Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss Rebuttals
Primary Hand Receipt Holder
Soldiers often find themselves being unfairly and improperly held accountable for government property that is lost or destroyed. Oftentimes, a Primary Hand Receipt Holder (PRHR) or other Soldier charged with the safeguard of Army equipment is used as a scapegoat when property is missing, with no misconduct or negligence on their part. These situations can leave Soldiers with outrageous sums of money that they are deemed responsible for paying back to the Army. Before a Soldier admits fault for this property, he or she should understand that there is a chance to rebut the findings of a Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss (FLIPL) and be relieved from having to pay back the Army a debt.
Army Regulation 735-5, paragraph 13-30.b(6)c.
According to Army Regulation 735-5, paragraph 13-30.b(6)c., “Before holding a person financially liable for a loss to the Government, the facts must clearly show that the person’s conduct was the ‘proximate’ cause of the [Loss, Damage, Destruction, or Theft]. That is, the person’s acts or omissions were the cause that, in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by a new cause, produced the LDDT, and without which the LDDT would not have occurred.”
Army Regulation 735-5’s glossary defines “proximate cause” as, “The cause, which in a natural and continuous sequence of events unbroken by a new cause produced the loss or damage. Without this cause, the loss or damage would not have occurred. It is further defined as the primary moving cause, or the predominate cause, from which the loss or damage followed as a natural, direct, and immediate consequence.”
Rebutting a FLIPL
Although the language of Army Regulation 735-5 can sound confusing, rebutting a FLIPL can be as simple as establishing that an “intervening cause” or “superseding cause” was the event that actually caused the loss or destruction of property. These intervening or superseding causes can be misconduct from another individual, negligence on the part of another Soldier, a natural disaster, or the PRHR simply inheriting an incorrect accounting of the property at the time he or she assumed responsibility.
Contact us if you have questions
If you are the subject of a FLIPL, it is essential that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney before allowing the Army to summarily find you responsible for the debt. Our attorneys will evaluate all the circumstances that led to the loss or destruction of the property and identify any factors that could alleviate your culpability in the missing property.