Conviction for Willful Failure to Pay Child Support Upheld Over Venue Challenges

By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 15, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Novak, No. 08-5254, the court of appeals faced an appeal from a conviction under 18 U.S.C. section 228(a)(3) for willfully failing to pay child support.

The court of appeals rejected two challenges to the district court's jury instructions on venue, finding that: 1) the district court did not err when it defined "resided" as "the act or fact of living in a given place permanently or for an extended period of time," and the evidence was sufficient, for purposes of venue, to establish that defendant resided in the Eastern District of Virginia during the time period alleged in the indictment; and 2) even assuming the district court's instruction was erroneous, defendant could not show any harm.   

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