OFFICE OF THE STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE

OJAFB.pngThe Fort Bliss Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides timely, accurate legal advice, service, and support for the command and staff of Fort Bliss. In addition, the office provides legal services and preliminary legal advice to active-duty and retired soldiers, their family members, and other individuals entitled to receive legal assistance at Fort Bliss and its surrounding area.

Post Government Employment

If you expect to receive compensation from any DoD contractor within a two-year period after you leave federal employment, and you have held one of the following positions, then you must make a written request for a written ethics opinion:

Covered positions:

1. In the Executive Schedule, which is one appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate;

2. In the Senior Executive Service;

3. In a general or flag officer position (grade 0-7 and above) (not frocked); and who participated personally and substantially in an acquisition valued at more than $10 million; or those not in a senior position who currently serve, or served at the time they left DoD, in any of the following positions:

Program manager, deputy program manager, procuring contracting officer, administrative contracting officer, source selection authority, member of the source selection evaluation board, or chief of a financial or technical evaluation team for a contract valued at more than $10 million.

Even if you are not required by law to request a written ethics opinion, we strongly encourage you to do so if you plan to work for any DoD contractor.

Civil and Admin Law

Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
Building 11685, Sergeant Major Boulevard
Fort Bliss, Texas 79918
Hours - Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone - 915-744-6890 or 915-744-6953
Fax - 915-744-6951

The Administrative and Civil Law Division provides legal advice to Fort Bliss commander, staff, tenant, and partner organizations regarding administrative law matters. These include legal review of contract actions, labor and personnel actions, environmental issues, fiscal issues, AR 15-6 investigations, financial liability investigations of property loss, line of duty investigations, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests, and other matters involving installation activities. The Administrative and Civil Law Division also provides guidance on matters of government ethics including acceptance of gifts, travel benefits, use of government resources, conflicts of interest and post-government employment.

The Administrative and Civil Law Division attorneys are available to provide briefings on a variety of subjects. These include, but are not limited to, FRG's, briefings to commanders on government ethics and legal issues, and initial briefings for newly appointed investigating officers, including financial liability investigations of property loss, line of duty investigation, 15-6 investigations and Article 32 investigations.

We look forward to providing premium legal support to Commanders, Directors, and staff personnel at Fort Bliss regarding all issues affecting installation command policies. Assistance regarding advice on personal matters and military justice matters are generally available from either the Legal Assistance Office or the Trial Defense Service.

Claims

Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
HQ, Fort Bliss Bldg 113 Pershing Road
915-568-5846 or usarmy.bliss.hqda-otjag.mesg.bliss-legal-assistance-office@mail.mil

HOURS:
Mon-Wed, Friday: 9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. ; 1 p.m. -4:20 p.m.
Thursday: 1 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

LOCATION: Building 113, Pershing Road (Parking off Slater Road), 1st Floor (NOTE: During the current COVID environment, all claims assistance will be provided via phone and e-mail.)

APPOINTMENTS: To speak with a Claims adjudicator or attorney about a Household Goods shipment claim or other Personnel Claim (e.g., POV shipment damage, on-post POV theft or vandalism, on-post quarters damage or theft, or damage to personal property caused by an unusual occurrence such as fire, flood, or hurricane), claimants must call the U.S. Army Center for Personnel Claims Support (CPCS) at (502) 626-3000, or e-mail them at usarmyknoxhqda-otjag.mbx.cpcs@mail.mil. For tort claims or Article 139 claims, appointments are necessary to speak with a claims adjudicator or attorney at the Fort Bliss Claims Office. To make an appointment, call (915) 568-5846.


The three most common types of claims filed are the following:

Personnel Claims Act, 31 USC § 3721, as implemented by Army Regulation 27-20, chapter 11.

These are administrative claims by military personnel and DA civilians only for losses incident to service. This includes household goods damages during shipment; POV shipment damage; on-post POV theft, vandalism and other unusual occurrences; and on-post quarters damage and theft. This is a gratuitous payment statute, not intended as total insurance coverage.

AS OF JULY 5, 2017, ALL CONUS PERSONNEL CLAIMS, TO INCLUDE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT DAMAGE/LOSS CLAIMS WILL BE PROCESSED BY THE U.S. ARMY CENTER FOR PERSONNEL CLAIMS SUPPORT (CPCS) AT FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE CPCS WEBSITE AT THE LINK LISTED BELOW.

Claims under Article 139, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 USC § 939, as implemented by Army Regulation 27-20, chapter 9. These are administrative claims made against military personnel only for loss of, or damage to real or personal property that has been willfully damaged or wrongfully taken. Claims for death or personal injury, subrogated claims, and claims founded in negligence or breach of a contractual or fiduciary relationship are excluded. All claims under this chapter must be presented to an Army claims office within 90 days of the incident.

Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 USC §§ 2671 – 2680, as implemented by Army Regulation 27-20, chapter 4. These are administrative claims made by anyone against the United States Government for loss or damage caused by a government employee acting in the scope of his/her employment. Please note that Claims Office personnel cannot assist anyone in filing a claim against the Government; however, the Claims Office can supply claimants with the necessary forms to fill out. The FTCA requires the filing of an administrative claim, signed and demanding a sum certain, with the appropriate agency within two years of the incident. Once the claim is filed, the claimant must wait to file suit in federal court until six months have elapsed since the date of filing, a final offer is issued, or the claim is denied, whichever comes first.

Links
DPS Portal: www.move.mil
U.S. Army Center for Personnel Claims Support (CPCS) Portal: CPCS Portal
Center for Personnel Claims Support (CPCS) Handout: The ABCs of Claims

Trial Defense

MISSION OF THE US ARMY TRIAL DEFENSE SERVICE
To provide independent, competent, and ethical defense legal services to Soldiers worldwide, wherever located, as required by law or as authorized by The Judge Advocate General. The TDS mission is to provide a full range of defense legal services to Soldiers serving in numerous commands worldwide. These services include representing Soldiers charged with military criminal offenses at trial, representing Soldiers during criminal investigations and before elimination or grade reduction boards, and counseling Soldiers regarding pretrial restraint, nonjudicial punishment, and various adverse administrative actions taken pursuant to military regulations.
FORT BLISS FIELD OFFICE
The Fort Bliss Field Office attorneys provide consultation and representation to Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and other military posts within the surrounding region.
LEGAL SERVICES
Priority I Clients
• General court-martial representation
• Special court-martial representation
• Article 32, UCMJ, representation
• Counseling of pretrial confinees
Priority II Clients
• Counseling IAW Article 3 l/Miranda/Tempia requirements
• Suspect rights counselings (i.e., if you are suspected of a crime and are under investigation)
• Representation and/or counseling in line-up situations
• Counseling suspects on criminal matters when the exercise of military jurisdiction is possible (even though jurisdiction has not been exercised)
• Counseling with regard to summary courts-martial
• Formal Article 15, UCMJ, counseling
• Representation and counseling of officers recommended for elimination under AR 600-8-24
• Representation and counseling of enlisted soldiers recommended for involuntary separation under AR 635-200, paragraphs 5-8, 5-13, 5-14, 5-17, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and 18
• Grade reduction boards where proposed reduction is based on misconduct, the client requests an attorney, and an attorney is reasonably available
LIMITATIONS
Trial Defense Service counsel may not represent clients before any civilian courts including Magistrate's Court, foreign courts, or grand juries. Military personnel who are charged or indicted by civilian authorities are not normally entitled to TDS representation except for advice or representation for administrative separations under AR 600-8-24 or AR 635-200, or other administrative actions based upon the conviction by a civilian court.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday
Courts-Martial clients and Suspect Rights
Tuesday
9 a.m. - Administrative Separations (Chapters) and Officer Elimination
1 p.m. - Article 15 Consultations
Wednesday
Courts-Martial clients and Suspect Rights
Thursday
Closed until 1 p.m. for Sergeants Time Training
Friday
9 a.m. - Administrative Separations (Chapters) and Officer Elimination
1 p.m. - Article 15 Consultations
- Closed every day 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. for lunch. The Fort Bliss Field Office is closed on federal holidays and training holidays.
- Suspect Rights consultations are on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday during duty hours.
- Videos are only played once. If arriving after video is over, service members will be turned away until the next intake day.
- ALL SOLDIERS MUST HAVE RECIEVED A COMPLETE COPY OF THEIR PACKET
SUSPECT RIGHTS
I'm under investigation; what do I do? CID wants to talk to me. Help!
Soldiers who have been questioned concerning suspected criminal offenses or who have reason to believe they may face disciplinary action should call or visit the TDS office before making any statement to anyone concerning their case. Suspect Rights clients are accepted on a walk-in basis weekdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Fort Bliss Field Office is closed on federal holidays and training holidays.
WHERE WE'RE LOCATED
The USATDS office is located at Building 8, on the corner of Pershing Road and Carter Road. Cassidy Gate is closest. Our office phone number is 915-568-5504.

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