Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

United States v. Coffmann

United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
62 M.J. 677 (2006)


Facts

While Coffmann (defendant) was stationed in Iraq, he and several others were instructed to clear out a room to prepare for the arrival of a new platoon. The group was instructed to trash the boxes stored inside. During the clear-out process, Coffmann came across an open box that contained special-operations equipment (the gear), including a force vest, duty belt, and canteen covers, which had a total value exceeding $500. Coffmann attempted to determine the owner of the gear but was unsuccessful. Coffmann then used the gear himself while on patrols. After about a month, Coffmann’s section leader confronted him about the gear’s ownership. Coffmann responded that he had purchased the gear. Coffmann eventually pled guilty to making a false official statement and larceny under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. §§ 907, 921. During the entry of the pleas, Coffmann admitted to the military judge that he knew it was wrong to take the gear, he intended to deprive the owner of the gear, and he would have continued to use the gear if he had not been confronted. Without explaining the relevant legal terms and standards, the military judge asked Coffmann if he believed the gear had been abandoned. Coffmann responded no. Although the case was referred to the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals without assignment of error, the court chose to specify an issue to counsel regarding whether Coffmann’s guilty plea to larceny was provident, or properly granted. Coffmann now contends that the larceny plea was improvident, because the military judge did not further inquire into the defense of mistake of fact in connection with whether the gear was abandoned.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Dorman, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 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.