United States v. Binegar
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
55 M.J. 1 (2001)
Binegar (defendant) worked in the Medical Logistics Office (MLO) at Hanscom Air Force Base. Ordering contact lenses for service members was one of Binegar’s duties. Service members who required contact lenses to perform their duties or correct medical conditions were entitled to receive them free of charge through the MLO if they presented both a prescription and a purchase letter from the optometry clinic. Both the optometry clinic and the MLO failed to follow the applicable processes for confirming the appropriate purchase of contact lenses at the government’s expense. At multiple points in his tenure at the MLO, Binegar was provided with incorrect information from his superiors regarding entitlement to contact lenses through the MLO. As a result, Binegar was placing inappropriate purchase orders. Supervisors failed to sufficiently review Binegar’s purchase records to confirm that purchases were being billed to the correct accounts, and Binegar was never informed that he was performing his job incorrectly. Binegar was found guilty of stealing contact lenses and conspiring to steal contact lenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C. §§ 801–946. The military judge instructed that mistake of fact was only a defense if Binegar’s mistake as to the ordering requirements was both honest and reasonable. The court of criminal appeals agreed, and Binegar further appealed on the ground that his mistake needed only to be honest to support a mistake-of-fact defense.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)
Concurrence (Gierke, J.)
Dissent (Crawford, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.