If you or a loved one are currently serving on active duty and are under investigation for reports of domestic violence or child abuse on base, the service member will face conditions on liberty. In the armed forces, conditions on liberty come in the form of a military protective order. Military protective orders are legal orders issued upon the request of one party and at the discretion of the service member’s command. The problem is that hearings are not held to determine the validity of the request, leaving service members vulnerable to baseless claims. Do not let this happen to you! Call Monder Law Group today at (619)-405-0063.Experienced military criminal defense attorney Vik Monder will have his team of experts ready to conduct their own investigation to ensure that you are not another victim of a baseless military protective order.
Purpose Behind Military Protective Orders
Military protective orders exist to safeguard the victim during the investigation process and maintain discipline by controlling the service member’s conduct. In other words, military protective orders serve to direct a service member what to do and what not to do until charges are filed. The unit commander will determine the terms of the military protective order based on the specific needs of the victim.
Who can request a MPO?
- Alleged Victim
- Law Enforcement
- Family Advocacy Program Clinician
- Victim’s Advocate
What can a MPO mandate?
- Service member be removed from base housing
- Restrict service member’s access on base
- Prohibit communication with the protected person either directly or through a 3rd party
- Service member maintain certain distance from the protected person
- Service member stay away from immediate family members of the protected person
- Service member surrender government issued weapons custody card
MPO: Command’s Burden of Proof
The unit commander is responsible for reviewing the victim’s allegations and deciding whether or not to impose conditions on liberty against a service member. Reasonable belief is the subjective standard the unit commander is held to in making the determination.
To issue a military protective order, the unit commander must have a reasonable belief that:
- The service member committed an offense;
- The offense is triable by court-martial;
- The terms of the MPO are required by the circumstances.
The set back with this subjective standard is that in an effort to protect the alleged victim, oftentimes bare allegations are accepted as facts. In the process, baseless military protective orders are issued against service members who become the real victims. Attorney Vik Monder will not stand for this, he will fight zealously to hold unit commanders accountable and get them to focus on the facts! Bare allegations are not reasonably trustworthy facts and cannot be allowed to determine military protective orders.
Enforcing Military Protective Orders
Military protective orders are issued in writing on a DD Form 2873 by the service member’s command. Once the command issues a military protective order against the service member, the order will remain in effect until the command terminates the order or issues a replacement. It is important to note that military protective orders are generally only enforceable for the time period that the service member is attached to the command who issued the order. However, the protected person is able to request a replacement if the service member were to transfer to a new command.
Who gets a copy of the DD Form 2873?
- Protected Person within 24 hours of issuance
- Family Advocacy Program Manager
- Military Police
- Social Worker
What is DOD’s policy for replacing a MPO?
- The issuing command must contact the new command
- Inform the new command of the existence of the MPO
- Advise the new command of the terms of the MPO
- Recommend the new command issue a new MPO
Violations of Military Protective Orders
Military protective orders serve as direct orders that remain in effect while the service member is attached to the issuing command. If the service member were to violate any of the terms set forth in the military protective order, the violation will be reported on DA Form 3967 and entered into COPS and NCIC. Essentially, failure to comply with the terms of a military protective order will be disciplined in the same manner as disobeying a direct order.
Understanding Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 92
If a service member violates a military protective order, he or she will be subject to punishment under Article 92 for failure to obey an order. Pursuant to UCMJ Article 92, "any person who violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation; having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or is derelict in the performance of his duties; shall be punished a court-martial may direct.”
Basically, to convict someone of Article 92 for violation of a military protective order, the court-martial must prove each of the following elements:
- The service member’s command issued a certain lawful order;
- The service member had knowledge of the order;
- The service member had a duty to obey the order; and
- The service member failed to obey the order.
What are the penalties for violating a MPO?
- Heavy Fines
- Dock of Pay
- Court-Martial Proceedings
- Dishonorable Discharge
Military protective orders are intrusive and threaten every aspect of a service member’s life. With a single order you could lose your liberty, family, and career. Attorney Vik Monder understands very well what is at stake and will use his extensive knowledge of the military legal system to aggressively defend your interests. He has experience communicating with the different commands and will exhaust every legal avenue to remove the conditions on your liberty. Do not risk everything that you have worked so hard to build, contact Monder Law Group today.
Contact San Diego Military Protective Order Defense Attorney Vik Monder for a FREE consultation today at: 619-405-0063