SCB Historical Highlights: Snapshot Summary of United States ex rel. Boscola v. Bledsoe, 152 F. Supp. 343 (1957)
The defendants were two retired enlisted men, who were prosecuted for carnal knowledge and manslaughter, both offenses having been allegedly committed several years after leaving active service with the Navy. Both pleaded guilty, and were imprisoned in the Washington State Penitentiary. On the day the men were released on parole, the Navy served them with orders, recalling them to active service for the purposes of being court-martialed because of the serious nature of the offense in each case. Additionally, each was given restricted status, the limits of which were defined as their barracks and the mess hall.
SCB, then Rummens, Griffin, Short & Cressman, argued on behalf of the defendants that they were only recalled to accomplish an undesirable discharge, rather than for any particular active duty or job. While 32 U.S.C.A § 433 does permit the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war or national emergency, to call any enlisted man on the retired list into active service for such duty as he may be able to perform, the defendants argued that they had not actually been called to serve any particular duty. The court determined that Congress must have intended that an enlisted man on the retired list, if called to active service, would be called for the purpose of performing some duty . In this case, the court agreed that, because there was no duty for the defendant-petitioners, the Navy had no authority to recall them to service.
While the court record does not reflect which attorney at Rummens, Griffin, Short & Cressman represented the defendant-petitioners, it is likely it was Mr. Cressman. He had become a partner by then, and had served in the military before receiving his J.D. from the University of Washington.
SCB would like to thank our Summer Associate, Ms. Emily Miner, for her work in preparing this blog post. Learn more about the firm's history on our About Us page