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Page Title: Withdrawal of Charges
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assigned,  and  any  special  instructions.  Block  14  is then  personally  signed by the CA or by his or her personal  order  reflecting  the  signer’s  authority.  It might  serve  well  to  recall  that  a  clear  and  concise serial system is essential to proper referral. The refer- ral should identify a particular court to hear the case; that is, it should relate to a specific convening order. Take, care in preparing convening orders and referral blocks to avoid confusion and legal complications at the trial. Withdrawal of Charges Withdrawal of charges is a process by which the CA takes from a court-martial a case previously re- ferred to it for trial. The CA cannot withdraw charges from one court and re-refer them to another without proper reasons. These reasons are articulated in writ- ing by the CA and included in the record of trial when the case is tried by the second court. The CA may withdraw  charges  for  the  purpose  of  dismissing  them for any reason deemed sufficient to him or her. Me- chanically, accomplish the withdrawal by drawing a diagonal line across the referral block on page 2 of the charge sheet and have the CA initial the line-out. It is also advisable to write  withdrawn  across the endorse- ment  and  date  the  action. DISESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  COURT.— Perhaps  the  most  frequently  occurring  withdrawal problem is presented when the CA wants to disestab- lish the court and create another to take its place. This usually happens when several members have been transferred, or the particular court has been in exis- tence for a long time, and the CA wants to relieve the court. Such grounds are valid and constitute a proper reason. If evidence shows that a change was made because the CA was displeased with the leniency of a sentence or the number of acquittals, then the with- drawal would not be lawful. Whenever a new court relieves  an  old  one,  it  creates  a  problem  with  respect to the cases previously referred to the old court (which was, disestablished and are now being referred to the new court. Remember, only the court to which a case is specifically referred can try it. The CA can with- draw each case from the old court (by lining out the referral block) and then re-refer the case to the new court. This action is accomplished by executing a new block 14 referral on the charge sheet, indicating the serial number and date of the convening order that appoints the new   court.  The  new  referral  is  taped along the top edge over the old lined-out referral to allow  inspection  of  both  referrals. CHANGE IN COURT—NO DISESTABLISH- MENT.— Sometimes a CA may have good cause for withdrawing a case from a court that he or she does not intend to disestablish. For instance, one of several court panels may be backlogged and the CA may wish to redistribute the pending cases. This action is ac- complished by lining out and initialing the old referral block on the charge sheet and executing a new block 14 re-referring the case to a new court. The new block 14 is taped over the old one to allow inspection of both  referrals. Amendment of Charges In some instances, an amendment to a specifica- tion  will  necessitate  further  administrative  action  with respect to the charge sheet. Minor changes in the form of  correction  of  typographical  errors  normally  will require no more administrative action than lining out and initialing the erroneous data and substituting the correct data. If, on the other hand, the contemplated change involves any new person, offense, or matter not fairly included in the charges as originally pre- ferred, the amended specification must go through the preferral-referral  process  or  the  accused  can  exercise his  or  her  right  to  object  to  trial  on  the  unsworn charges. Additional  Charges If an accused awaiting trial on certain charges commits new offenses, or other previously unknown offenses  are  discovered,  an  entirely  new  charge  sheet is prepared. The CA states, in the special instructions section  of  the  referral  block,  that  the  additional charges are to be tried together with the charges origi- nally referred to the court-martial. TRIAL  PROCEDURE It is not necessary that you have a complete under- standing  of  all  the  complex  rules  and  procedures  ap- plicable to the SPCM. However, it is essential that you have a general knowledge of the mechanics of the trial process. Though an infinite number of variations exist in any particular case, the following procedure is generally followed in most SPCMs. Service of Charges In time of peace no person can be brought to trial in any SPCM until 3 days have elapsed since the for- mal service of charges upon that person. In computing 7-14

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