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UNITED STATES v. SELIGSON

February 14, 1974

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Eric Lincoln SELIGSON, Defendant


Cannella, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CANNELLA

CANNELLA, District Judge.

Defendant, Eric Lincoln Seligson, is charged, in a one count indictment, with knowing failure to keep his local Selective Service board advised of an address where mail would reach him, Section 462(a) of the Universal Training and Service Act of 1951, 50 U.S.C. App. § 462(a), *fn1" and 32 C.F.R. § 1641.3. *fn2" Defendant waived his right to a trial by jury and consented to a trial by the court. The trial was held on January 29, 1974. Defendant has, at the close of the proof, moved for a judgment of acquittal, Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. That motion is denied. The court finds the defendant guilty, as charged in the indictment, beyond a reasonable doubt.

 THE FACTS

 Defendant registered for Selective Service with Local Board 16 at New York, New York, on September 3, 1964 and gave his address as 1370 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, New York. At that time, he was informed by the registrar of his obligation to keep the local board advised of any change in his mailing address and he was given a pamphlet entitled "Selective Service and You" which contained similar information. At his registration, defendant completed and signed a classification questionnaire which also contained a warning about his duty to report any address change. On October 12, 1964 the local board mailed to the defendant a Registration Card which included, on the reverse side, a similar notice. On October 19, 1964 the defendant was forwarded a Notice of Classification (he was classified I-A on October 15, 1964) which stated a similar warning concerning his obligation to report address changes.

 On July 19, 1965 the local board received a letter from defendant stating that he had changed his address to 272 Seventh Street, Palisades Park, New Jersey.

 The defendant was mailed a notice to report for a physical examination by the local board on July 22, 1965. He appeared at the physical and was found fully acceptable for induction on August 2, 1965. *fn3"

 On August 16, 1965 the local board received a letter from defendant which stated that he no longer resided at the New Jersey address and that he would be departing for Europe shortly. He advised that during the period that he was to be abroad his American address would be 1670 Florida Street, San Francisco, California (his mother's address) and that he would also receive mail at the American Express Office, London, England. Defendant further stated that he would "notify the Selective Service System as to any change in [his] classification." *fn4"

 On November 15, 1965 the local board mailed a notice for a second physical examination to defendant at the San Francisco address. On November 24, 1965 the local board received a letter from defendant's mother (together with the contents of the November 15 mailing) stating that defendant was in Europe and that she was not in a position to contact him. *fn5" On November 26, 1965 the board directed a mailing to the defendant at American Express, London; this letter was returned on March 17, 1966 marked "Unclaimed-Not known".

 The local board thereafter declared defendant delinquent in his Selective Service obligations on February 1, 1966 and it mailed appropriate delinquency notices to defendant at both the California and London addresses on February 3, 1966. The notice mailed to London was returned to the board on April 13, 1966 marked "Unclaimed-Not known".

 On March 23, 1966 the board sent tracer letters to defendant's mother and his grandmother, Lillian Wilson, who had been listed by the defendant as the person who would always know his address. Mrs. Wilson responded March 28, 1966, by stating that she had not seen or heard from the defendant in about a year and she gave the last address for the defendant known to her as 1350 St. Nicholas Avenue, Bronx, New York. On March 30 the board directed a letter to defendant at the address provided by Mrs. Wilson, but this mailing was returned on April 4, 1966 marked "No such number". The board then sent a letter to defendant at the original address furnished by him, 1370 St. Nicholas Avenue, on April 7, 1966. This letter was returned "Moved. Left No Address." on April 11. In the interim, on April 8, the board received a response to its tracer letter from defendant's mother which stated that she had not heard from him since November 1965 and that she did not know his present whereabouts. She suggested that the board again try to reach him at the London American Express office.

 Thereafter, on April 12, 1966, the local board mailed a notice of induction for April 25, 1966 to the defendant in San Francisco. This notice was neither returned nor acknowledged. *fn6" Defendant did not report on April 25 and on May 12 the local board reported defendant to the United States Attorney as a Selective Service violator.

 An F.B.I. investigation was subsequently instituted to locate and apprehend the defendant. "Leads" were sent to numerous cities and countries and, at one point, defendant was located in Canada. In March 1969 the F.B.I. was informed that defendant was expected to arrive on an Air Canada flight at Kennedy Airport and they requested that the Port Authority Police apprehend him. Defendant was, however, able to escape capture when he fled across the air-field. As a result of the continued F.B.I. investigation defendant was again located, in October 1973, in Blytheville, Arkansas, using the assumed name of Eddie Watts, Jr. He was arrested on October 5, 1973 by the local police and was, thereafter, returned to New York for trial, by the F.B.I.

 DISCUSSION

 The regulation, 32 C.F.R. § 1641.3, places a duty upon a registrant to keep his local board advised of an address where mail will reach him and the statute, 50 U.S.C. App. § 462(a), makes a registrant's knowing failure, ...


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