The U.S. Region Legal Service Office Europe and Southwest Asia, Detachment Rota, Spain (RLSO) provides comprehensive legal services to Navy and Marine Corps commands and to eligible active duty, retired military personnel, and their family members within its assigned geographic area of responsibility; and performs such other functions or tasks as may be requested or directed by competent authority. Services provided include military justice, command services, administrative law, ethics counseling, command administration, international law, legal assistance, and claims.
DSN 727-2531/Comm +34 956-82-2531
DSN 727-3104/Comm +34-956-82-3104
FAX 727-2082/Comm +34 956-82-2082
PSC 819 Box 46
FPO AE 09645-0012
Command Services Branch
Hours: Monday - Friday, 0900-1600
The Command Services Branch provides military justice, command services, and Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction legal advice to commands.
Military justice advice includes matters that are prosecutorial in nature (i.e., related to the prosecution of a member of your command at court-martial). Specific areas include the following:
• Post-trial courts-martial assistance including timely review and advice regarding the Convening Authority’s action, preparation of promulgating orders, and forwarding of records of trial to appellate authority as appropriate.
• Summary Courts-Martial (SCM) advice and assistance including drafting of charges, review of preliminary inquiries and referral of charges. Additionally provide advice and training to potential SCM Officers or provide SCM Officer in certain instances.
• Provide advice and assistance for all aspects of Non-judicial Punishment (NJP) including preliminary processing, conducting the NJP hearing, preparing letters of censure, and forwarding appeals.
• JAG Manual Investigations training, advice, and assistance to Investigating Officers in preparation of reports and review by the convening authority.
• Administrative Separation advice and assistance in all aspect of the Administration Separation process, including providing a Recorder in appropriate cases.
Command Services advice encompasses any other legal issue confronting your command or unit that does not involve the prosecution of a member of the command. In essence, the RLSO serves as the law firm representing the command. Miscellaneous command services (and training) in a myriad of administrative law matters including, but not limited to, the following topics:
Search and Seizure
Mental Health Evaluations
Detachments for cause
Freedom of Expression
Hate Crimes issues
Family advocacy; Child abuse, paternity, family support; Domestic violence
Legal Assistance Branch
Hours: Monday – Friday, 0900 - 1500
The Legal Assistance Branch provides legal services regarding personal civil legal matters. This may include advice, research, negotiations, document preparation, and other types of assistance. The Legal Assistance Branch also educates eligible persons regarding their personal legal rights and responsibilities. The Legal Assistance Branch provides legal assistance services on a space-available basis to Active Duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard, and their dependents. Assistance is provided to retirees as resources permit. Proof of identification in the form of a Department of Defense identification card must be shown in order to receive legal services.
Legal Assistance attorneys counsel clients on numerous topics, but not on any that involve military justice or actions against the United States Government. The information here is designed to be general and does not in any way replace competent legal advice. Legal Assistance attorneys may provide assistance in the following areas:
Adoptions and Name Changes
Notary Service / Powers of Attorney
Military Rights and Benefits
Service Members Civil Relief Act
Immigration and Naturalization
Wills and Estate Planning
Military Rights and Benefits
Claims include payment for loss, damage, or destruction of personal property under the Personnel Claims Act, as well as action by the Government to recover affirmative claims under the Federal Claims Collection Act. Claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) or Military Claims Act (MCA) are not handled by the RLSO, but we can refer you to the appropriate offices for such claims.
Although the types of services and advice available are broad, representation in civilian courts is generally not provided due to the limited number of attorneys available and state/international laws and bar association rules that restrict military attorneys who are licensed in states other than their present duty station. Legal Assistance attorneys are prohibited from advising opposing parties on the same or related issue and from providing legal advice via telephone or E-Mail. Legal Assistance services are also not available for business and military justice issues, or matters where the United States Government may be considered an adverse party. While basic legal advice is available on each of the topics listed above under “Services Provided”, Legal Assistance attorneys may be unable to provide services beyond a certain level of complexity (for example, estates above one million dollars or involving business interests).
Trial Services Branch
The Trial Services Branch mission is to provide qualified trial services for the prompt, efficient, and professional prosecution of Special and General Courts-Martial, Government counsel for the conduct of Article 32 hearings, and counsel (recorders) for administrative boards.
Request for Service Letters are required by both the RLSO and the Naval Legal Service Office Europe and Southwest Asia (NLSO)(Defense and Personal Representation) in order to obtain assistance. The command is also responsible for requesting services for individual defendants in courts-martial, as well as administrative boards.
When requesting trial services, the following protocol should be followed:
• All cases should be sent to the RLSO prior to preferral so that a prosecutor may review the charge sheet.
• After a prosecutor has assisted you in drafting the charges, you should forward a request for services letter to the RLSO. That letter should include the original charge sheet and three copies, four certified copies of the convening order, and three copies of the evidence.
• You should also draft a request for services letter for the NLSO. That letter should include two copies of the charge sheet, two copies of the convening order, and two copies of the evidence. After review, the RLSO will facilitate delivery of the request for counsel and required documents to the NLSO for assignment of defense counsel.
Due to the JAG Corps' realignment, the NLSO Detachment in Rota was decommissioned in July, 2006. All NLSO Defense and Personal Representation requests are sent to the NLSO Headquarters in Naples, Italy.