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Summary Court-Martial Convening Order
Court-Martial  Convening  Order  1-CY  of  1  January 19CY. e.  Subject  to  the  Following  Instructions—The CA may have any number of instructions about a case being referred to court-martial. In this event, the CA would  state  in  this  section  what  instructions  or conditions  are  applicable.  These  instructions  could include ( 1 ) that the charges against the accused be tried with certain other charges; (2) that the CA is referring a capital offense as noncapital if the death penalty is not mandatory (when a CA has this discretion to refer a capital case as noncapital, he or she should refer to the criteria found in R.C.M. 1004); (3) that no bad-conduct discharge  (BCD)  be  adjudged;  and  (4)  instructions  on amending  orders  to  the  court-martial.  NOTE:  You must state all special instructions in the referral. f. By Command or Order of—Referral will be by the personal order of the CA. In some instances, the CA may not be signing the charge sheet. If this should occur, reflect it by showing the signer’s authority. If the CA is signing (which is usually the case), then this  section  would  be  lined  out  by  using  slashes. SPECIAL  NOTE:  If the only officer present in the command   refers   the   charges   to   an   summary court-martial   (SCM)   and   serves   as   SCM   officer, complete the referral with this additional comment: Only Officer Present in the Command. Block 15: Service of Charges. a. Date—Type or handwrite in the date that service upon the accused is made. b.  Typed  Name  of  Trial  Counsel—Type  in  the full name of the TC. c.  Grade  or  Rank  of  Trial  Counsel—Example: LT, JAGC, USNR (spell out if room allows). d.  Signature—The TC signs his or her name as typed  in  this  block. If charges are for trial by SCM, this section would reflect that the summary court served the accused. This process would be done by typing slashes through the words Trial Counsel  and replacing them with the words Summary  Court. The  TC  is  responsible  for  serving  the  accused. Some items to keep in mind at this point are that you or the TC must actually give a copy of the charges to the accused. Substitute service upon the defense counsel (DC)   is   not   enough. Service   should   be   made immediately after receipt of the charges by the TC. The TC promptly informs the DC that service was made. Any  questions  by  the  accused  when  served  should  be referred  to  the  respective  DC.  Changes  or  amendments to the charge sheet need to be brought to the attention of the  DC. Any  charge  sheet  that  is  amended  or substantially  changed  must  be  additionally  served  upon the  accused. e.  Service  on  Accused  “By  Direction”  of  the Trial Counsel—Although the TC is tasked with service of charges upon the accused, the TC may not be able to accomplish this on all occasions. If this situation should occur, follow the steps set forth below: (1) Service section will reflect all personal information of the TC. (2)  Service   “By  direction  of  the  Trial Counsel” is shown by leaving the section (caused to be) unmarked. In time of peace, no person may, over objection, be brought to trial, including an Article 39(a) session, before  a  general  court-martial  (GCM)  within  the  period of 5 days after service of charges, or before a special court-martial (SPCM) within a period of 3 days after service of charges. In  computing  these  dates,  exclude  the  date  of service. You  will  also  exclude  the  date  of  trial. However,  you  will  include  holidays  and  Sundays.  The accused has the right, however, to waive the mandatory waiting period and proceed to trial before the 3- or 5-day period  has  elapsed. Distribution Requirements With one accused prepare at least an original and six copies of the charge sheet. You will distribute them as follows: 1. Original—For insertion in the original record of trial 2.  Copies  to—TC,  DC,  military  judge,  accused, court reporter, and the file This is a recommended distribution. Numbers may vary depending upon local practices. CONVENING AND AMENDING ORDERS Courts-martial   are   convened   by   means   of   a convening  order  issued  by  the  CA,  The  convening  order must  be  personally  signed  by  the  CA.  Without  a convening order, no court-martial can be held, with one exception; the exception is when only one officer is attached to a command. In this case, he or she is the 6-7

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