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Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
Article 134—(Debt, dishonorably failing to pay)
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Text.

See Paragraph 60.

Elements.

(1) That the accused was indebted to a certain person or entity in a certain sum;

(2) That this debt became due and payable on or about a certain date;

(3) That while the debt was still due and payable the accused dishonorably failed to pay this debt; and

(4) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Explanation. More than negligence in nonpayment is necessary. The failure to pay must be characterized by deceit, evasion, false promises, or other distinctly culpable circumstances indicating a deliberate nonpayment or grossly indifferent attitude to-ward one’s just obligations. For a debt to form the basis of this offense, the accused must not have had a defense, or an equivalent offset or counterclaim, either in fact or according to the accused’s belief, at the time alleged. The offense should not be charged if there was a genuine dispute between the parties as to the facts or law relating to the debt which would affect the obligation of the accused to pay. The offense is not committed if the creditor or creditors involved are satisfied with the conduct of the debtor with respect to payment. The length of the period of nonpayment and any denial of indebtedness which the accused may have made may tend to prove that the accused’s conduct was dishonorable, but the court-martial may convict only if it finds from all of the evidence that the conduct was in fact dishonorable.

Lesser included offenses. None.

Maximum punishment. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

Next Article > Article 134—(Disloyal statements) >

Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 71

 

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