The Legal Assistance Office provides certain types of limited legal assistance to active-duty military servicemembers, retired military servicemembers, reservists on active duty orders, their dependents, and certain other categories of personnel.
The primary services provided are: notarizations; consumer finance issues; family law matters; military rights under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act; naturalization and immigration advice and counseling; notary services; powers of attorney advice and drafting; simple estate planning; and unit pre-deployment briefs.
The Office offers an estate planning brief at 1330 on Tuesday and a divorce/dissolution brief at 1400 on Thursday.
The Office is in Building 852 and its normal business hours are 0800-1100 and 1300-1600 Monday through Thursday and 0800-1100 and 1300-1500 on Friday.
The Office line is 928-269-2481. The line is limited to general inquiries as to availability and scheduling. The Legal Assistance Office is not permitted to provide legal advice telephonically.
The Legal Assistance Office is not permitted to assist with commercial business ventures, criminal matters, government ethics, or claims against the United States.
The Office cannot provide in-court representation.
Services are limited to individual eligible personnel; services are not provided to non-federal entities.
Conflicts: If the Legal Assistance Office has formed an attorney-client relationship with one person, we cannot advise another person with adverse interests. Another legal assistance office may be able to assist the other person.
The Yuma Legal Assistance Office does not assist with income tax preparation and filing. Servicemembers and spouses have access to free tax services at MilTax: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/benefits/miltax-free-tax-services/
Under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 1044a and Chapter 9 of JAGINST 5800.7G, the legal assistance clerks can administer oaths and perform military authorizations.
All adjutants and assistant adjutants, all officers in the grade of O-4 or higher, and all commanding and executive officers have the same authority to administer oaths and perform military notarizations. All such personnel performing notarizations must complete the HQMC-prescribed notarial training and certification. The training can be found here.
[USMC Notary Training Slides]
[1044a Duties and Responsibilities Form]
[Certification of Training and Authorization to Perform]
The State of Arizona exempts active-duty military personnel stationed in Arizona who are not domiciled in Arizona from paying the vehicle license tax portion of the annual vehicle registration. As proof of eligibility for the exemption, the State will accept a Leave and Earnings Statement. See the website here: https://azdot.gov/mvd/services/vehicle-services/military-personnel/nonresident-exemptions
The State of Arizona also exempts active-duty military personnel who are domiciled in Arizona but have deployed out-of-state from vehicle license tax and registration fees one time for the period during the deployment and for one year after. See here for documentation requirements. https://azdot.gov/mvd/services/vehicle-services/military-personnel/resident-exemptions
A power of attorney allows someone else to act on your behalf or exercise your rights.
A special power of attorney (SPOA) grants another person authority to manage a specific power or powers that you have assigned. Here is one template. [Special Power of Attorney]
Several different versions of special powers of attorney can be found here at the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General website’s Special Powers of Attorney portal:
The Arizona State Attorney General offers forms for a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Mental Health Care Power of Attorney, and a Living Will. https://www.azag.gov/seniors/life-care-planning.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a form “VA Advance Directive: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will”: https://www.va.gov/find-forms/about-form-10-0137/.
Note that no one is required to accept a power of attorney. Many banks, businesses, and organizations have their own specific forms that must be used, and many have chosen not to accept powers of attorney at all. If possible, you should contact the organization where you are hoping to use the power of attorney, in order to ensure that you are following their requirements. Being as specific as possible in the authority you are giving to your agent can help to reduce the risk that your power of attorney will be rejected.
Common issues include:
Spousal and Child Support
Divorce (the divorce/dissolution brief, held on Thursday at 1400, is a prerequisite to schedule a consultation with an attorney about a potential or pending divorce.
MCO 5800.16_Volume 9.pdf (menlosecurity.com)
Auto Sales, Repairs, and Loans
The Legal Assistance Office offers an estate planning brief on Tuesday at 1330 that discusses basic estate planning considerations. Attendance at the brief is a prerequisite to requesting a will. The Office can assist only with simple estate planning; the Office cannot assist with complex estate planning.
Consultation on green card applications and issues
The Office cannot assist with complex immigration issues.
The Office can only assist persons who are service members or their military dependents (that is, those persons who are eligible for legal assistance services).
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Legal assistance services may be more or less limited at different locations according to local policies and resources.
Global Military Legal Assistance Services Locator
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, CA
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ
Luke Air Force Base, AZ
U.S. Navy Region Legal Services Office Southwest, CA
U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, AZ
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1630
Bldg 852 West Wing