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U.S. Supreme Court

Maisenberg v. United States, 356 U.S. 670 (1958)

Maisenberg v. United States

No. 76

Argued January 28, 1958

Decided May 26, 1958

356 U.S. 670


Petitioner was brought to the United States in 1912 at the age of 11 and was admitted to citizenship in 1938. In 1953, the Government sued under § 340(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to set aside the naturalization decree on the ground that it had been obtained by "concealment of a material fact [and] willful misrepresentation." The District Court granted the relief sought, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: the judgment is reversed, because the Government has failed to prove its charges by the "clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence" which is required in denaturalization cases. Schneiderman v. United States, 320 U. S. 118. Pp. 356 U. S. 671-673.

1. The Government's timely filed affidavit of "good cause" was sufficient. Nowak v. United States, ante, p. 356 U. S. 660. P. 356 U. S. 672.

2. A finding of misrepresentation cannot be predicated on petitioner's answer to an ambiguous question in a preliminary naturalization form. Nowak v. United States, ante, p. 356 U. S. 660. P. 356 U. S. 672.

3. Though the Government proved that petitioner was a member of the Communist Party for five years preceding her naturalization, it failed to prove sufficiently that she was not "attached to the principles of the Constitution," because it did not prove by "clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence" that she knew that the Party advocated the violent overthrow of the Government. Pp. 356 U. S. 672-673.

238 F.2d 282, reversed, and cause remanded.

Page 356 U. S. 671

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