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United States v. Lyzun

June 10, 1971

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MYRON LYZUN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Kiley, Fairchild and Pell, Circuit Judges.

Author: Fairchild

FAIRCHILD, Circuit Judge.

Appellant, Myron Lyzun, was convicted of knowingly failing to report for civilian work as required by an order of his draft board. The order was issued May 22, 1968. The underlying I-O classification was given him May 18, 1967. Appellant challenges the validity of the order on five grounds, and makes one claim of error upon the trial.

1. Claim that the local board lost jurisdiction. At a time when Lyzun was classified I-A, he requested an opportunity to show proof that he should be classified as "Conscientious Objector and/or Minister." He was allowed a personal appearance, but the board again classified him I-A. Lyzun appealed. The board did not forward the file to the appeal board, but gave him the I-O classification above referred to. The I-A classification appealed from involved a denial of both a conscientious objector classification and a ministerial classification. The new board action granted the first, but continued denial of the other.

32 CFR § 1626.13 and.14 required a local board, after the filing of an appeal, to forward the file to the appeal board. Lyzun claims that when he filed his appeal, the local board lost jurisdiction, so that both the I-O classification and the order to report for civilian work were void.

The government argues that Lyzun's appeal was late, so that it imposed no duty to forward the file. We disagree.

Under 32 CFR § 1626.2(c), then applicable, a registrant had ten days "after the date when the local board mails" the notice, in which to appeal. 32 CFR § 1641.6 provides: "The period of days allowed a registrant or other person to perform any act or duty required of him shall be counted as beginning on the day following that in which the notice to him is posted or mailed." Exclusion of the day of mailing is consistent with the common law.*fn1 Computations made by courts in two cases cited by the government are consistent with this principle.*fn2

The board classified Lyzun I-A April 27, 1967, and notice was mailed April 28. Counting April 29 as the first day of the period allowed for an appeal, May 8 was the tenth. Lyzun's appeal was mailed May 8 and received by the board May 9. The administrative practice in the Selective Service System is that when a notice is filed by mail, "the date of mailing as shown by the postmark on the envelope and not the date it was received by the local board shall be used in determining whether the filing or submission was timely."*fn3

Thus the local board had the duty under the regulation to forward his file to the appeal board, but the local board failed to comply. Instead it reconsidered and partially reversed its own decision, granted one of the classifications Lyzun had requested, but continued to deny the other. The board again notified Lyzun of his right to appeal, but he did not appeal.

We note here that Lyzun's file is unusual in that information furnished by him makes it clear that he did not meet the statutory requirements as a minister. It appears that he had been a "minister" according to his own lights since his baptism and ordination as a Jehovah's Witness at the age of 12, but the information he supplied thoroughly established that he did not preach and teach the principles of religion as his regular and customary vocation.*fn4

The question presented is whether the selective service regulations require application of a strict jurisdictional concept so that the I-O classification and the order to report for civilian work were wholly void. We think it unreasonable to interpret the regulations as requiring that result in these circumstances. Had Lyzun, after being granted one of the classifications he sought, desired to appeal, either because he thought he might be granted the IV-D classification, or even for the purpose of delay, he could have appealed from the I-O classification, and was so informed. In our view his failure to appeal ends inquiry into his classification.

We are aware of 32 CFR § 1626.41 providing that local boards:

"shall not issue an order for a registrant to report for induction either during the period afforded the registrant to take an appeal to the appeal board or during the period such appeal is pending. Any order to report for induction which has been issued during either of such periods shall be ineffective and shall be cancelled by the local board."

Literally the regulation does not apply to the type of order involved in this case. Assuming that it did, we think the time during which it would have prevented an order expired with ...


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