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United States v. Hack

March 27, 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 IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE AND GRANTING GOVERNMENT'S MOTION IN LIMINE

[Defendant's Motion filed on March 11, 2009; Government's Motion filed on March 13, 2009]

This matter came before the Court on two Motions in Limine filed by the parties. Defendant Ross Hack ("Hack") filed a Motion in Limine for an Order (1) Allowing Defense Argument and Jury Instruction at Trial Re: Right to Issuance of New Passport in 1998;

(2) Admitting Into Evidence at Trial Redacted 1998 Search Warrant and Inventory of Items Seized. The Government opposed this motion in part. The Government filed a Motion in Limine for an Order Precluding Defense Counsel from Cross-Examining Government Witness About Her Alleged Mental Health Issues and Emotional Instability. Hack did not file an Opposition to this Motion. After reviewing the materials submitted by the parties and hearing oral argument, the Court issued an order from the bench (1) granting in part and deny in part Defendant's Motion, (2) granting the Government's Motion, and (3) adopting the following order.

I. BACKGROUND

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).

The relevant statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1542, provides that it is a federal offense for a person to: willfully and knowingly make[] any false statement in an application for a 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. § 1542. Pursuant to 22 C.F.R. § 51.20, a "passport applicant must truthfully answer all questions and must state every material matter of fact pertaining to his or her eligibility for a passport." 22 C.F.R. § 51.20(b).

On March 4, 2009, the Court denied Hack's Motion to Dismiss the Indictment on Vagueness Grounds. See Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Indictment on Vaguess Grounds ("Order Denying MTD"), Docket Entry No. 70. In his motion, Hack had argued that the indictment charged Hack with material omissions and that the statute and regulation were unconstitutionally vague as applied to his case. In support of his Motion, Hack emphasized that failing to state that his passport had been seized was not material because a passport application could not be denied on that basis. In denying Hack's Motion, the Court noted that (1) the indictment charges Hack with misstatements, not omissions, see Order Denying MTD at 6-7, and (2) that violations of the statute are not limited to material information, see id. at 8-9 (citing U.S. v. Hart, 291 F.3d 1084, 1085 (9th Cir. 2002)).

II. DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE

Hack's Motion in Limine contains two requests. The Court denies the first request and grants in part and ...


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