Hagner v. United States, No. 590

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSUTHERLAND
PartiesHAGNER et al. v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date11 April 1932
Docket NumberNo. 590

285 U.S. 427
52 S.Ct. 417
76 L.Ed. 861
HAGNER et al.

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 590.
Argued March 14, 1932.
Decided April 11, 1932.

[Syllabus from 428 intentionally omitted]

Page 428

Messrs. William E. Leahy, William J. Hughes, Jr., and Lucien H. Van Doren, all of Washington, D. C., for petitioners.

The Attorney General and Mr. Thomas D. Thaoher, Sol. Gen., of Washington, D. C., for the United States.

Page 429

Mr. Justice SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioners were indicted in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia under section 215 of the Criminal Code, U. S. C., title 18, § 338 (18 USCA § 338), which provides:

'Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, * * * shall, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, place, or cause to be placed, any letter, * * * in any post office, * * * to be sent or delivered by the post office establishment of the United States, * * * or shall knowingly cause to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, * * * any such letter, * * * shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.'

The indictment charges that petitioners devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the Merchants' Transfer & Storage Company out of its money and property in manner and form set forth; and that 'for the purpose of executing said scheme and artifice, on, to wit, April 19, 1927, did place and cause to be placed in the Post Office at the City of Scranton, in the State of Pennsylvania, to be sent and delivered by the Post Office establishment of the United States of America, to the addressee thereof, three certain accounts enclosed in a certain envelope addressed to Merchants' Transfer and Storage Company, 920 E Street, N. W., Washington, D. C.'

Petitioners were arraigned, entered pleas of not guilty, and went to trial without challenging the sufficiency of the indictment or the jurisdiction of the court to hear and determine the case. They were found guilty by a jury, and thereupon moved in arrest of judgment upon the ground that the indictment failed to charge any offense within the jurisdiction of the court. The motion was overruled, and petitioners sentenced to pay a fine and

Page 430

undergo a term of imprisonment. Upon appeal the judgment was affirmed by the court below. 60 App. D. C. 335, 54 F.(2d) 446.

The contention is that the indictment charges no offense committed in the District of Columbia, but only an offense committed in Pennsylvania; and, assuming this to be true, that the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia was without jurisdiction. Undoubtedly, the indictment is adequate to charge an offense committed in Pennsylvania; but the question first to be considered is whether, upon this record and upon a motion in arrest of judgment, the indictment may be sustained as also sufficient to charge an offense committed within the District of Columbia. The record brought here does not contain the evidence or any of the trial proceedings. We have before us only the indictment, the fact that petitioners were arraigned, entered pleas, were convicted and sentenced, the motion in arrest of judgment, and the order of the court overruling it, together with the formal docket entries relating thereto.

The defect said to exist is that the indictment fails to allege specifically that petitioners did 'cause (the letter) to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon.' Obviously, in this particular, the indictment does not precisely follow the terms of the statute, but it does allege that the letter was deposited in a post office so addressed as to constitute a direction for its delivery to the addressee at a particular place in the District of Columbia. The rule is well settled that proof that a letter properly directed was placed in a post office creates a presumption that...

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892 practice notes
  • United States v. Nelson, No. G78-115 CR5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • February 15, 1980
    ...290, 15 S.Ct. 628, 630, 39 L.Ed. 704; Rosen v. United States, 161 U.S. 29, 34, 16 S.Ct. 434, 480, 40 L.Ed. 606.' Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 431, 52 S.Ct. 417, 419, 76 L.Ed. 861. See Potter v. United States, 155 U.S. 438, 445, 15 S.Ct. 144, 146, 39 L.Ed. 214; Bartell v. United St......
  • United States v. Zirpolo, Cr. A. No. 75-67.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • August 1, 1968
    ...Inc. v. United States, supra citing United States v. Debrow, 346 U.S. 374, 74 S.Ct. 113, 98 L.Ed. 92 (1953) and Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 52 S.Ct. 417, 76 L.Ed. 861 (1932). It is the charging part of an indictment which the court may not amend. Ex parte Bain, 121 U.S. 1, 7 S. C......
  • U.S. v. Moore, No. 78-1594
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • January 2, 1980
    ...Cert. denied, 385 U.S. 899, 87 S.Ct. 203, 17 L.Ed.2d 131 (1966). 129 United States v. Scharton, supra note 128, 285 U.S. at 521-522, 52 S.Ct. at 417, 76 L.Ed. at 919; Thompson v. United States, 258 F. 196, 200-201 (8th Cir.), Cert. denied, 251 U.S. 553, 40 S.Ct. 57, 64 L.Ed. 411 (1919); Uni......
  • United States v. Kenny, No. 71-1886 to 71-1890.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 22, 1972
    ...of the "nature and cause of the accusation." We hold that Count II complied with the standards set forth in Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 431, 52 S.Ct. 417, 76 L.Ed. 861 (1932) and Wong Tai v. United States, 273 U.S. 77, 81, 47 S.Ct. 300, 71 L.Ed. 545 (1927). See United States v. D......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
892 cases
  • United States v. Nelson, No. G78-115 CR5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • February 15, 1980
    ...290, 15 S.Ct. 628, 630, 39 L.Ed. 704; Rosen v. United States, 161 U.S. 29, 34, 16 S.Ct. 434, 480, 40 L.Ed. 606.' Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 431, 52 S.Ct. 417, 419, 76 L.Ed. 861. See Potter v. United States, 155 U.S. 438, 445, 15 S.Ct. 144, 146, 39 L.Ed. 214; Bartell v. United St......
  • United States v. Zirpolo, Cr. A. No. 75-67.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • August 1, 1968
    ...Inc. v. United States, supra citing United States v. Debrow, 346 U.S. 374, 74 S.Ct. 113, 98 L.Ed. 92 (1953) and Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 52 S.Ct. 417, 76 L.Ed. 861 (1932). It is the charging part of an indictment which the court may not amend. Ex parte Bain, 121 U.S. 1, 7 S. C......
  • U.S. v. Moore, No. 78-1594
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • January 2, 1980
    ...Cert. denied, 385 U.S. 899, 87 S.Ct. 203, 17 L.Ed.2d 131 (1966). 129 United States v. Scharton, supra note 128, 285 U.S. at 521-522, 52 S.Ct. at 417, 76 L.Ed. at 919; Thompson v. United States, 258 F. 196, 200-201 (8th Cir.), Cert. denied, 251 U.S. 553, 40 S.Ct. 57, 64 L.Ed. 411 (1919); Uni......
  • United States v. Kenny, No. 71-1886 to 71-1890.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 22, 1972
    ...of the "nature and cause of the accusation." We hold that Count II complied with the standards set forth in Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427, 431, 52 S.Ct. 417, 76 L.Ed. 861 (1932) and Wong Tai v. United States, 273 U.S. 77, 81, 47 S.Ct. 300, 71 L.Ed. 545 (1927). See United States v. D......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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