Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss Rebuttals
Primary Hand Receipt Holder
Soldiers can be unfairly and improperly held accountable for lost or destroyed government property through the Investigation of Property Loss. Oftentimes, a Primary Hand Receipt Holder (PRHR) can be charged when the Army property they safeguarding is missing. Without misconduct or negligence on their part. These situations can leave Soldiers with outrageous sums of money that they are responsible for paying back to the Army. Before admitting fault, a soldier should know they can fight through Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss Rebuttals (FLIPL).
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 sounds confusing, rebutting a FLIPL can be simple. The soldier must establish that an “intervening cause” or “superseding cause” 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 when he or she assumed responsibility.
Contact us if you have questions.
If you are the subject of an investigation of property loss, you must speak with a knowledgeable attorney before allowing the Army to 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. Contact us.