Conceding that he is not his granddaughter's guardian or trustee, Ortman contended both to the Bureau and to this Court that he meant to be applying in his own name. He put his granddaughter's name on the entry card, he maintains, only as a personal reminder to himself that he eventually planned to transfer the rights to the lease to her. As evidence for his intent, he points to the fact that he signed the application on the back in the space for "applicant's signature," and that his last name and address appear on the address line on the front of the card. Ortman argues that the instructions on the entry card are ambiguous as to whose name is to be printed at the top of the front side, and that he should not be denied his right to the lease for what he contends is a technical defect in his filing.
The disingenuousness of Ortman's argument is plain from an examination of the entry card, a photocopy of which is appended to this opinion. The application requires the applicant to print or type "last name," "first name" and "middle initial." The fact that it does not specify " applicant's last name" hardly establishes any ambiguity as to whose name the card calls for. Nor can it be said that Ortman's signature on the back and his last name on the address line on the front rescue his application from the appearance of being an application filed by Tonia Faris. His signature was reasonably found by the administrative judge to be illegible. His name on the front appears only on a line that gives the applicant's address as "7 East 48th St. c/o Ortman." Based on these uncontroverted facts, the Court cannot say that it was arbitrary and capricious for the Bureau to reject the application as one made on behalf of an unqualified minor.
Ortman also argues that the rejection was contrary to the agency's practice and contrary to case law overturning lease rejections based on hypertechnical defects in the application. These arguments also are unavailing. Ortman has shown no decisions by the agency inconsistent with the treatment he received.
The cases he does cite give no support for his position. See Brick v. Andrus, 202 U.S. App. D.C. 213, 628 F.2d 213 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Blanche Chomicki, 51 I.B.L.A. 128 (1980). The technical violations in those cases, and in other cases such as Conway v. Watt, 717 F.2d 512 (10th Cir. 1983), stand in sharp contrast to Ortman's substantive violation, which created the clear impression to any reasonable person that the application was made not for himself but for Tonia Faris.
There is no indication in this case that Ortman used his granddaughter's name so that he could make more than one application for the lease, in violation of the Bureau's regulations that give a party only one fair chance at winning the lottery on a lease. See 43 C.F.R. § 3112.5-1(b) (1983). However, it is clear that if the courts were to require the kind of liberality in reading entry cards that Ortman proposes, such abuse of the application process would be made far easier. This is all the more reason to reject his arguments.
Since the plaintiff has raised no issues of material fact, and since the defendant on these facts is clearly entitled to judgment, the Court grants the defendant's motion for summary judgment. An appropriate Order is filed herewith.
[SEE APPENDIX IN ORIGINAL]