Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

Overview of the procedural considerations to jurisdiction:

Pleading Jurisdiction. See, R.C.M. 307(c)(3) Discussion at (C)(iv) and (F).

Lack of Jurisdiction: Raised by Motion to Dismiss, R.C.M. 907. May be made at any stage of the proceeding.

Burden of Proof. Although R.C.M. 905 states that the burden of proof in a motion contesting jurisdiction is a preponderance of the evidence, if contested at trial, the government must prove jurisdiction beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. United States v. Bailey, 6 M.J. 965 (N.M.C.M.R. 1979); R.C.M. 905(c)(1)(preponderance); R.C.M. 905(c)(2)(B) (burden of persuasion on government).

2. United States v. Marsh, 15 M.J. 252 (C.M.A. 1983) (for “peculiarly military” offenses like AWOL, an accused’s military status is an element of the offense which must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to the fact finders). See also United States v. Roe, 15 M.J. 819 (N.M.C.M.R. 1983).

3. United States v. Chodara, 29 M.J. 943 (A.C.M.R. 1990) (Reserve Component warrant officer ordered to AD for training; provided urine sample that tested positive for cocaine pursuant to a urinalysis administered within 36 hours of initiation of AD period. Held: no subject matter jurisdiction because the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was subject to the UCMJ at the time he “used” the cocaine).

Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault? What to Do If It Happens to You

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