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10 U.S. Code § 820 - Art. 20. Jurisdiction of summary courts-martial

(a) In General.—
Subject to section 817 of this title (article 17), summary courts-martial have jurisdiction to try persons subject to this chapter, except officers, cadets, aviation cadets, and midshipmen, for any noncapital offense made punishable by this chapter. No person with respect to whom summary courts-martial have jurisdiction may be brought to trial before a summary court-martial if he objects thereto. If objection to trial by summary court-martial is made by an accused, trial may be ordered by special or general court-martial as may be appropriate. Summary courts-martial may, under such limitations as the President may prescribe, adjudge any punishment not forbidden by this chapter except death, dismissal, dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, confinement for more than one month, hard-labor without confinement for more than 45 days, restriction to specified limits for more than two months, or forfeiture of more than two-thirds of one month’s pay.
(b) Non-criminal Forum.—
A summary court-martial is a non-criminal forum. A finding of guilty at a summary court-martial does not constitute a criminal conviction.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



May 5, 1950, ch. 169, § 1 (Art. 20), 64 Stat. 114.

The word “shall” in the first sentence is omitted as surplusage. The word “may” is substituted for the word “shall” in the second sentence. The words “the provisions of” are omitted as surplusage. The word “If” is substituted for the word “Where”. The words “for more than” are substituted for the words “in excess of”. The words “more than” are substituted for the words “pay in excess of”.

Editorial Notes

2016—Pub. L. 114–328 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

1968—Pub. L. 90–632 substituted provisions prohibiting trial by summary court-martial in all cases if the person objects thereto for provisions allowing such trial over the person’s objection if he has previously been offered and has refused article 15 punishment.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2016 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 114–328 effective on Jan. 1, 2019, as designated by the President, with implementing regulations and provisions relating to applicability to various situations, see section 5542 of Pub. L. 114–328 and Ex. Ord. No. 13825, set out as notes under section 801 of this title.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 90–632 effective first day of tenth month following October 1968, see section 4 of Pub. L. 90–632, set out as a note under section 801 of this title.