In cases involving military domestic violence, civilian statutes can be used to provide relief.
Domestic violence is an important issue to the wellbeing of society as a whole, and it is particularly important to discuss in the context of the military. Combat veterans who serve our country are found to be responsible for almost 21 percent of domestic violence nationwide, and this high figure is often linked to veterans who develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sadly, these figures reflect that domestic violence on the homefront has become altogether too commonplace. If your family has been impacted by the damages of military domestic violence, know that there are a number of legal resources and remedies available to address these issues.
Military Domestic Violence Injunction Remedies
When remedies for military domestic violence are needed, Florida’s civil and criminal statutes can be used to provide relief. When domestic violence occurs within a military family in Florida, that family is still a part of civilian society. As such, civilian remedies and injunctions are applicable to cases of military domestic violence situations.
If a victim-spouse contacts a lawyer, said lawyer is free to initiate a domestic violence case in the same way they would do for a civilian. However, that attorney should still be familiar with military procedures and responses to domestic violence since the military may become involved later in the process.
At any rate, through a civilian context, your lawyer will pursue an injunction for protection against domestic violence, which means the alleged abuser will be legally required to stop doing certain acts. A common example of a domestic violence injunction remedy is a restraining order, which orders an abuser to stop contacting or coming near their victims. Additionally, injunctions may require an abuser to perform certain actions, such as leaving the home or paying temporary child support. Similarly, an injunction may give you temporary custody of the children.
Should an abuser violate any of these injunctions, police may arrest him for the violation. These situations apply to the civilian context, but there are additional injunctive remedies that are applicable when the military becomes involved.
One such order is the Military Protective Order (MPO), which is an order given by a unit commander to an active service member or civilian. An MPO is permissible to issue and monitor compliance when necessary to “safeguard a victim, quell a disturbance, and maintain good order and discipline” while a victim has time to pursue protection through civilian courts. In effect, the MPO is a commander-issued order designed to provide victims with valuable time needed to protect themselves. An MPO lasts until it is terminated or the commander chooses to issue a replacement order. Violation of this order is a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
However, it is important to note that local law enforcement is not legally required to enforce an MPO. As such, victims who seek an MPO should also seek to obtain a civilian protective order as well, which local law enforcement is required to enforce.
If you have questions regarding military domestic violence injunctions, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org