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United States v. Hack

March 4, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROSS CHARLES HACK, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS INDICTMENT ON VAGUENESS GROUNDS [Motion filed on December 8, 2008]

This matter came before the Court on Defendant Ross Hack's Motion to Dismiss the Indictment. Hack faces a single-count indictment for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542, willfully and knowingly making a false statement in an application for a passport with the intent to induce the issuance of a passport. Hack argues that § 1542 is void for vagueness as applied to this case. After reviewing the materials submitted by the parties, the Court denies the Motion to Dismiss.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual and Procedural Background

On July 30, 1998, police investigating Hack's involvement in a double-homicide executed a warrant on Hack's Las Vegas, Nevada home; in connection with that search, police seized Hack's passport.

On or about August 3, 1998, Hack went in person to the U.S. Passport Office in Los Angeles, California and executed a "Will Call" application for a passport (also known as a "DSP-11"). Opp., Ex. B. The Will Call process allows an applicant who reports in person to the U.S. Passport Office to obtain a passport on the same day that he submits his application. On the DS-11, Hack responded that he had been issued a U.S. passport in January of 1996. Id. (Box No. 18). Hack checked a box that designated the 1996 passport as "lost." Id.

Hack also submitted a DSP-64, Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport, dated August 5, 1998. Opp., Ex. C.*fn1 The substantive part of the DSP-64 directs an applicant to "answer all questions. Be specific." Id. In response to a question that asked how the passport was lost or stolen, Hack responded: "Unknown, last seen in my home about 1 week ago." Id. Additionally, Hack noted that the loss was discovered on July 30, 2008. Id. Hack was issued a Will-Call passport, and thereafter traveled to Europe.

In March 2008, Hack was indicted on a single count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1542 in applying for that Will-Call passport. The First Superseding Indictment was filed on June 24, 2008. The First Superseding Indictment charges:

On or about August 4, 1998, in Los Angeles County, within the Central District of California, defendant Ross Charles Hack willfully and knowingly made a false statement in an application for a passport, with intent to induce and secure for his own use the issuance of a passport under the authority of the United States, contrary to the laws regulating the issuance of such passports and the rules prescribed pursuant to such laws, in that in connection with such application, defendant stated that his previously issued passport was lost and stated that it was unknown to him how his passport was lost or stolen, whereas, in truth and fact, as the defendant then knew, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had seized the passport on July 30, 1998, during the execution of a search warrant at defendant's home.

First Superseding Indictment (Docket Entry No. 31) at 1-2 (June 24, 2008).

B. 18 U.S.C. § 1542

As relevant here, § 1542 provides that it is a federal offense for a person to: willfully and knowingly make[] any false statement in an application for passport with intent to induce or secure the issuance of a passport under the authority of the United States, either for his own use or the use of another, contrary to the laws regulating the issuance of passports or the rules prescribed pursuant to such laws[.]

18 U.S.C. ยง ...


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