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Q: I am a civilian living on post with my military spouse. We had a loud argument the other night, and one of our neighbors got the wrong idea and called the Military Police. The Provost Marshall’s Office filed a report. Do we need to worry about anything?
A: Possibly. If there is any evidence of physical abuse, the Civilian Misconduct Action Authority and the Case Review Committee both have jurisdiction to take action.
The CMAA is authorized to respond to misconduct by civilians and contractors who receive individual logistic support from the U.S. military in Europe. Although Germany would have primary jurisdiction over criminal misconduct, the CMAA is authorized by U.S. Army Europe regulations to take administrative action.
When misconduct is reported, the CMAA — the garrison commander — will collect information and interview the parties involved.
If the evidence shows that the alleged offender committed the misconduct, the CMAA will notify the offender of the planned corrective action. While that action is normally related to the offense (for example, someone caught shoplifting may be barred from shopping at the Post Exchange), he can also issue a letter of warning; recommend a counseling; suspend Army Air Force Exchange Services, commissary, and/or Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation privileges and/or require an early return of the offender or the offender’s family members.
The Case Review Committee has jurisdiction when there is an alleged domestic dispute involving a military member, civilian or contractor who receives individual logistical support from the U.S. military. The CRC is composed of social workers, a physician, a chaplain and a Judge Advocate, among others. While the CMAA is particular to overseas assignments, the CRC also exists at military installations in the U.S.
After investigating the facts of a given case, if the CRC determines that the allegations of physical and/or emotional abuse are substantiated, the committee may recommend certain treatment. It is critical to understand that the CRC makes a clinical determination, not a legal finding. In a case involving a married couple, it could recommend, for example, marital counseling or as much as an early return of the offender or the offender’s family members.
Both the CMAA and the CRC processes provide for good order and discipline on a military installation. The CRC further focuses on the health and welfare of the family. Both processes have limitations and due process requirements that provide recourse for those individuals who come to the attention of command officials.
This column is not intended as individual or specific legal advice. If you have specific issues or concerns, you should consult a judge advocate at 421-4152/civ. 0711-729-4152.