961. The policy, as it relates to public sales, is that the Government must receive a full return for its property, that no party to a transaction with the Government should receive a windfall, and that, to the extent that the law permits and in the absence of a binding contract, no transaction will be consummated where, in the course of processing, evidence develops that the Government will not receive full value.

No cash certificate has ever been issued to Mrs. Copeland; she thus has no contractual right against the United States (43 CFR 250.5). Nevertheless, it is believed now to be unfair to interpret the policy as requiring cancellation of a sale because after the date of the sale the market value of the land has increased substantially over its value on the date of sale. In this case, an increase in value occurred during a period when Mrs. Copeland had no control over the situation and, but for the unsuccessful appeals of persons later shown to have no preference rights to purchase the land, in all likelihood a cash certificate would have been issued long prior to the announcement of the new policy. In such circumstances, it cannot be said that, where the Government would receive the fair market value of the property as of the date of sale, the Government is not receiving a full return for its property or that Mrs. Copeland would receive a windfall. To so hold would be to penalize Mrs. Copeland for delays after the date of sale not attributable to her.

By the same token, however, if it is unfair to penalize the purchaser at a public sale for appreciations in value of the offered land occuring after the date of the sale, it would be contrary to the Government's interest to permit the consummation of a sale upon the basis of values which were determined before the date of the sale and which do not reflect the true value of the land on the date of the sale. Accordingly, it is concluded that consummation of a public sale should depend upon whether the amount bid or offered by the successful purchaser is equal to or over the fair market value of the land on the date of the

8 This policy superseded and broadened the so-called anti-speculation policy announced by former Secretary Seaton in February 1960.

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