One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes
In a world without walls and fences who needs Windows and Gates?”
Victim and Witness Assistance
(a) Local responsible officials. Local responsible officials:
(1) Will coordinate to ensure that systems are in place at the installation level to provide information on available benefits and services, assist in obtaining those benefits and services, and provide other services required by this section.
(2) May delegate their duties as appropriate, but retain responsibility to coordinate the delivery of required services.
(3) May use an interdisciplinary approach involving the various service providers listed in paragraph (b)(7) of this section, to coordinate the delivery of information and services to be provided to victims and witnesses.
(b) Comprehensive information and services to be provided to victims and witnesses—(1) Rights of crime victims. Personnel directly engaged in the prevention, detection, investigation, and disposition of offenses, to include courts-martial, including law enforcement and legal personnel, commanders, trial counsel, and staff judge advocates, will ensure that victims are accorded their rights in accordance with Article 6b of UCMJ and section 1701 of Public Law 113-66. A crime victim has the right to:
(i) Be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
(ii) Be provided with reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of:
(A) A public hearing concerning the continuation of confinement before the trial of the accused.
(B) A preliminary hearing pursuant to section 832 of the UCMJ (Article 32) relating to the offense.
(C) A court-martial relating to the offense.
(D) A public proceeding of the Military Department Clemency and Parole Board hearing relating to the offense.
(E) The release or escape of the accused, unless such notice may endanger the safety of any person.
(iii) Be present at, and not be excluded from any public hearing or proceeding described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, unless the military judge or preliminary hearing officer of a preliminary hearing pursuant to Section 832, UCMJ, (Article 32), after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard that hearing or proceeding.
(iv) Be reasonably heard personally or through counsel at:
(A) A public hearing concerning the continuation of confinement before the court-martial of the accused.
(B) A preliminary hearing pursuant to section 832 (Article 32) of the UCMJ and court-martial proceedings relating to the Military Rules of Evidence (M.R.E.) 412, 513, and 514 of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) in title 10 of the United States Code, also referred to in this part as the MCM, and regarding other rights provided by statute, regulation, or case law.
(C) A public sentencing hearing relating to the offense.
(D) A public Military Department Clemency and Parole Board hearing relating to the offense. A victim may make a personal appearance before the Military Department Clemency and Parole Board or submit an audio, video, or written statement.
(v) Confer with the attorney for the U.S. Government in the case. This will include the reasonable right to confer with the attorney for U.S. Government at any proceeding described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.
(A) Crime victims who are entitled to legal assistance may consult with a military legal assistance attorney in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(B) Victims of an offense under Articles 120, 120a, 120b, or 120c or forcible sodomy under the UCMJ or attempts to commit such offenses under Article 80 of the UCMJ, who are entitled to legal assistance in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044, may consult with a SVC/VLC in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Victims of these covered offenses shall be informed by a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC), victim advocate, victim witness liaison, military criminal investigator, trial counsel, or other local responsible official that they have the right to consult with a SVC/VLC as soon as they seek assistance from the individual in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1565b, and as otherwise authorized by Military Department and National Guard Bureau policy.
(C) All victims may also elect to seek the advice of a private attorney, at their own expense.
(vi) Receive restitution as provided in accordance with State and Federal law.
(vii) Proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
(viii) Be treated with fairness and respect for his or her dignity and privacy.
(ix) Express his or her views to the commander or convening authority as to disposition of the case.
(2) Initial information and services. (i) Immediately after identification of a crime victim or witness, the local responsible official, law enforcement officer, or criminal investigation officer will explain and provide information to each victim and witness, as appropriate, including:
(A) The DD Form 2701, “Initial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime,” or computer-generated equivalent will be used as a handout to convey basic information. Specific points of contact will be recorded on the appropriate form authorized for use by the particular Military Service.
(B) Proper completion of this form serves as evidence that the local responsible official or designee, law enforcement officer, or criminal investigative officer notified the victim or witness of his or her rights, as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The date the form is given to the victim or witness shall be recorded by the delivering official. This serves as evidence the victim or witness was timely notified of his or her statutory rights.
(ii) The local responsible official will explain the form to victims and witnesses at the earliest opportunity. This will include:
(A) Information about available military and civilian emergency medical and social services, victim advocacy services for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and, when necessary, assistance in securing such services.
(B) Information about restitution or other relief a victim may be entitled to, and the manner in which such relief may be obtained.
(C) Information to victims of intra-familial abuse offenses on the availability of limited transitional compensation benefits and possible entitlement to some of the active duty Service member’s retirement benefits pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1059 and 1408 and DoD Instruction 1342.24 “Transitional Compensation for Abused Dependents,” May 23, 1995 (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134224p.pdf).
(D) Information about public and private programs available to provide counseling, treatment, and other support, including available compensation through federal, State, and local agencies.
(E) Information about the prohibition against intimidation and harassment of victims and witnesses, and arrangements for the victim or witness to receive reasonable protection from threat, harm, or intimidation from an accused offender and from people acting in concert with or under the control of the accused offender.
(F) Information concerning military and civilian protective orders, as appropriate.
(G) Information about the military criminal justice process, the role of the victim or witness in the process, and how the victim or witness can obtain additional information concerning the process and the case in accordance with section 1704 of Public Law 113-66. This includes an explanation of:
(1) Victim’s roles and rights during the defense counsel interviews, preliminary hearings pursuant to section 832, UCMJ (Article 32) and section 1702 of Public Law 113-66.
(2) Victim’s rights when action is taken by the convening authority pursuant to Article 60 of the UCMJ process, and during the post-trial/clemency phase of the process in accordance with section 1706 of Public Law 113-66.
(H) If necessary, assistance in contacting the people responsible for providing victim and witness services and relief.
(I) If necessary, how to file a military whistleblower complaint with an Inspector General regarding suspected reprisal for making, preparing to make, or being perceived as making or preparing to make a protected communication in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1034 and DoD Directive 7050.06,.
(J) Information about the victim’s right to seek the advice of an attorney with respect to his or her rights as a crime victim pursuant to federal law and DoD policy. This includes the right of Service members and their dependents to consult a military legal assistance attorney in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section, or a SVC/VLC in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(3) Information to be provided during investigation of a crime. (i) If a victim or witness has not already received the DD Form 2701 from the local responsible official or designee, it will be provided by law enforcement officer or investigator.
(ii) Local responsible officials or law enforcement investigators and criminal investigators will inform victims and witnesses, as appropriate, of the status of the investigation of the crime, to the extent providing such information does not interfere with the investigation.
(4) Information and services to be provided concerning the prosecution of a crime. (i) The DD Form 2702, “Court-Martial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime,” will be used as a handout to convey basic information about the court-martial process. The date it is given to the victim or witness shall be recorded by the delivering official. If applicable, the following will be explained and provided by the U.S. Government attorney, or designee, to victims and witnesses:
(A) Notification of crime victims’ rights, to include victim’s right to express views as to disposition of case to the responsible commander and convening authority, in accordance with Rule for Court-Martial 306 of the MCM.
(B) Notification of the victim’s right to seek the advice of an attorney with respect to his or her rights as a crime victim pursuant to federal law and DoD policy. This includes the right of service members and their dependents to consult a military legal assistance attorney in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section or a SVC/VLC in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(C) Consultation concerning the decisions to prefer or not prefer charges against the accused offender and the disposition of the offense if other than a trial by court-martial.
(D) Consultation concerning the decision to refer or not to refer the charges against the accused offender to trial by court-martial and notification of the decision to pursue or not pursue court-martial charges against the accused offender.
(E) Notification of the initial appearance of the accused offender before a reviewing officer or military judge at a public pretrial confinement hearing or at a preliminary hearing in accordance with section 832 (Article 32) of the UCMJ.
(F) Notification of the release of the suspected offender from pretrial confinement.
(G) Explanation of the court-martial process on referral to trial.
(H) Before any court proceedings (as defined to include preliminary hearings pursuant to
(I) During the court proceedings, a private waiting area out of the sight and hearing of the accused and defense witnesses. In the case of proceedings conducted aboard ship or in a deployed environment, provide a private waiting area to the greatest extent practicable.
(J) Notification of the scheduling, including changes and delays, of a preliminary hearing pursuant to section 832 (Article 32) of the UCMJ, and each court proceeding the victim is entitled to or required to attend will be made without delay. On request of a victim or witness whose absence from work or inability to pay an account is caused by the crime or cooperation in the investigation or prosecution, the employer or creditor of the victim or witness will be informed of the reasons for the absence from work or inability to make timely payments on an account. This requirement does not create an independent entitlement to legal assistance or a legal defense against claims of indebtedness.
(K) Notification of the recommendation of a preliminary hearing officer when an Article 32 of the UCMJ preliminary hearing is held.
(L) Consultation concerning any decision to dismiss charges or to enter into a pretrial agreement.
(M) Notification of the disposition of the case, to include the acceptance of a plea of “guilty,” the rendering of a verdict, the withdrawal or dismissal of charges, or disposition other than court-martial, to specifically include nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ, administrative processing or separation, or other administrative actions.
(N) Notification to victims of the opportunity to present to the court at sentencing, in compliance with applicable law and regulations, a statement of the impact of the crime on the victim, including financial, social, psychological, and physical harm suffered by the victim. The right to submit a victim impact statement is limited to the sentencing phase and does not extend to the providence (guilty plea) inquiry before sentencing.
(O) Notification of the offender’s sentence and general information regarding minimum release date, parole, clemency, and mandatory supervised release.
(P) Notification of the opportunity to receive a copy of proceedings. The convening authority or subsequent responsible official must authorize release of a copy of the record of trial without cost to a victim of sexual assault as defined in Rule of Court-Martial (R.C.M.) 1104 of the MCM and Article 54(e) of the UCMJ. Victims of offenses other than sexual assault may also receive a copy of the record of trial, without cost, when necessary to lessen the physical, psychological, or financial hardships suffered as a result of a criminal act.
(ii) After court proceedings, the local responsible official will take appropriate action to ensure that property of a victim or witness held as evidence is safeguarded and returned as expeditiously as possible.
(iii) Except for information that is provided by law enforcement officials and U.S. Government trial counsel in accordance with paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section, requests for information relating to the investigation and prosecution of a crime (e.g., investigative reports and related documents) from a victim or witness will be processed in accordance with DoD Instruction 1342.24.
(iv) Any consultation or notification required by paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section may be limited to avoid endangering the safety of a victim or witness, jeopardizing an ongoing investigation, disclosing classified or privileged information, or unduly delaying the disposition of an offense. Although the victim’s views should be considered, this part is not intended to limit the responsibility or authority of the Military Service or the Defense Agency officials to act in the interest of good order and discipline.
(5) Information and services to be provided on conviction. (i) The Military Department trial counsel will explain and provide services to victims and witnesses on the conviction of an offender in a court-martial. The DD Form 2703, “Post-Trial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime,” will be used as a handout to convey basic information about the post-trial process.
(ii) When appropriate, the following will be provided to victims and witnesses:
(A) General information regarding convening authority action, the appellate process, the corrections process, information about work release, furlough, probation, parole, mandatory supervised release, or other forms of release from custody, and eligibility for each.
(B) Specific information regarding the election to be notified of further actions in the case, to include the convening authority’s action, hearings and decisions on appeal, changes in inmate status, and consideration for parole. The DD Form 2704, “Victim/Witness Certification and Election Concerning Prisoner Status,” will be explained and used for victims and appropriate witnesses (e.g., those who fear harm by the offender) to elect to be notified of these actions, hearings, decisions, and changes in the offender’s status in confinement.
(1) For all cases resulting in a sentence to confinement, the DD Form 2704 will be completed and forwarded to the Service central repository, the gaining confinement facility, the local responsible official, and the victim or witness, if any, with appropriate redactions made by the delivering official.
(i) Incomplete DD Forms 2704 received by the Service central repository must be accompanied by a signed memorandum detailing the reasons for the incomplete information, or they will be sent back to the responsible legal office for correction.
(ii) Do not allow an inmate access to DD Form 2704 or attach a copy of the forms to any record to which the confinee has access. Doing so could endanger the victim or witness.
(2) For all cases resulting in conviction but no sentence to confinement, the DD Form 2704 will be completed and forwarded to the Service central repository, the local responsible official, and the victim or witness, if any.
(3) The DD Forms 2704 and 2705, “Notification to Victim/Witness of Prisoner Status,” are exempt from release in accordance with 32 CFR part 286.
(C) Specific information regarding the deadline and method for submitting a written statement to the convening authority for consideration when taking action on the case in accordance with Article 60 of the UCMJ and R.C.M. 1105A of the MCM.
(6) Information and services to be provided on entry into confinement facilities. (i) The victim and witness assistance coordinator at the military confinement facility will:
(A) On entry of an offender into post-trial confinement, obtain the DD Form 2704 to determine victim or witness notification requirements. If the form is unavailable, ask the Service central repository whether any victim or witness has requested notification of changes in inmate status in the case.
(B) When a victim or witness has requested notification of changes in inmate status on the DD Form 2704, and that status changes as listed in paragraph (b)(6)(ii) of this section, use the DD Form 2705, “Victim and Witness Notification of Changes in Inmate Status,” to notify the victim or witness.
(1) The date the DD Form 2705 is given to the victim or witness shall be recorded by the delivering official. This serves as evidence that the officer notified the victim or witness of his or her statutory rights.
(2) Do not allow the inmate access to DD Form 2705 or attach a copy of the forms to any record to which the inmate has access. Doing so could endanger the victim or witness.
(C) Provide the earliest possible notice of:
(1) The scheduling of a clemency or parole hearing for the inmate.
(2) The results of the Service Clemency and Parole Board.
(3) The transfer of the inmate from one facility to another.
(4) The escape, immediately on escape, and subsequent return to custody, work release, furlough, or any other form of release from custody of the inmate.
(5) The release of the inmate to supervision.
(6) The death of the inmate, if the inmate dies while in custody or under supervision.
(7) A change in the scheduled release date of more than 30 days from the last notification due to a disposition or disciplinary and adjustment board.
(D) Make reasonable efforts to notify all victims and witnesses who have requested notification of changes in inmate status of any emergency or special temporary home release granted an inmate.
(E) On transfer of an inmate to another military confinement facility, forward the DD Form 2704 to the gaining facility, with an information copy to the Service central repository.
(ii) The status of victim and witness notification requests will be reported annually to the Service central repository.
(7) Information and services to be provided on appeal. (i) When an offender’s case is docketed for review by a Court of Criminal Appeals, or is granted review by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F.) or by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Government appellate counsel for the Government or appropriate Military Service designee will ensure that all victims who have indicated a desire to be notified receive this information, if applicable:
(A) Notification of the scheduling, including changes and delays, of each public court proceeding that the victim is entitled to attend.
(B) Notification of the decision of the court.
(ii) When an offender’s case is reviewed by the Office of The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) of the Military Department concerned, pursuant to Article 69 and Article 73 of the UCMJ, TJAG will ensure that all victims who have indicated a desire to be notified on DD Form 2704 receive notification of the outcome of the review.
(iii) The Military Services may use the sample appellate notification letter found at Figure 1 of this section, or develop their own templates to keep victims informed of appellate court proceedings.
(8) Information and services to be provided on consideration for parole or supervised release. (i) Before the parole or supervised release of a prisoner, the military confinement facility staff will review the DD Form 2704 to ensure it has been properly completed. If there is a question concerning named persons or contact information, it will be immediately referred to the appropriate staff judge advocate for correction.
(ii) When considering a prisoner for release on supervision, the military confinement facility commander will ensure that all victims on the DD Form 2704 indicating a desire to be notified were provided an opportunity to provide information to the Military Department Clemency and Parole Board in advance of its determination, as documented in the confinement file.
(9) Reporting procedures. (i) To comply with the requirements of 10 U.S.C., Public Law 113-66, and title 18 of the United States Code, the DoD Component responsible official will submit an annual report using the DD Form 2706 to: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Attention: Legal Policy Office, 4000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000.
(ii) The report will be submitted by March 15 for the preceding calendar year and will address the assistance provided victims and witnesses of crime.
(iii) The report will include:
(A) The number of victims and witnesses who received a DD Form 2701 from law enforcement or criminal investigations personnel.
(B) The number of victims who received a DD Form 2702 from U.S. Government trial counsel, or designee.
(C) The number of victims and witnesses who received a DD Form 2703 from U.S. Government trial counsel or designee.
(D) The number of victims and witnesses who elected via the DD Form 2704 to be notified of changes in inmate status.
(E) The number of victims and witnesses who were notified of changes in inmate status by the confinement facility victim witness assistance coordinators via the DD Form 2705 or a computer-generated equivalent.
(F) The cumulative number of inmates in each Military Service for whom victim witness notifications must be made by each Service’s confinement facilities. These numbers are derived by totaling the number of inmates with victim or witness notification requirements at the beginning of the year, adding new inmates with the requirement, and then subtracting those confinees who were released, deceased, or transferred to another facility (e.g., federal, State, or sister Military Service) during the year.
(iv) The Office of the USD(PR) will consolidate all reports submitted by each Military Service, and submit an annual report to the, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Office for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice.
(c) Special victim investigation and prosecution (SVIP) capability. (1) In accordance with DTM 14-003, section 573 of Public Law 112-239, and, the Military Services will maintain a distinct, recognizable group of professionals to provide effective, timely, and responsive worldwide victim support, and a capability to support the investigation and prosecution of special victim offenses within the respective Military Departments.
(2) Covered special victim offenses include:
(i) Unrestricted reports of adult sexual assault.
(ii) Unrestricted reports of domestic violence involving sexual assault and/or aggravated assault with grievous bodily harm.
(iii) Child abuse involving child sexual abuse and/or aggravated assault with grievous bodily harm.
(3) Military Service SVIP programs will include, at a minimum, specially trained and selected:
(i) Investigators from within MCIOs of the Military Departments.
(ii) Judge advocates to serve as prosecutors.
(iii) VWAP personnel.
(iv) Paralegal or administrative legal support personnel.
(4) Each Military Service will maintain standards for the selection, training, and certification of personnel assigned to provide this capability. At a minimum, SVIP training must:
(i) Focus on the unique dynamics of sexual assault, aggravated domestic violence, and child abuse cases.
(ii) Promote methods of interacting with and supporting special victims to ensure their rights are understood and respected.
(iii) Focus on building advanced litigation, case management, and technical skills.
(iv) Ensure that all SVIP legal personnel understand the impact of trauma and how this affects an individual’s behavior and the memory of a traumatic incident when interacting with a victim.
(v) Train SVIP personnel to identify any safety concerns and specific needs of victims.
(vi) Ensure SVIP personnel understand when specially trained pediatric forensic interviewers are required to support the investigation and prosecution of complex child abuse and child sexual abuse cases.
(5) Each Military Service will maintain and periodically review measures of performance and effectiveness to objectively assess Service programs, policies, training, and services. At a minimum, these Service-level review measures will include:
(i) Percentage of all preferred court-martial cases that involve special victim offenses in each fiscal year.
(ii) Percentage of special victim offense courts-martial tried by, or with the direct advice and assistance of, a specially trained prosecutor.
(iii) Compliance with DoD VWAP informational, notification, and reporting requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (9) of this section, to ensure victims are consulted with and regularly updated by special victim capability legal personnel.
(iv) Percentage of specially trained prosecutors and other legal support personnel having received additional and advanced training in topical areas.
(6) The Military Services will also consider victim feedback on effectiveness of special victim prosecution and legal support services and recommendations for possible improvements, as provided in DoD survivor experience surveys or other available feedback mechanisms. This information will be used by the Military Services to gain a greater understanding of the reasons why a victim elected to participate or declined to participate at trial in accordance with Enclosure 12 of DoD Instruction 6495.02, and whether SVIP, VWAP, and other legal support services had any positive impact on this decision.
(7) Designated SVIP capability personnel will collaborate with local DoD SARCs, sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates, Family Advocacy Program (FAP) managers, and domestic abuse victim advocates during all stages of the military justice process to ensure an integrated capability.
(8) To support this capability, active liaisons shall be established at the installation level with these organizations and key individuals:
(i) Local military and civilian law enforcement agencies.
(iii) Victim advocates.
(iv) FAP managers.
(vi) Sexual assault forensic examiners and other medical and mental health care providers.
(vii) Unit commanding officers.
(viii) Other persons designated by the Secretaries of the Military Departments necessary to support special victims.
(9) In cases of adult sexual assault the staff judge advocate or designated representative of the responsible legal office will participate in case management group meetings, in accordance with DoD Instruction 6495.02, on a monthly basis to review individual cases. Cases involving victims who are assaulted by a spouse or intimate partner will be reviewed by FAP.
(10) The staff judge advocate of the responsible legal office will participate in FAP case review or incident determination meetings of domestic violence, spouse or intimate partner sexual assault, and child abuse cases in accordance with DoD Instruction 6400.06.
(11) In the case of a victim who is under 18 years of age and not a member of the Military Services, or who is incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the military judge will designate in writing a representative of the estate of the victim, a family member, or another suitable individual to assume the victim’s rights under the UCMJ. The victim’s representative is designated for the sole purpose of assuming the legal rights of the victim as they pertain to the victim’s status as a victim of any offense(s) properly before the court. Under no circumstances will the individual designated as representative have been accused of any crime against the victim.
(i) The Secretaries of the Military Departments may publish additional guidance or regulation regarding, who, before referral, may designate an appropriate representative, such as the convening authority or other qualified local responsible official.
(ii) In making a decision to appoint a representative, the designating authority should consider:
(A) The age and maturity, relationship to the victim.
(B) The physical proximity to the victim.
(C) The costs incurred in effecting the appointment.
(D) The willingness of the proposed designee to serve in such a role.
(E) The previous appointment of a guardian by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(F) The preference of the victim, if known.
(G) Any potential delay in any proceeding that may be caused by a specific appointment.
(H) Any other relevant information.
(iii) The representative, legal guardian, or equivalent of a victim of who is eligible, or in the case of a deceased victim, was eligible at the time of death for legal assistance provided by SVC/VLC, may elect legal representation for a SVC/VLC on behalf of the victim.
(c) Legal assistance for crime victims—(1) Eligibility. Active and retired Service members and their dependents are entitled to receive legal assistance pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044 and 1565 and Under Secretary for Defense for Personnel and Readiness Memorandum, “Legal Assistance for Sexual Assault Victims,” October 17, 2011.
(2) Information and Services. Legal assistance services for crime victims will include confidential advice and assistance for crime victims to address:
(i) Rights and benefits afforded to the victim under law and DoD policy.
(ii) Role of the VWAP coordinator or liaison.
(iii) Role of the victim advocate.
(iv) Privileges existing between the victim and victim advocate.
(v) Differences between restricted and unrestricted reporting.
(vi) Overview of the military justice system.
(vii) Services available from appropriate agencies for emotional and mental health counseling and other medical services.
(viii) Advising of rights to expedited transfer.
(ix) Availability of and protections offered by civilian and military protective orders.
(d) Special Victims’ Counsel/Victims’ Legal Counsel programs—(1) Eligibility. In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044, 1044e, and 1565b, section 1716 of Public Law 113-66, and section 533 of the NDAA 2005, the Military Services provide legal counsel, known as SVC/VLC, to assist victims of alleged s*x-related offenses including Articles 120, 120a, 120b, and 120c, forcible sodomy under Article 125 of the UCMJ, attempts to commit such offenses under Article 80 of the UCMJ, or other crimes under the UCMJ as authorized by the Service, who are eligible for legal assistance pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044e and as further prescribed by the Military Departments and National Guard Bureau policies. Individuals eligible for SVC/VLC representation include any of the following:
(i) Individuals entitled to military legal assistance under 10 U.S.C. 1044 and 1044e, and as further prescribed by the Military Departments and National Guard Bureau policies. (ii) Members of a reserve component of the armed forces, in accordance with section 533 of NDAA 2005, and as further prescribed by the Military Departments and National Guard Bureau policies.
(2) Attorney-client information and services. The types of legal services provided by SVC/VLC programs in each Military Service will include:
(i) Legal consultation regarding the VWAP, including:
(A) The rights and benefits afforded the victim.
(B) The role of the VWAP liaison.
(C) The nature of communication made to the VWAP liaison in comparison to communication made to a SVC/VLC or a legal assistance attorney pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044.
(ii) Legal consultation regarding the responsibilities and support provided to the victim by the SARC, a unit or installation sexual assault victim advocate, or domestic abuse advocate, to include any privileges that may exist regarding communications between those persons and the victim.
(iii) Legal consultation regarding the potential for civil litigation against other parties (other than the DoD).
(iv) Legal consultation regarding the military justice system, including, but not limited to:
(A) The roles and responsibilities of the military judge, trial counsel, the defense counsel, and military criminal investigators.
(B) Any proceedings of the military justice process in which the victim may observe or participate in person or through his or her SVC/VLC.
(v) Accompanying or representing the victim at any proceedings when necessary and appropriate, including interviews, in connection with the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of the alleged s*x-related offense.
(vi) Legal consultation regarding eligibility and requirements for services available from appropriate agencies or offices for emotional and mental health counseling and other medical services.
(vii) Legal representation or consultation and assistance:
(A) In personal civil legal matters in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044.
(B) In any proceedings of the military justice process in which a victim can participate as a witness or other party.
(C) In understanding the availability of, and obtaining any protections offered by, civilian and military protecting or restraining orders.
(D) In understanding the eligibility and requirements for, and obtaining, any available military and veteran benefits, such as transitional compensation benefits found in 10 U.S.C. 1059, DoD Instruction 1342.24, “Transitional Compensation for Abused Dependents,” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134224p.pdf), and other State and federal victims’ compensation programs.
(E) The victim’s rights and options at trial, to include the option to state a preference to decline participation or withdraw cooperation as a witness and the potential consequences of doing so.
(viii) Legal representation or consultation regarding the potential criminal liability of the victim stemming from or in relation to the circumstances surrounding the alleged s*x-related offense (collateral misconduct), regardless of whether the report of that offense is restricted or unrestricted in accordance with DoD Instruction 6495.02. Victims may also be referred to the appropriate defense services organization for consultation on the potential criminal implications of collateral misconduct.
(ix) Other legal assistance as the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of the Military Department concerned may authorize.
Figure 1. Sample Appellate Notification Letter
Dear [Mr.][Mrs.][Ms.] [Victim Name]:
The United States [Military Service] believes it is important to keep victims of crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice informed of court proceedings. Based on your request, we are providing you with information about the military appellate process and upcoming events in your case, in accordance with Department of Defense Instruction 1030.02, “Victim Witness Assistance.”
[Name of Accused] (Appellant) filed an appeal of [his][her] criminal conviction on [Date] at the [Service] Court of Criminal Appeals. The process may take time before a decision is reached by the Court of Criminal Appeals. An appeal is a legal proceeding by which a case is brought before a higher court for review of the decision made by the lower, or trial, court. The Court of Criminal Appeals may decide this appeal solely on the basis of the brief submitted by the Appellant and the response which will be submitted by the U.S. Government, or the Court may decide to hold a public courtroom proceeding and hear the arguments made by the attorneys for both sides. If the Court does determine a courtroom proceeding is warranted, you will be notified of the date and location so that you may attend. If the Court declines to hold a courtroom proceeding and decides the issue on the basis of the Appellant’s brief and the U.S. Government’s response, you will be notified of the ultimate decision.
The ruling of the [Service] Court of Criminal Appeals is not necessarily the final resolution of this case. There are two courts superior to the Court of Criminal Appeals from which the Appellant could also seek review. If the Court of Criminal Appeals rules against the Appellant, [he][she] can seek review of that ruling at the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F). If the Appellant is denied review by the C.A.A.F. [his][her] case becomes final and you will be informed. If review is granted by the C.A.A.F., you will be informed of the review taking place, of any courtroom proceedings, and of the final ruling. If C.A.A.F. grants review of the Appellant’s case and rules against [him][her], [he][she] could potentially appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. If this were to occur, you will be notified. Cases are also sometimes returned to the [Service] Court of Criminal Appeals for further proceedings. In addition, the Appellants may also petition the respective Military Department Judge Advocate General for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence or fraud upon the court. If that were to occur, you will be notified.
For now, the Appellant has sought review of [his][her] conviction at the [Service] Court of Criminal Appeals. Nothing is required of you, but should you so desire, have any questions, or require further information, please contact [DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE AND CONTACT INFORMATION].