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California Military Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Military Law for California on

Q: Am I allowed to read my letter to the judge to represent me since I am not happy with my lawyer at CMC hearing?

It has been 18 months now and still no resolution. I am not being prioritized. delay over delay. I need help.

Sanjoy Kumar Guha answered on Aug 14, 2019

There are several reasons why people represent themselves without a lawyer:

In criminal cases, if you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer for you, like a public defender. But in civil cases, you do not have the right to a court-appointed lawyer so, if you cannot afford...
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1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: I was separated from the US navy while in boot camp for a kidney stone. I want to reenlist but now I am 40 years old.

My private Dr cleared me to go back. I might also need an age waiver.

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 10, 2019

Speak with a recruiter. Their job is to get people to enlist. They can educate you on the current waivers available. Keep in mind each of the services have different recruitment policies so you may want to check with each of the branches of the US Military. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Juvenile Law and Military Law for California on

Q: I was arrested for the following when I was 12.. I am now 26 and recently made contact with the attorney

that represented me in juvenile court. He suggested and is confident we can successfully unseal my record, file a motion to reduce all felonies to misdemeanors, file a secondary motion to have the case dismissed by a judge, and re-seal the record. By doing so, will that make me eligible for... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Feb 4, 2019

CA Penal Code 17b relates to reductions of crimes for juveniles, depending on the circumstances. See:§ionNum=17.

As for information in a background check, typically such checks uncover all arrests that are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Military Law, Municipal Law and Probate for California on

Q: My father just passed I'm his daughter there is no will and I need to know if I have any rights to his military benefits

His present wife never allowed him to be in our lives mom married him his first enlist year I was born un1964 he had vasectomy to ensure me and mynow deceased brother would have something after his death he married his wife after an affair my brother was still his custody but he died we didn't know... Read more »

Richard Samuel Price answered on Jan 16, 2019

His surviving spouse would be entitled to all of the community property that they owned, or any joint tenancy held property. Since he had two children, you both would share 2/3 of his separate property and his surviving spouse would be entitled to 1/3 of his separate property. But if he was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: I was discharged from my military unit and I'm pretty sure it's because I'm gay. Can they still do that?

Steven McNicholl answered on Jan 9, 2019

In 2010, President Obama repealed the policy "Don't ask Don't Tell", preventing the military from discharging service men because of sexual preference.

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: Can I be discharged from military service because of a cancer diagnosis?

Angelina Bradley answered on Dec 6, 2018

If you are an active duty service member with a cancer diagnosis, you will be processed through the Physical Evaluation Board process. The Navy will determine whether your cancer significantly interferes with the performance of your duties. Depending on how disabled you are determined to be (by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: Can I get out of the Navy Reserves if I need to help out family more

Dear Justia, I've been wanting to join the Navy Reserve and I spoke with a Navy Recruiter. Initially, I thought it was a 3 year contract, but learned it's a 6 year contract in the Reserve. I work part-time in construction, and also help part-time with my family. Several years ago, I moved... Read more »

Angelina Bradley answered on Oct 23, 2018

Hello. Yes, you can ask for a hardship separation from the Naval Reserve. Depending on where you are in your contract, you can also request to be transferred to the IRR so your drilling requirement would be eliminated -- you'd just have an annual check-in (and you'd still be subject to recall to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: I suspect my daughter is the victim of abuse - do I alert the base, or the regular cops?

Angelina Bradley answered on Oct 19, 2018

Where do you think the abuse occurred? If off-base, you should contact local PD for the criminal investigation, then contact your base Family Advocacy Program to report the abuse.

I specialize in Military Victim Rights. If it's sexual abuse, and the case heads to military criminal trial,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Military Law for California on

Q: I want to reverse an adoption in LA CA in 2002 I am 23 now. I want to petition to get my OG birth cert. for military PIP

I can’t even seek an audience with the judge because it’s all done behind closed doors. All they tell me is they can’t give me advice or answer my questions. They tell me to get a lawyer.

Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Sep 30, 2018

Were you adopted by a u.s. citizen? I'm not sure I understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish.

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: Is it against any Marine corps order to use mass punishment when no Njp was issued for what everyone is punished

So we were stripped of our weekend liberty for threemarines failing a uniform inspection.

Angelina Bradley answered on Sep 17, 2018

You’re going to need to be more specific. “Mass punishment” is what? Removal of privileges may be just fine depending on how it was done. Or it could be hazing. Or it could be the command actually enforcing existing policy. Without more facts, I cant make an assessment.


1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: If a charge was dismissed in a federal magistrate court, could a person go to special court martial for the same thing?

While on terminal leave, a friend of mine was charged with simple possession of a controlled substance on a federal property and had to appear in a federal magistrate court (where it was dismissed). His command found out about the incident and put him on legal hold just a few days before his EAOS... Read more »

Robert Donald Gifford II answered on Aug 22, 2018

If it was dismissed "with prejudice" in the federal court, then there is an argument that the courts-martial may be bound by that dismissal. It depends on the reason and grounds it was dimissed. If the dismissal is silent, it's likely "without prejudice" and still subject to UCMJ action.

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: How can a DUI affect your chances for promotion?

Robert Donald Gifford II answered on Aug 22, 2018

Absolutely. It is pretty much a military career killer. The only "exception" is when the service member is a junior enlisted. The military leadership recognizes that a young soldier (or marine, etc.) will make mistakes. If that junior enlisted member is an otherwise good troop, a commander will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: What happens if you get busted for something while stationed overseas? Like a DUI?

Angelina Bradley answered on Jul 10, 2018

It depends on your service branch. In the Navy, if you're attached to a ship, you're going toArt 15/ NJP/Captain's Mast because you can't refuse. Otherwise, your command may try to take you to NJP or elect to take you to court-martial. They may elect to administratively separate you from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Military Law for California on

Q: Currently on deployment so I left my vehicle back in the states with a buddy. Another service member who I have let use

My vehicle before got ahold of my keys from 9my buddy and was using my vehicle almost every day. Im still paying on the vehicle with a loan through my credit union. The guy flipped my vehicle and decided to leave it where it was never told me about it. I learned of this information from my Higher... Read more »

Angelina Bradley answered on Jun 26, 2018

It's a multi-part question:

1) If you didn't pay your insurance bill, then yes, you were uninsured at the time of the accident and they would not directly pay you to replace the totaled vehicle.

2) Yes, you can hire a personal injury attorney and sue your buddy for the damages and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: Just got done with Active duty Military. Just got done with leave my guard unit wants to meet in two weeks to do

Paperwork so I can be integrated into the unit. I haven’t gone to basic I switched my mos. I don’t want to be in the guard. I have a good job and it’s 91 miles away from where I live. I did my time active got out with a honarble an I only joined tHe guard because I didn’t have a job at the... Read more »

Angelina Bradley answered on Jun 26, 2018

There is a possibility of early release, but it's unlikely it will be granted. Guard service, like active duty service, is a contract that is not easy to get out of. There are hardship options out there. But if you're in an undermanned MOS, it's unlikely they'll release you.

That said, most...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Military Law for California on

Q: What % of retirement is the ex wife entitled to using the Brown law/Brown Formula, in California. 9 years married

The ex-wife served us with papers recently to calculate a percentage of his retirement to go to her based on the Brown Formula. What percentage does she get of his retirement, and for how long? He took all of the debt when they divorced and he paid 4 years of spousal support. How much does he... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Jun 12, 2018

Who is "us"? Do you have an attorney? What do you mean that she served papers for you to calculate the percentage. It doesn't work that way. If there is a retirement account to be divided because of a divorce judgment or court order, the retirement account at issue is divided by QDRO. Whether... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Military Law for California on

Q: Is there anyway I can legally carry a Expandable Baton on my person for self defense and what would be the restrictions?

I am a infantryman in the Army.

Dale S. Gribow answered on May 23, 2018

not sure

i would check with local police station but i assume it will be a deadly weapon that police would not want in the hands of a non police officer..............

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Military Law for California on

Q: Could I become a US citizen through the military?

I came to the United States when I was 5 (currently 17) and wanted to know if I could become a citizen through the military.

Carl Shusterman answered on Apr 16, 2018

You could if you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for California on

Q: Can a civilian be tried in military court?

Robert Donald Gifford II answered on Apr 13, 2018

The answer is generally no. No jurisdiction over civilians, with a few rare exceptions. The exceptions are generally if it is a civilian accompanying a force onto a battlefield (like a contractor).

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Military Law for California on

Q: If I am Active duty military, am I exempt from the means test for bankruptcy?

David Earl Phillips answered on Mar 23, 2018

See if Section 707(b)(2)(D) of the Bankruptcy Code applies to your situation. If so, you may avoid the means test. Best to see a bankruptcy lawyer near you as the means test is only part of what the US Trustee looks at when reviewing cases for abuse. Thank you for your service to our country. Hope... Read more »

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