Legal Question in Military Law in Ohio

Civilians and UCMJ

If a military doctor is charged with Negligent Homicide of another service member, and the C.O. of the member charged chooses not to punish the service member in any way, can the civilian spouse appeal the C.O.'s decision or request a Military Courts Martial on her deceased spouses behalf? What are her rights to seek justice as a civilian/widow?

Asked on 7/07/08, 4:15 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Neal Puckett The Law Firm of Puckett and Faraj, PC

Re: Civilians and UCMJ

The CO's decision not to prosecute is final as to his authority, but a higher authority can come to a different decision. There are better ways to seek justice however.

Please call or email for a free, confidential consultation. We may be able to help you.

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Answered on 7/07/08, 4:31 pm
William J. Holmes Attorney at Military Law

Re: Civilians and UCMJ

Only the servicemember's C.O. can refer charges to a court-martial or take other disciplinary action. The only exception to this is when a higher authority in the chain of command takes over the case. He then could refer charges to a court-martial or take other disciplinary action. The deceased spouse has no say in it except to try to convince a higher authority to take some action. She also may have the possibility fo a civil action against the doctor, but there are very strict limits on bringing a civil suit against a military member for his actions while on active duty.

Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.

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Answered on 7/07/08, 4:43 pm

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