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UNITED STATES EX REL. MULFORD v. COMMANDING OFFICE

April 29, 1971

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Marc A. MULFORD, Petitioner,
v.
COMMANDING OFFICER, ARMED FORCES ENTRANCE AND EXAMINING STATION, FORT HAMILTON, N.Y. and Local Board No. 1, Respondents


Mishler, Chief Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MISHLER

Memorandum of Decision and Order

MISHLER, Chief Judge.

 Petitioner claims he was inducted into the United States Army unlawfully on March 18, 1971. *fn1" He seeks a writ of habeas corpus from custody by respondent. The petition alleges that Local Board No. 1, where petitioner was registered, issued the order of induction after illegally classifying him 1-A. Two specific grounds are stated to support the claim of illegality:

 1. The denial of a II-S classification for the period ending December, 1970; and

 2. The failure and refusal to classify petitioner as a conscientious objector.

 The facts are not in dispute. Petitioner entered State University of New York at Brockport in 1966 as a regular full time student majoring in Physical Education. The University offered a four year course for a degree in Health and Physical Education. Petitioner satisfactorily pursued the course of instruction and expected to graduate in June, 1970. During this period to June, 1970, he was granted a II-S deferment pursuant to 32 C.F.R. § 1622.25 promulgated pursuant to 50 App. U.S.C. § 456(h)(1). The regulation requires the registrant to submit evidence each year. ". . . that he is satisfactorily pursuing a full time course of instruction at a college, university or similar institution of learning." [C.F.R. § 1622.25(c)]. A "Student Certificate" dated September 13, 1969 was submitted by the Registrar of the State University stating that petitioner was "expected to receive a degree on or about June, 1970."

 On July 22, 1970, petitioner was classified 1-A. A "Notice of Classification" and "Advice of Right to Personal Appearance and Appeal" were mailed to petitioner on July 23, 1970. *fn2" On August 3, 1970, petitioner wrote the Board requesting reclassification to II-S or I-S(C) until December, 1970, since the course had been extended to December, 1970, at which time he would get his degree. This was supported by a letter from the Dean of Students which attributed the delay in completing the course to administrative changes which required certain alterations in the curriculum and additional courses. The record does not disclose when the change in curriculum was made or when plaintiff became aware of it, nor is any reason given for not advising the Board of a change in circumstances before August 3, 1970. *fn3" Petitioner's letter was apparently intended as a request for reconsideration of the classification as provided in 32 C.F.R. § 1625.2. *fn4" The Executive Secretary of the Board forwarded the file to the Appeal Board on October 28, 1970. On December 8, 1970, the Appeal Board unanimously upheld the Local Board, affirming the 1-A classification.

 On December 29, 1970, the Board mailed the plaintiff a Notice of Classification advising plaintiff that the 1-A classification of July, 1970 was continued. At the same time, the Board mailed an order to report for induction on January 12, 1971.

 On January 8, 1971, plaintiff hand delivered a letter to the Board stating that he believed all wars to be morally wrong and requesting conscientious objector status. At his request, the Clerk gave plaintiff a questionnaire form (S.S. 150) for conscientious objector status. Plaintiff's induction was postponed on the basis of his claim. On January 29, 1971, plaintiff hand delivered the questionnaire to the Board with a seven page typewritten statement attached. The statement relates the development of petitioner's moral convictions from basic religious teachings through personal experiences, study and analysis. He states that in expectation of reclassification to II-S during the period July, 1970 to December, 1970, his thoughts about war in general were amorphous. However, upon receiving the order to report for induction he states: ". . . I was face to face with the very monster I had been fighting against all along. As I put everything together in my mind and as I searched my conscience, I came to the realization that nothing was worth killing for in any war at any given time or place." Plaintiff further stated that he refused to aid the armed forces in any capacity as it violated his moral precepts; he offered to accept civilian work. *fn5"

 Two letters asserting plaintiff's sincerity and corroborating his conscientious objector claim were thereafter mailed to the Board.

 The Board granted a discretionary interview on February 18, 1971. Plaintiff submitted a letter in which he claimed the Board was in error in retaining him in 1-A for the period ending December, 1970, while he was attending college as a full time student, thus explaining the late crystallization of beliefs which would entitle him to conscientious objector status and classification. The Board determined that the "[registrant's] convictions are basically political and his moral convictions are expedient. . . . The registrant's classification was not reopened." *fn6"

 Section 10(b)(3) of the Military Selective Service Act of 1967, 81 Stat. 100, 50 U.S.C. App. § 460(b)(3) provides that

 
No judicial review shall be made of the classification or processing of any registrant by local boards, appeal boards, or the President, except as a defense to a criminal prosecution instituted under section 12 of this title, after the registrant has responded either affirmatively or negatively to an order to report for induction. . . .

 Oestereich v. Selective Service System Local Bd., 393 U.S. 233, 89 S. Ct. 414, 21 L. Ed. 2d 402 (1968) and Breen v. Selective Service Local Bd., 396 U.S. 460, 90 S. Ct. 661, 24 L. Ed. 2d 653 (1970) carved out an exception where the claim is based on a violation of the Board's own regulations. That is the claim here. The court has subject matter jurisdiction. Bucher v. Selective Service System, Local Boards Nos. 2, etc., 421 F.2d 24 (3d Cir. 1970); Piendak v. Local Board No. 5, 318 F. Supp. 1393 (W.D. Pa. 1970); Shea v. Mitchell, 137 U.S. App. D.C. 227, 421 F.2d 1162 (1970); Foley v. Hershey, 409 F.2d 827 (7th Cir. 1969). See also, Bowen ...


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