Posted October 12, 2006

The Haas v. Nicholson Ruling: Where are we now?

In an effort to understand what the current status of this matter is, as of October 12, 2006, we present here a Statement of Status by the numbers:

1) On August 16, 2006, the Haas v. Nicholson case was ruled on by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This case was prepared and presented by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP).

2) Following the calendar where a ruling goes into full affect as a Judgment 21 days after the ruling, the Hass Ruling became the Law of the land on September 8, 2006. At that point in time, any refusal to honor that judgment is illegal; breaking the law.

3) As of that date (and still to this day, October 12, 2006), the Department of Veterans Affairs filed no legally accepted appeal to the Haas Ruling, nor did they request the court to stay (temporarily halt) the enforcement of the Haas Ruling while they gathered their resources in preparation for filing an appeal.

4) On September 21, 2006, the Office of the Chairman, Board of Veterans’ Appeals issued a Memorandum #01-06-24 instructing all Veteran Review Boards throughout the country to intentionally break the law and to set aside all veteran claims for compensation dealing with issues that were specifically addressed by the Haas Ruling.

5) The issuance of the Memorandum #01-06-24 and the directive to take no action on those specific claims is illegal and in direct defiance with a United States Court ruling.

6) The Memorandum #01-06-24 went one step further in breaking the law. As an in-house directive required to be followed by all Claims Appeal Boards, the Department of Veterans Affairs also requires that this take no action directive is to be followed until rescinded only by the Department of Veterans Affairs regardless of whatever else a United States Court might direct.

7) The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently disobeying a federal court order by denying claims reviews for veterans (mostly U.S. Navy personnel) who served off-shore of Vietnam but who earned the Vietnam Service Medal (or equivalent) and who suffer medical problems from the ill effects of herbicides. It is breaking the law in order to deprive veterans their right to medical compensation and treatment for lethal health damages acquired while serving on Active Duty in the U.S. military during time of war.

8) The Department of Veterans Affairs as requested that the U.S. Department of Justice to assist with its appeal of the Haas Ruling. As of this date, the DOJ has not responded to the DVA.

9) On September 28, 2006, the NVLSP filed a Writ of Mandamus urging the Court of Appeals to order the immediate termination of the Department of Veterans Affairs defiance of the law, and direct them to begin processing compensation claims for veterans who served in off-shore of Vietnam and who present with herbicide-related illnesses.

10) The Department of Veterans Affairs has 14 calendar days from this date, October 12, 2006, to respond to the NVLSP filing with the court. Once they file a response, the NVLSP then has 7 days in which to provide the court with their answer to the DVA response.

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