Historical Overview

An historical overview of jurisdiction over the offense:
historical overview

1. O’Callahan v. Parker, 395 U.S. 258 (1969). The Supreme Court establishes the “service-connection” test. See also Relford v. Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, 401 U.S. 355 (1971) (the Court sets-forth the Relford factors as a template to determine “service-connection”).

2. Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987). The Supreme Court overrules O’Callahan, abandoning the “service-connection” test, and holds that jurisdiction of a court-martial depends solely on the accused’s status as a member of the Armed Forces.

BOTTOM LINE: Subject matter jurisdiction is established by showing military status at the time of the offense.

Administrative Double Jeopardy Policies. Generally, a member of the Armed Forces will not be tried by court-martial or punished under Article 15, UCMJ, for the same act for which a civilian court has tried the Soldier. This policy is based on comity between the federal government and state or foreign governments. See AR 27-10, para. 4-2; JAGMAN, para. 0124.