the purposes of the agency which obtained the information.'
Under subsection (b)(2)(v), all information contained in records in a registrant's file may be disclosed or furnished to, or examined by, a United States Attorney or his duly authorized representative.
This brings us to a consideration of the meaning of the regulation which provides for use of the information obtained for the purpose of the agency obtaining it. Certainly, the primary duty of a United States Attorney is to uphold and enforce the laws of the United States. Defendant argues that the language of Judge Watson in the case of Federal Life Insurance Co. v. Holod, D.C., 30 F.Supp. 713, prohibits the disclosure of such records as confidential in all cases. I do not so read the case. This was an action between private parties in which the United States had no interest and involved an insurance company seeking to obtain information in a registrant's file in a proceeding against the registrant. The case is certainly not authority for the proposition advanced.
Defendant also cites the case of McGlothan v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 3 Cir., 170 F.2d 121, wherein Judge Kalodner in a case involving records of the Veterans Administration held that the regulations themselves provided that records of the Veterans Administration were subject to subpoena by a United States Court to be produced in any suit or proceeding therein pending. Consequently, under the facts of that case, it is no authority for the proposition advanced by the defendant herein.
Defendant also cites Graham v. Squier, 9 Cir., 132 F.2d 681 contending that that case supports the proposition that on a proper claim of privilege and constitutional immunity from testifying against himself a Selective Service questionnaire marked confidential is inadmissible in evidence. The court never reached that question since the admission there was without objection by the defendant.
Finally, defendant cites the case of Young v. Terminal R.R. Ass'n of St. Louis, D.C., 70 F.Supp. 106. The only point passed on in that case was the plaintiff's statement, while testifying, that he had no objection to use in evidence of his Selective Service physical examination records constituted when the testimony was reduced to shorthand and transcribed 'written authority' for use of his file. It is not authority for the proposition that a United States Attorney is precluded from 'use' of the file under the applicable regulation.
I have been unable to find any case directly in point. The latest amended regulation made no change in the 1949 version. It is thoroughly understandable as to why matters contained in a Selective Service registrant's file should not be public documents and strict limitation should be placed on the disclosure of such records, particularly in matters affecting private interests. However, except for a short period, these records have by the regulation itself been made available to United States Attorneys. The 1949 Regulation which is in effect at this time provides not only for the furnishing of the information but for the use of it by the agency involved. In view of this provision, the confidential nature of it is destroyed. It is available for any use of the agency. I hold, therefore, that there was no error in the admission in evidence of the pertinent parts of the registrant's file showing his claimed dependency status and his claimed rate of wages as of the time the questionnaire and statements were submitted to the Selective Service.
This case must be viewed in its entire context. We are not dealing here with the ordinary business man. Admittedly, this defendant was engaged in an illegal enterprise and the evidence clearly illustrates that he had available to him unexplained cash sums well in excess of income reported. It was the jury's function under proper instructions to determine whether his actual income was greater in amount than that which he showed in his income tax returns. After a very careful consideration of the evidence, the jury determined that for the years 1948 and 1949 his returns were false and fraudulent. Since the Court had of necessity to submit that question to the jury, motion for judgment of acquittal cannot be granted.
The reasons assigned and relied upon by the defendant for a new trial have been discussed fully above and I hold them to be without legal merit. The motion for a new trial will be dismissed.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.