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  • Civil Court Orders on Military Reservations

    As a retired GI and current deputy sheriff I get to serve various papers on the local base. Speaking the same language as the GIs up there, I try to get to those papers before anyone else.

    Recently one of our District Court Judges signed an Order of Protection that barred a GI from returning to his Government-provided base housing! What a can of worms that turned out to be. Obviously that judge did not realize the limits of his power.

    According to the legal office, had this housing been in one of the areas that share concurrent jurisdiction with civil authorities, it could have been enforced. This particular area was not a shared one.

    My question is this; Just how aggressively are civil court orders enforced on a military reservation. and how do I tell a Judge he overstepped his boundry?

    I gave it to his First Sgt to get sorted out and spoke with the county attorney.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

    Douglas MacArthur

  • #2
    Originally posted by KenW. View Post
    As a retired GI and current deputy sheriff I get to serve various papers on the local base. Speaking the same language as the GIs up there, I try to get to those papers before anyone else.

    Recently one of our District Court Judges signed an Order of Protection that barred a GI from returning to his Government-provided base housing! What a can of worms that turned out to be. Obviously that judge did not realize the limits of his power.

    According to the legal office, had this housing been in one of the areas that share concurrent jurisdiction with civil authorities, it could have been enforced. This particular area was not a shared one.

    My question is this; Just how aggressively are civil court orders enforced on a military reservation. and how do I tell a Judge he overstepped his boundry?

    I gave it to his First Sgt to get sorted out and spoke with the county attorney.
    Good question!!! If the area is "exclusive Federal jurisdiction," then I too would like to know how this affects court ordered civil rulings.
    Last edited by me_again; 05-27-2007, 11:04 AM.

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    • #3
      In exclusive federal jurisdiction, it's pretty much like another state when you step onto the property. In order for the civil order to be enforced, the District Attorney's Office would have to consult with the JAG Office, and the local Provost Marshall's Office. The soldier's commander and NCOIC would probably also be consulted too.
      Last edited by MPSoldier84; 05-27-2007, 10:49 AM.

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      • #4
        Orders of Protection are enforcable in all states and on tribal lands. The base legal office told me that the Security Forces (USAF), however, may not be compelled to enforce civil court orders.

        The member's unit and the JAG are usually good at co-operating with the orders; even though they don't have to.
        I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

        Douglas MacArthur

        Comment


        • #5
          Civil

          I am also assigned to civil process. On of our District Court Judges recently retired from the United States Naval Reverse. I believe he suggested to litigants where either the petitioner or the respondent were members of the military to get BOTH an Order For Protection from our District Court AND the equivalent from military or naval authorities, what ever that equivalent order may be called.

          Comment


          • #6
            Civil

            Originally posted by KenW. View Post
            My question is this: Just how aggressively are civil court orders enforced on a military reservation. and how do I tell a Judge he overstepped his boundary?
            With regards to the part about a Judge overstepping his boundary, I guess it depends on how well I know the Judge. If it is a Judge that I know quite well, them I will either call him on the telephone or stop in chambers and tell them privately. If it is one from another district or that I don't know as well, then I will usually call chambers and ask to speak directly with the law clerk assigned to that Judge. It is not unusual for a Judge to have incomplete information, particualrly where something has been filed ex parte. For example, we had someone file a restraining order against a copper in the area recently, but the petitioner did not mention that the respondent was a copper. The effect of that order was that the copper essentially lost a day of work until he could get the order modified allowing him to carry his sidearm during his shift. I have actually had very good luck getting Judges to modify their orders based on my verbal "motion". Obviously I don't do this very often, but when there is critical information, I will definitely bring it to there attention. Another issue I see every so often is co-worker restraining orders. Again, the petitioner may or may not mention that they work together and often the order excludes the respondent from their work. Again, I will call the court and usually they will modify the order allowing them to work at the same employment is accomodations can be made to keep them separate by shift of work area. While the Judges and court systems may be good at what they do, they often don't see the practical logistical side of things like most coppers do. When I get a kick out OFP excluding someone from their own home, I almost always want to talk to the petitioner before going to the residence. I am sure that this may sound like I am pointing out the obvious, but there is almost always helpful additional information to be obtained by speaking with the petitioner first. As an officer safety issue, I have probably had more trouble when booting people out of their own home than almost anything else. Most people can deal with spending some time in jail because they know they get out eventually. (The big exception here is kids. Some kids freak when they realize they are spending even a night awway from the iPOD, cell phone, and My Space account.) They last time I had a gun pulled on me is when I went to take kids away from a mother on a court order. The last time I had a knife pulled on me was when I went to evict a woman from her home. We sometimes fall into the trap of complacency when we are assigned to the civil process function. You know what some other coppers will say, "Oh, you JUST serve papers." It is sort of like urban legend about city police vs. county sheriff in the hood. If the city police show up it is to tell you to shut you dog up, turn down the stereo, etc. But if the sheriff shows up we have a problem becasue one of three things is going to happen:

            -Daddy is going to jail again

            -We is getting evicted from the apartment

            -They is repossessing the car

            I mention this because you never know who you are dealing with. I probably have mentioned this before, but I try to get a FULL name and date of birth on everyone that I can before I try to serve civil process on them. Again, it almost goes without saying, but the guy that I have just a Summons and Complaint on becasue he didn't pay his VISA bill, is also sometimes the guy that happens to have an active felony warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. I also check our CAD for previous calls for service at the address pretty often and, on multiple housing, I like to check with the management office to see what I should know before visiting a certain apartment.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KenW. View Post
              Recently one of our District Court Judges signed an Order of Protection that barred a GI from returning to his Government-provided base housing! What a can of worms that turned out to be. Obviously that judge did not realize the limits of his power.

              According to the legal office, had this housing been in one of the areas that share concurrent jurisdiction with civil authorities, it could have been enforced. This particular area was not a shared one.
              Well it's messy, but in areas of concurrent jurisdiction the Order from the District Court could be enforced by your agency. In areas of Exclusive Federal jurisdiction then the order could not be enforced by your agency. HOWEVER, DoD policy for all services is that any DV restraining order, meaning any restraining order that would cause someone to be prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(8) might bar the person from military service, and any DV conviction that makes someone prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(9) is definitely a bar to continued military service. There is no exception for military or LE for prohibitions under 18USC922(g)(8) or (9).

              You should consult with the base JAG and the unit commander about whether they will honor the Court Order and order the service member to comply with the conditions of the order, and whether DoD policy related to DV restraining orders and convictions would affect this service member.
              . . . how do I tell a Judge he overstepped his boundry?
              You don't. That's not your job. Let the JAG talk to the Judge if it's going to be a problem.
              I gave it to his First Sgt to get sorted out and spoke with the county attorney.
              Sorry, but the 1st Shirt is NOT the person to be handling this problem. Shirts are not legal experts, and are not commanders. The JAG and the unit commander need to address this problem.

              Comment


              • #8
                PHP Code:
                Sorrybut the 1st Shirt is NOT the person to be handling this problemShirts are not legal experts, and are not commandersThe JAG and the unit commander need to address this problem
                Actually, the shirt is the second step; right after the JAG. The 1st Sgt is the Commander's eyes and ears on the enlisted force.

                In this case I spoke directly to the shirt. The shirt moved the respondant into the barracks until the hearing. Petitioner had the Respondant served divorce papers (as a dependant spouse, she had to move out of base housing once she'd done that). After that, he was allowed to move back.

                JAG is supposed to work on this topic with district court. Concurrent vs. exclusive jurisdiction, etc. Also coming to light is the fact that base housing has been privatized, and homes may occasionaly be leased to civilian families.
                Last edited by KenW.; 05-27-2007, 03:05 PM.
                I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                Douglas MacArthur

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SA13 View Post
                  Well it's messy, but in areas of concurrent jurisdiction the Order from the District Court could be enforced by your agency. In areas of Exclusive Federal jurisdiction then the order could not be enforced by your agency. HOWEVER, DoD policy for all services is that any DV restraining order, meaning any restraining order that would cause someone to be prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(8) might bar the person from military service, and any DV conviction that makes someone prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(9) is definitely a bar to continued military service. There is no exception for military or LE for prohibitions under 18USC922(g)(8) or (9).

                  You should consult with the base JAG and the unit commander about whether they will honor the Court Order and order the service member to comply with the conditions of the order, and whether DoD policy related to DV restraining orders and convictions would affect this service member.You don't. That's not your job. Let the JAG talk to the Judge if it's going to be a problem.Sorry, but the 1st Shirt is NOT the person to be handling this problem. Shirts are not legal experts, and are not commanders. The JAG and the unit commander need to address this problem.
                  I thought Lautenburgh Ammendment did not prohibit you from military service, they just put you in a non-combat position until you finish your enlistment? I'm probably wrong, since this is what I hear, not read.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Laughtenburg states that they may not possess weapons. Period.

                    One of my troops got involved on the bad side of this when I was active duty. I had to disqualify him from deployment readiness and remove him from weapons training.
                    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                    Douglas MacArthur

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MPSoldier84 View Post
                      I thought Lautenburgh Ammendment did not prohibit you from military service, they just put you in a non-combat position until you finish your enlistment? I'm probably wrong, since this is what I hear, not read.
                      A DV conviction is a bar from continued military service. For the most part soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines with a qualifying DV conviction will be allowed to serve out their current enlistment, but will not be allowed to re-enlist. However, it is possible that the service member could be forced to separate before the end of their enlistment.

                      http://www.riley.army.mil/view/artic...-08-09-41021-5

                      http://www.usmc.mil/maradmins/maradm...=2,186%2F03%20

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A Protective Order from a court is not a conviction. It is a civil matter; not criminal (until the Order gets violated).
                        I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                        Douglas MacArthur

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KenW. View Post
                          A Protective Order from a court is not a conviction. It is a civil matter; not criminal (until the Order gets violated).
                          Yeah, which is why I said, ". . . any restraining order that would cause someone to be prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(8) might bar the person from military service, and any DV conviction that makes someone prohibited from possessing firearms under 18USC922(g)(9) is definitely a bar to continued military service. There is no exception for military or LE for prohibitions under 18USC922(g)(8) or (9)." The word might was italicized for emphasis in the original post also. I clearly differentiated between the consequences of each.

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