SJA Legal Assistance Portal

U. S. Army Judge Advocate General's Military Legal Information Portal


Visit the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps Legal Information Portal. This website is a resource designed to educate and inform military members on their personal legal affairs. Information contained on this site is not legal advice. Military members seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation legal assistance office. Reference on this site to public or private resources is not an endorsement of such resources by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or Office of The Judge Advocate General.

Administrative Law

Administrative Law

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Phone: (301) 619-0030/619-6547
DSN: 343-2221
Mon-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


The Fort Detrick Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides legal advice and written opinions to commanders and staff members on a wide variety of issues. This advice involves questions pertaining to the official operation of military organizations on Fort Detrick and under the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.


The broad legal categories include environmental law, commercial solicitation, fundraising, interaction with private organizations, imposition of administrative sanctions, and entitlements of access to Army Community Services. These services are available to the Army units under the control of the Commanding General, USAMRMC & Fort Detrick, and other military organizations, if addressed by an interagency support agreement.


Administrative Law Topic/Reference Index [PDF]


Designation of Soldiers as Not Deployable Due to "Legal Processing" (LP) on Monthly Unit Status Reports (USR)


12 August 2003

1.  Purpose. To provide guidance regarding the deployment availability of soldiers pending legal action.

2.    Law. Army Regulation (AR) 220-1 sets forth Army policy regarding a soldier's availability for deployment, as reported on the unit status report (USR). In particular, AR 220-1, table D-1, outlines when a soldier must be carried as unavailable due to legal processing ("LP") and when a soldier may be carried as LP.

3.    Reporting a Soldier in the "LP" Category.

    1.    Soldiers that Must be Carried as LP. Only soldiers who are under arrest or in confinement must be carried as "LP."

    2.    Soldiers that May be Carried as LP. A soldier may be carried as LP when:

1.    Under investigation by a military, civil, or criminal investigation activity;

2.    Pending administrative/legal discharge or separation; or

3.    Pending military or civil court action.

4.    Consult with the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) and Use Commander's Discretion in Determining Who Should be Carried as "LP".

    1.    The categories requiring when a soldier may be non-deployable due to legal processing (under investigation, pending administrative discharge, pending civil or military trial) are extremely broad.

    2.    Commanders have discretion in determining who is and is not deployable due to legal processing (just as commanders have discretion in determining who should and should not be administratively separated).

    3.    Consult with the OSJA to make this determination in accordance with Note 1, Table D-1, AR 220-1. After consulting with the OSJA, a commander may conclude that pending legal action does not preclude a soldier from deploying.

5.    Factors to Consider. The decision of who is deployable or not due to "legal processing" usually requires an individualized determination of each case.

    1.    Seriousness of the alleged misconduct or separation action. Soldiers pending article 15 proceedings are usually deployable. Soldiers pending separation for PT failures or overweight, for example, may still be deployable, while soldiers pending separation for serious acts of misconduct may not be. Soldiers pending civil trial or court-martial for serious felonies are ordinarily not deployable.

    2.    Soldier's MOS and importance to the mission. If a soldier is in a shortage MOS, that fact mitigates in favor of designating him or her as deployable, if the underlying legal processing is not so serious.

6.    Do not double-count legal non-deployables. Soldiers who are AWOL (AW) or pending administrative separation for family care plans (FP), conscientious objectors (CO), Lautenberg Amendment (LA), or parenthood (PH) have specific separate codes and should not be counted as "LPs."

7.    Point of contact for the OSJA trial counsel is (301) 619-3936.

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Phone: (301) 619-2221

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Mon-Wed and Fri: 8 - 11 a.m.- 1- 4:00 p.m.

Thurs: 1-4 p.m.



The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) operates the Fort Detrick Claims Office. Army Regulation 27-20 controls the claims program for the US Army. The Claims Office is a claims processing office for the Fort Meade Area Claims Office. As such it has limited jurisdiction. Claims filed by Army personnel are processed at the Fort Detrick Claims Office. Fort Detrick is also home to units belonging to other branches of the uniformed service. When claims filed on Fort Detrick must be processed by another military branch, the claims are forwarded to a claims office for that service for further processing.


Types of Claims

Typically, claims fall into four major categories: personal property loss, torts, affirmative claims, and real estate reimbursement claims.


1.    Personal property loss may be claimed due to damages received when household goods were shipped pursuant to military orders. Chapter 11 of AR 27-20 covers a wide range of topics. Some other examples of claims include thefts in government assigned quarters, vandalism of vehicles in post housing, uniform damage caused during the performance of military duties. All of these claims will be assessed to determine whether the claims are substantiated by the evidence. The claimant's conduct will be evaluated to determine if their negligence contributed to the loss.

Claimants must file their completed DD Form 1840/1840R with the claims office within 70 days of the date the property was delivered to their home. Claims filed after that date will not qualify for payment by the Army, unless there are exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the claimant to excuse the delay.


2.    Individuals may claim that Army (or NAFI) employees inflicted damages during the scope of their Army (or NAFI) employment. These claims are filed under the Federal Torts Claims Act. Investigations into tort claims will evaluate whether the claimant's conduct contributed to the incident. They will also assess whether the Army employee was within the scope of their employment at the time of the loss (e.g. Army employee in a military convoy was "in scope" when the Army truck hit a privately owned vehicle on the highway; but an Army employee on a lunch break who hit a privately owned vehicle on the way to lunch was not "in scope"). Military members do not have the same right to sue the Army for torts as do others.


3.    Affirmative Claims may be asserted by the Army to recover damages inflicted by third parties. This is most frequently seen on Fort Detrick when privately owned vehicles hit Army property. The Fort Meade Area Claims Office also pursues affirmative claims to recover medical expenses and lost unit wages that are caused when military members/families receive medical treatment due to the conduct of third parties.


4.    The Joint Travel Regulation permits the Army to reimburse military civilian employees who incur a permanent change of duty station due to military employment. Employees who unilaterally pursue new duty positions may not be authorized these expenses because the move for the convenience of the employee and not the convenience of the government. These claims are actually processed by the civilian personnel office and the claims office merely evaluates the claim to determine if the sum sought is commensurate with local charges. The claim is also reviewed to determine whether the JTR and the decisions of the Comptroller General authorize the payments in question.

 Procedures for Processing Household Goods Claims

Download Procedures for Processing Household Goods Claims.

Typically, claims fall into four major categories: personal property loss, torts, affirmative claims, and real estate reimbursement claims. A separate full replacement value claims process operates through the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) who runs the contracts with the companies who move household goods for the military. Do not confuse the depreciated value claims process filed through the military claims office and the separate full replacement value claims filed through the transportation service provider (moving company). ...[more]

 Helpful Links:

Full Repl Value Claims SDDC

SDDC Personal Property Approved Domestic Carrier Listing (SCAC Codes)

Claims Forms

1.    DD Form 1842

2.    DD Form 1843

3.    DD Form 1844

The DD Form 1842, DD Form 1843 and DD Form 1844 are available at

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2021 Docket Dates - U.S. District Court Sessions

Docket Dates 2021 US District Court Sessions with US Magistrate Judge DiGirolamo, Sitting on Fort Detrick

The US District Court has projected the following CY 2020 court dates to convene at the US Courtroom facilities co-located in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 521 Fraim Street, Fort Detrick, Maryland. NOTE: This is a change from the last two years. While the judge is still only coming on 8 months, the months when court will happen have had some changes.




1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702

Mon-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Phone: (301) 619-6598

Ethics Counselor: (301) 619-2263


The Ethics Counselor provides advice and opinions to Headquarters Command, Staff, and civilian government employees regarding all aspects of ethics, procurement integrity, post-employment restrictions, and employment outside the government, questions regarding gifts and travel, and conducts extensive annual ethics training. The Ethics Counselor can be reached at (301) 619-2263.


Ethics Library

  • Who Should File an OGE Form 450? [PDF]

  • Joint Ethics Regulation [PDF]

  • Standards of Conduct Summary


    Filing the OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Form

    All OGE 450 filings must be done via the on-line filing system. FDM 450 may be accessed at A filer e-signs his or her report using the Common Access Card (CAC). FDM 450 requires advance registration of filers and supervisors. All filers and supervisors should contact the ethics counselor at (301) 619-6598 for registration instructions, if not already registered in the system.


    Please note that supervisors have a responsibility to determine which of their subordinates must file a report. Consult the guidance below in the Ethics Library on who should file the OGE Form 450. Submissions must receive supervisor review and e-signature prior to being forwarded, through the on-line system, to the Ethics Counselor of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.


    The period covered by the form is 1 January through 31 December. For further information contact the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Ethics Counselor at (301) 619-6598.


    The Ethics Counselor provides advice and opinions to Headquarters Command, Staff, and civilian government employees regarding all aspects of ethics, procurement integrity, post-employment restrictions, and employment outside the government, questions regarding gifts and travel, and conducts extensive annual ethics training. The Ethics Counselor can be reached at (301) 619-2263.

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Labor Law

Labor Law

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Phone: (301) 619-2221
Mon-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


The Fort Detrick Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides legal advice and written opinions to commanders and staff members on a wide variety of issues, including labor law. This advice involves questions pertaining to the official operation of military organizations on Fort Detrick and under the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.


These services are generally available to the Army units under the control of the Commanding General, USAMRMC & Fort Detrick, and other military organizations, if addressed by an interagency support agreement.


Labor Law Services

1.    The Fort Detrick Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) gives labor law advice to Army commanders and supervisors assigned to Fort Detrick and the subordinate commands of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. When formal administrative complaints are filed, the OSJA designates a labor counselor to represent the command before the US Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), US Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), and US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


2.    Management - Employee Relations and Employment Discipline.

    1.    MSPB jurisdiction. In the instance of non-probationary employees, the case may possibly be appealed to the MSPB for review. To qualify for MSPB review, the employee must demonstrate that the board has jurisdiction. One example of jurisdiction is a disciplinary action in excess of fourteen (14) days suspension or demotion.

    2.    Administrative grievance. Some actions taken against employees qualify for processing under the DoD grievance process. This includes challenges of performance ratings, reprimands, and suspensions of fourteen (14) days or less. It does not include discretionary actions such as performance awards.

    3.    Negotiated grievance/ Arbitration. Employees who are members of a bargaining unit will have rights set out in a negotiated bargaining agreement. In addition to the right to file complaints with the MSPB or the EEOC, these employees may also have the right to use their designated union representative to invoke a negotiated grievance or arbitration process.


3.    Complaints of discrimination against a member of a protected class

The Army Equal Employment Opportunity Program operates through installation and major command offices. Army employees who feel that they have been discriminated against by employees of the Army may seek redress through the Fort Detrick EEO office. The Fort Detrick OSJA provides advice to the Fort Detrick EEO office and represents management in hearings and investigations that are conducted during the processing of EEO Complaints.


4.    Application of the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute.

The Fort Detrick Civilian Personnel Advisory Center serves as the primary conduit between management and the designated union representatives of the bargaining units on Fort Detrick. In the instance of allegations of unfair labor practices and during bargaining sessions. The OSJA provides advice to management pertaining to the official command position. This role also extends to representation of management before the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service, and the Federal Services Impasses Panel.

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Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702

Phone: (301) 619-2221            

Mon-Wed, and Friday: 8-11 a.m.; 1-4 p.m.
Thursday: 1-4 p.m.


Free legal advice to active duty and retired military members and their dependents.

Limited services to members of the US military reserves on issues pertaining to their preparation for deployment.


Certified military and/or Army civilian attorneys advise on most areas of civil law, including consumer law issues; contract disputes; landlord/tenant disputes; contract review; creditor problems; nonsupport; immigration; motor vehicle laws; merchant scams; wills; powers of attorney; bankruptcy and indebtedness; separation/divorce; notarizations and taxation.


You should know that --

We do not advise on private commercial business activities; appearances in civilian courts on behalf of an individual, civilian or military criminal matters; lawsuits or claims against the United States Government.


Your attorney must know all the facts, favorable or unfavorable. Do not hesitate to talk freely to him/her. An attorney must keep all information confidential unless you, the client, give the attorney permission to disclose information to a third party. Confidential communications are matters you tell your lawyer when seeking legal advice about your personal situation. The privilege may extend to conversations, letters, photographs, charts, and other documents and records. You may lose the privilege if you make the information public either by telling a friend or family members or otherwise communicating the information to unauthorized persons.


  • For separation/divorce counseling, the Fort Detrick office assists only one party in the matter--the first spouse to make an appointment. The other spouse must obtain legal advice from other military legal offices in the area.


  • There is no wait for a power of attorney, a document that authorizes your agent (the person you name) to act on your behalf. A general power of attorney allows your agent to act on all matters; a special power of attorney allows your agent to act only on those matters you listed; and a medical care power of attorney allows your agent to act regarding medical treatment for yourself or a minor family member.


  • Consultation for a Last Will and Testament will include a discussion about your estate plan - the plan that allows you to decide how to transfer your property after your death. Your estate plan includes giving away a house, car, and personal property that you own by yourself. The plan also includes your property owned jointly with right of survivorship and property in an account controlled by a "pay on death" certificate.


  • You may obtain a will - the document that tells who you want to receive your property when you die. A will is also important to nominate a guardian for your minor children. If you die without a will, the state of your domicile will decide how to divide your property based on its intestacy law. Consult your legal assistance office to decide if you need or want a will.



Army Legal Assistance Offices exist to advise you on your personal legal matters. As a client, you may reasonably expect:


  • To be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by Legal Assistance personnel.


  • An attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with our high professional standards. If you are unsatisfied, you may withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time. If we do not have the expertise appropriate to advise you, we will refer you to alternative legal assistance. On occasion, this may mean that you will have to hire an outside attorney at your own expense.


  • To your lawyer's independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.


  • To have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.


  • To be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers. We will provide you sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the resolution of your matter.


  • To have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle.


  • To privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law and regulation.


  • To have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with our Army Rules of Professional Responsibility (AR 27-26) and the Code of Professional Responsibility.


  • To free assistance from us without discussion on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

    For military court appearances or advice on Article 15 proceedings, involuntary administrative discharge issues or other Uniform Code of Military Justice proceedings being initiated against you, contact the Trial Defense Service Field Office, located at 2257 Huber Road, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, 20755-5030, (301) 677-9218/9822, DSN 923-9218/9822.


For information on claims against the United States contact, contact the Claims Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 521 Fraim Street, Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5000, (301) 619-2221.

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Military Justice & Criminal Law

Military Justice & Criminal Law

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 136
Fort Detrick, MD 21702

Phone: (301) 619-1879/3936
Trial Attorney: (301) 619-1879

Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides advice to commanders and supervisors and represents the Army in criminal proceedings. Soldiers who need legal advice on criminal matters under investigation by the Army must contact an Army Trial Defense Services Office for help. Soldiers assigned to Fort Detrick are covered by the Fort Meade Trial Defense Services (TDS) Office .

The Fort Meade TDS Office is located at Bldg 2257, Snowden Hall, Fort Meade, MD 20755-5030.

Their phone number is (301) 677-9218/9822.


Directions to Fort Detrick Court Sessions [PDF]


The U.S. District Court convenes at the Fort Detrick court facility every month to address all misdemeanor and minor offenses in the region. On minor cases, the individuals can either pay the fine listed on the ticket, or appear at court.


Fine only cases can result in a $500 fine, $25 special assessment, and a $5 court assessment if the individual does not pay prior to trial. More serious cases can result in jail time, community service, and higher fines. Individuals who fail to appear at court are subject to possible arrest or suspension of their drivers license.


Soldiers may be tried before the U.S. Magistrate Judge on traffic cases or may be subject to military justice action. The court clerk can be reached through the US Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland at (301) 344-3107 or (301) 344-0660.


Drivers are subject to federal law, assimilated state law, and the Fort Detrick Traffic Code.


The Military Justice division of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate advises Commanders regarding administrative separations, letters of reprimand, Article 15's, pretrial confinement, and courts-martial.

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Income Tax Assistance




General Information.

Eligibility: Active duty members of U.S. Armed Forces who are enlisted, warrant officers, and company grade  commissioned officers (grades O-1 – O-3) and assigned to units, teams, detachments, elements, agencies or any other activity located on or supported by Fort Detrick and their dependent spouses. 

Services Provided:  Preparation and electronic filing of both federal and state income tax returns involving subjects most commonly encountered in the military community. Returns for Tax Year 2021 take precedence over prior year returns. Some complex matters may fall outside the scope prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Other limitations are imposed by Army regulation.  

Beyond our Assistance:  Prospective clients who are otherwise eligible must seek assistance from a commercial preparer at their own expense if:

·         You have a home business (other than a child care provider enrolled under the Child and Youth Services Program) and the income attributable to that home business gross income exceeds $10,000 or you intend to deduct expenses for the business use of your home or your costs exceed $10,000.

·         You have more than two (2) rental properties or just one rental property if that purchase was for the purpose of earning income.

·         You have more than ten (10) stock trades without a broker.

·         You qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.

Steps for Tax Assistance and Preparation. 

Making an Appointment.  Call (301) 619-2221 to make an appointment.

What to Bring to the Appointment

You have the option to bring your documents to your appointment in the Legal Assistance Office or to make a virtual appointment and email all documents via secure email or using the DoD SAFE site. This is the list of what you need to bring:

(1) complete a DA From 2465 for each spouse, if filing jointly;

(2) complete the Intake Form, IRS VITA Form 13614-C.

(3) a photograph of the DoD ID card (front and back) for the sponsor, if filing jointly, the spouse;

(4) a photograph of the social security card for each person entered on the tax return;

(5) a copy of your federal and state income tax returns from Tax Year 2020; and

(6) all tax forms provided by others to prepare your return, e.g., W-2, 1099-G, 1099-INT, child care provider expense letter, etc., as indicated next to the items you checked “yes” on the Intake Form.

(7) In addition to the Intake Form, review the “What to Bring” list (download below).

(8) Review items on your prior year tax returns file to see if you have all necessary documents.

(9) Finally, attach all other documents you believe necessary for preparation of your taxes. 

Alternate Resources to File your Return.

All active-duty military members may prepare and file federal and state tax returns via Military OneSource at

Others, including military retirees, may self-prepare their federal and state returns using commercial software available at the following IRS Website:

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Helpful Links

Manual for Courts Martial [PDF]

Maryland Case History Search by Name of Defendant

Pennsylvania Courts Case Docket information

Virginia Court Docket




Labor Law


Legal Assistance
Phone: (301) 619-2221


Military Justice & Criminal Law


Preventive Law


Business Services Group

Acquisition/Fiscal Law

Human Subjects Research

Intellectual Property

Medical Research Regulation


Office of Research Technology Applications

Phone: (301) 619-6975



Senior Counsel

Phone: (301) 619-7798


National Do Not Call Registry

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