This week, you will have to research and write an office memo. Use the same format as we used last week.
Read this Memo sent to you by the Senior Partner in your law firm, Plentibux & Moore:
To: You, Paralegal
From: Bob Plentibux, Esq.
RE: Sanity Boards
I was just contacted by my good friend, Fred Payne, about his son, Sergeant Ima Payne of the United States Army Infantry. It seems SGT Payne has gotten in to some trouble and has been criminally charged by the Army. Fred did not know what the charges were, but at this point, that is not important. Fred told me that his son has been acting very strangely and asked me about the rules for having a soldier facing court-martial evaluated by a sanity board.
Here is the thing – Ima is an interesting fellow. Over the years, most folks who met him would shake their heads and wonder what was with that guy. He doesn’t seem to be on the same sheet of music as most folks and is always doing strange things. It seems this pattern of behavior has continued, and his father strongly suspects that it may be connected to his misconduct in the Army. He also has some question in his mind about whether his son will be able to participate meaningfully in his defense, as he seems to be disoriented and is displaying bizarre behavior.
I need a quick but detailed answer as to what a sanity board is, how it must be requested, and if and when a military judge is required by law to approve such a request. I believe that Rule for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) 706, found in the Manual for Courts-Martial (M.C.M.), is the applicable rule. I want you to focus on the rule and how it is to be applied. We don’t know much about the case at this point, but don’t worry about that. Again – right now, I am just concerned about the rule and how it is to be applied by the military judge.
Here are four cases that I want you to read and include in the office memo you will draft. You must discuss each case. They should shed more light on the standard the military judge must apply in deciding whether or not to order a sanity board. The cases are as follows:
United States v. Nix, 36 C.M.R. 76 (C.M.A. 1965).
United States v. Kish, 20 M.J. 652 (A.C.M.R. 1985).
United States v. English, 47 M.J. 215 (C.A.A.F. 1997).
United States v. Pattin, 50 M.J. 637 (A.C.C.A. 1999).
Draft an office memorandum, using the same format you have been using. Make sure you cite the relevant R.C.M. and the case law in your memo. Your answer must not exceed five pages in length. Make sure you use proper Blue Book citation in your memo. Here is a pdf file containing the 2016 Manual for Courts-Martial: http://jsc.defense.gov/Portals/99/Documents/MCM2016.pdf?ver=2016-12-08-181411-957
Here is an additional note to help you with the case citation for the cases I’ve given you. Over the years, the names of the military appellate courts have changed. That accounts for the different citations you see in the cases I listed. The highest military appellate court was named the Court of Military Appeals (C.M.A.) back when Nix was decided. It was re-designated as the Federal Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F.) before Pattin was decided. Similarly, the Army Court of Military Review (A.C.M.R.) was re-designated the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (A.C.M.R.). Additionally, the reporter in which military cases were published was formerly the Courts-Martial Reports (C.M.R.) from 1951 until 1975. This was changed in 1975 to the Military Justice Reports (M.J.). The Military Justice Reports is still in use today.
Office Memo Rubric:
Statement of Assignment: 5/5
Brief Answer: 10/10