In Tribble, the Appellant pled guilty to a 107, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct, for which he was sentenced to six months and a BCD.
The sole issue on appeal:
Appellant asserts in his sole assignment of error [AOE] that the Government failed to comply with the plea agreement when it reduced Appellant to paygrade E-1, when no statute or regulation authorized automatic reduction in rank and the terms of the plea agreement disallowed the military judge from imposing reduction in rank. We find no prejudicial error and affirm.
The court agrees that an automatic reduction was not authorized, relying on its powers under UCMJ art. 66. They find they only have the power to review the actual sentence announced, and, in limited circumstances, the conditions of post-trial confinement.
However, the case precedent does not support that Article 66 empowers this Court to resolve pay disputes resulting from an apparent administrative error by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service [DFAS]. Nor need we take such remedial action to resolve Appellant’s AOE. Here, insofar as the United States Government acted without authority by paying Appellant at paygrade E-1, it was not due to a violation of the plea agreement. The plea agreement’s term that “[n]o reduction in rank will be adjudged” was complied with when the military judge did not adjudge a sentence that included a reduction in rank and the convening authority took no action to approve one. 13 Since Appellant has not shown that the Government failed to comply with that term of the plea agreement, we find his AOE to be without merit. We therefore conclude it is beyond the purview of this Court of limited jurisdiction to take remedial action to resolve what amounts to an administrative pay dispute.
There are administrative remedies. Also, it could be a Court of Federal Claims case (where the filing fee is $400.00).
Disclaimer: Posts are the authors' personal opinions and do not reflect the position of any organization or government agency.
Amendments to UCMJ Since 1950 (2024 ed.)
Amendments to RCM Since 1984 (2024 ed.)
Amendments to MRE Since 1984 (2024 ed.)
Army Crim. L. Deskbook
J. App. Prac. & Pro.