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Article 139, UCMJ,Claims
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Legalman 3 & 2 - Navy Lawyer / Jag training guide manuals
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Subsequent Action - 14134_336
involves a dispute over the terms of a contract or over ownership  of  property  is  not  normally  payable  unless the dispute is merely a cover for an intent to steal. Article 139 is not a way in which an individual can have his or her debts collected, nor is it to be used to mediate business  disputes. A claim that a marine borrowed a friends VCR to tape a show and did not return it on the promised date would not be cognizable unless the marine borrowed the VCR on such a pretext and then sold it. This would prove a present intent to steal. A claim that a sailor issued a worthless check would be  cognizable  if  evidence  establishes  an  intent  to defraud.  Such  intent  may  be  inferred  when  the  sailor fails to make good on a bad check within 5 working days of receiving notice of insufficient funds, in the same way that a criminal intent to defraud maybe inferred under Article 123a, UCMJ, A claim that a sai used it to obtain items lor stole a check or credit card and of value would be cognizable. EXCLUSIONS FROM LIABILlTY The following types of claims are not payable under Article 139: . Claims resulting from conduct that involves only simple negligence (failure to act with the same care that a reasonable person would use under the circumstances) l  Subrogated  claims  (by  insurers) . Claims payable under other claims statutes or regulations . Claims for personal injury or death . Claims arising from conduct occurring within the scope  of  employment l Claims for reimbursement for damage, loss, or destruction of government property l  Claims  arising  from  contractual  or  fiduciary relationships l Claims for indirect or consequential damages (such as lost business, lost earnings, carrying charges, interest,  attorney  fees,  inconvenience,  telephone  calls, or time spent preparing the claim) PROPER  CLAIMANTS Any individual (including both civilians and service members), business entity, state or local government, or charity may submit a claim. MEASURE  OF  DAMAGES The amount of recovery is limited to only the direct physical  damage  caused  by  the  service  member. Service  members  are  not  assessed  for  damage  or property loss due to the acts or omissions of the property owner, his or her lessee or agent, that were a proximate contributing  factor  to  the  loss  or  damage  of  said property. In these cases, the standard for determining responsibility  will  be  one  of  comparative  responsibility. The maximum amount that maybe approved by an OEGCMJ under Article 139 is $5,000 per offender, per incident. Where there is a valid claim for over $5,000, the claim, investigation into the claim, and the CO’s recommendation  are  sent  to  JAG  (Code  35)  or  to Headquarters,    U.S.  Marine  Corps  (Code  JAR),  as appropriate,  before  checkage  against  the  offender  can begin. The amount that can be charged against an offender in any single month cannot exceed one-half of the  member’s  basic  pay. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS The claim must he submitted within 90 days of the incident upon which the claim is based. PROCEDURES Article  139  claims  involve  certain  unique procedures. The claimant may make an oral claim, but it must be reduced to a personally signed writing that sets forth the specific amount of the claim, the facts and circumstances surrounding the claim, and any other matters that will assist in the investigation. If there is more than one claimant from a single incident, each claimant must submit a separate and individual claim. Investigation Claims  cognizable  under  Article  139  may  be investigated by an investigation not requiring a hearing. There is no requirement that the alleged offender be designated  as  a-party  to  the  investigation  and  afforded the rights of a party. The investigation inquires into the circumstances surrounding the claim, gathering all relevant  information  about  the  claim. Under  no 12-27

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