Robles v. United States, No. 16716

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtHAMLIN, JERTBERG and KOELSCH, Circuit
Citation279 F.2d 401
Decision Date26 July 1960
Docket NumberNo. 16716,16717.
PartiesFrank G. ROBLES, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

279 F.2d 401 (1960)

Frank G. ROBLES, Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

Nos. 16716, 16717.

United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit.

June 7, 1960.

Rehearing Denied July 26, 1960.


279 F.2d 402
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
279 F.2d 403
Frank G. Robles, Tucson, Ariz., in pro. per

Jack D. H. Hays, U. S. Atty., Michael A. Lacagnina, Mary Anne Reimann, Asst. U. S. Attys., Tucson, Ariz., for appellee.

Before HAMLIN, JERTBERG and KOELSCH, Circuit Judges.

KOELSCH, Circuit Judge.

Appellant was convicted on four of seven counts in an indictment charging him with knowingly and willfully falsifying certain documents within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States (18 U.S.C.A. § 1001)1 and also of two criminal contempts committed in the presence of the court during the course of the trial. The appeals from both convictions are consolidated. Appellant assigns numerous errors, none of which have any merit either in fact or law, and this perhaps can be explained in part by the fact that the appellant, a layman, voluntarily acted as his own lawyer, at the trial and on these appeals.

The indictment generally charged appellant with knowingly and willfully falsifying "contracts of employment" and "affidavits of support" which were submitted to immigration officials of the State Department for the purpose of gaining permission for Mexican nationals to enter and reside in the United States. These documents were purportedly signed by citizens of the United States who certified they would provide employment or support for the aliens sufficient to prevent them from becoming public charges while in this country. Appellant's name appeared as a notary public on the documents in question; he was charged with falsifying those documents and notarizing the signatures of United States citizens appearing thereon with the knowledge that the signatures were false.

Appellant makes eleven specifications of error which for convenience will be treated under three general headings.

First. Appellant urges that it was error for the court not to read the entire indictment to the jury at the beginning of the trial, that there was a variance between the indictment and proof adduced at the trial, that there was no proof that the allegedly false documents were "material" as required by Title 18 U.S. C.A. § 1001, and that it was error to permit the government's handwriting expert to merely state his conclusions as to the genuineness of signatures appearing on the disputed documents before they were admitted in evidence.

Considering these points in the order stated, it is well settled that the jury must be fairly apprised of the nature of the charges against the defendant,

279 F.2d 404
but this does not necessarily require a reading of the indictment to the jury either in whole or in part. Gallot v. United States, 5 Cir., 1898, 87 F. 446; Norman v. United States, 6 Cir., 1939, 100 F.2d 905; Nick v. United States, 8 Cir. 1941, 122 F.2d 660, 138 A.L.R. 791. Here, after the jury had been impanelled and sworn, the district judge explained in detail the allegations appearing in two of the counts in the indictment and advised the jury that except for names and dates the substance of the remaining counts was identical; in addition, the parties themselves explained and commented on the allegations comprising each of the counts at length in the course of their opening statements to the jury

The assertion that there is a variance between the indictment and the proof no doubt results from appellant's misunderstanding of the crime created by 18 U.S.C.A. § 1001 and of its essential elements. He argues that the documents in question were not proven to "meet the legal tests of contracts" and that as a result there was a "variance" between the indictment and proof. In order to constitute a commission of the crime created by the statute where it is charged that a written instrument was used, the proofs relating to the instrument need only establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly and willfully made or used "any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry." The fact that the indictment characterizes the writing as a "contract" or "affidavit" does not require proof that it is such. Weinstock v. United States, 1956, 97 U.S.App.D.C. 365, 231 F.2d 699; Ebeling v. United States, 8 Cir., 1957, 248 F.2d 429.

The same misconception is true of the "materiality" required, for appellant argues that the documents must be proven to have actually influenced the immigration officials in deciding whether to admit the aliens in question. Yet the test is not whether the instrument actually influenced or caused a department or agency of the United States to act, but rather "whether the false statement has a natural tendency to influence, or was capable of influencing the decision of the tribunal making the determination required to be made." Weinstock v. United States, supra, 231 F.2d at page 701. See also, United States v. Coastal Contracting & Engineering Co., D.C.Md.1959, 174 F. Supp. 474.

There was evidence which the jury must have believed that the documents described in the indictment were of the required sort. Mrs. Bullock, Vice-Consul of the State Department stationed at Nogales, Mexico, testified that before a visa permitting entry into the United States would be granted, some proof or showing was required to the effect that the applicant would not become a public charge, and as a result the Department oftentimes relied upon writings such as these in making its decision in connection with applications for visas.

Appellant similarly misunderstands the function of a handwriting expert and the purpose for which his testimony may be used. The disputed signatures here were those of appellant, appearing as a notary public on the documents, and those of the sponsors of the alien applicants. The record discloses that the witness, after his qualifications as an expert had been established to the satisfaction of the...

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29 practice notes
  • 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
    ...v. Woykovsky, 297 F.2d 179, 181 (7th Cir. 1961), cert. denied, 369 U.S. 867, 82 S.Ct. 1034, 8 L.Ed.2d 86 (1962); Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 407 (9th Cir. 1960), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745 (1961). In United States v. Rose, 215 F.2d 617, 630 (3d Cir. 1......
  • U.S. v. Snider, Nos. 73-1938 and 73-1939
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • July 19, 1974
    ...determination required to be made.' In other words, though the false statement need deceive no one in actuality, Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 404 (9th Cir. 1960), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745 (1961); United States v. Coastal Contracting and Engineering C......
  • U.S. v. Goldfine, Nos. 74-3397
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 1, 1976
    ...defendant was a materially false statement. In United States v. Cole, 469 F.2d 640, 641 (9th Cir. 1972), quoting Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 404 (9th Cir. 1960), the Ninth Circuit stated the test of materiality as (T)he test is . . . "whether the false statement has a natural ten......
  • United States v. Seale, No. 18246.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 11, 1972
    ...Workers, 330 U.S. 258, 303, 67 S.Ct. 677, 91 L.Ed. 884; United States v. Galante, 298 F.2d 72, 75 (2d Cir. 1962); Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 406 (9th Cir. 1960), certiorari denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745; MacInnis v. United States, 191 F. 2d 157, 162 (9th Cir.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • 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
    ...v. Woykovsky, 297 F.2d 179, 181 (7th Cir. 1961), cert. denied, 369 U.S. 867, 82 S.Ct. 1034, 8 L.Ed.2d 86 (1962); Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 407 (9th Cir. 1960), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745 (1961). In United States v. Rose, 215 F.2d 617, 630 (3d Cir. 1......
  • U.S. v. Snider, Nos. 73-1938 and 73-1939
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • July 19, 1974
    ...determination required to be made.' In other words, though the false statement need deceive no one in actuality, Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 404 (9th Cir. 1960), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745 (1961); United States v. Coastal Contracting and Engineering C......
  • U.S. v. Goldfine, Nos. 74-3397
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 1, 1976
    ...defendant was a materially false statement. In United States v. Cole, 469 F.2d 640, 641 (9th Cir. 1972), quoting Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 404 (9th Cir. 1960), the Ninth Circuit stated the test of materiality as (T)he test is . . . "whether the false statement has a natural ten......
  • United States v. Seale, No. 18246.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 11, 1972
    ...Workers, 330 U.S. 258, 303, 67 S.Ct. 677, 91 L.Ed. 884; United States v. Galante, 298 F.2d 72, 75 (2d Cir. 1962); Robles v. United States, 279 F.2d 401, 406 (9th Cir. 1960), certiorari denied, 365 U.S. 836, 81 S.Ct. 750, 5 L.Ed.2d 745; MacInnis v. United States, 191 F. 2d 157, 162 (9th Cir.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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