283 U.S. 25 (1931), 552, McBoyle v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 552
Citation:283 U.S. 25, 51 S.Ct. 340, 75 L.Ed. 816
Party Name:McBoyle v. United States
Case Date:March 09, 1931
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 25

283 U.S. 25 (1931)

51 S.Ct. 340, 75 L.Ed. 816

McBoyle

v.

United States

No. 552

United States Supreme Court

March 9, 1931

Argued February 26, 27, 1931

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

The National Motor Vehicle Theft Act, U.S. Title 18, § 408, which punishes whoever transport, or causes to be transported, in interstate or foreign commerce a motor vehicle knowing it to have been stolen, and which defines "motor vehicle" as including "an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails" does not apply to aircraft. P. 26.

43 F.2d 273 reversed.

Certiorari, 282 U.S. 835, to review a judgment affirming a conviction under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act.

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

The petitioner was convicted of transporting from Ottawa, Illinois, to Guymon, Oklahoma, an airplane that he knew to have been stolen, and was sentenced to serve three years' imprisonment and to pay a fine of $2,000. The judgment was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. 43 F.2d 273. A writ of certiorari was granted by this Court on the question whether the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act applies to aircraft.

Page 26

Act of October 29, 1919, c. 89, 41 Stat. 324, U.S.Code, Title 18, § 408. That Act provides:

Sec. 2. That when used in this Act: (a) The term "motor vehicle" shall include an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails.

* * * *

Sec. 3. That whoever shall transport or cause to be transported in interstate or foreign commerce a motor vehicle, knowing the same to have been stolen, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both.

Section 2 defines the motor vehicles of which the transportation in interstate commerce is punished in Section 3. The question is the meaning of the word "vehicle" in the phrase "any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails." No doubt etymologically it is possible to use the word to signify a conveyance working on land, water or air, and sometimes legislation extends the use in that direction -- e.g., land and air, water being...

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