Marines

 Legal Assistance

Mission The mission of the Legal Assistance Office is to serve eligible personnel by providing professional and zealous representation with regard to their personal legal affairs. 

Legal Assistance/VITA OIC: 1stLt Robert Tylka
Legal Assistance Clerks: Cpl Adam Serrano
Legal Assistance Paralegal: Mr. Joe Covarrubias
VITA Tax Coordinator: Ms. Erlinda Knight

Who we serve: Under federal law, we provide legal assistance and notary services to active duty service members, reservists following mobilization of more than 30 days, retired service members, and dependents and survivors of such service members.

**Bring copies of all relevant documents to any meeting with an attorney**

Unit Briefs

To have our staff brief your unit on estate planning, pre-deployment matters, or preventative law, please download this form and email it, once completed, to the legal assistance clerks.

Practice Areas

Powers of Attorney and Notary Services Powers of Attorney:

1) General: This form authorizes another person, for a set period of time, to manage all business affairs on your behalf, except changing life insurance beneficiaries.

2) Special: This form grants another person authority to manage a specific power or powers that you have assigned.

3) Care of Children: This form allows the person you assign to give consent for emergency medical treatment, authorize all necessary medical treatment, perform any and all parental acts, enroll children in daycare and pick children up from school.

 Please note: It is a good idea to contact any entity or individual with whom your agent will be dealing (e.g., IRS, banks, insurance companies, the DMV) to determine whether a specific POA format is required or preferred. If you fail to do this, the entity or individual may refuse to recognize the POA you have prepared.

 Notary Services:

We notarize various documents but the most common is the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles vehicle license tax exemption form.  To qualify for the exemption, you must be a resident of a different state but stationed in Arizona.  Note that if you share title to the vehicle with a non-service member or an Arizona resident, you will only be exempt from half of the tax amount.

Family Law

Common issues include:

Divorce*

Dependent Support

Child Custody

Guardianship

Paternity

 

*The marriage dissolution brief, held every Thursday at 1400, is a prerequisite to schedule a consultation with an attorney about a potential or pending divorce.

 

Resources:

USMC Regulations on dependent support and paternity—Legal Services Administration Manual Vol. 9

Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator

Department of Defense Pay Chart

Arizona Child Support Calculator

 

Consumer Protection Law

Common issues include:

Debtor-Creditor Matters

Contracts

Auto Sales, Repairs, and Loans

 

Resources:

BCFP page on the Military Lending Act

BCFP page on Truth-in-Lending disclosures

U.S. Department of Justice summary of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Arizona Attorney General page on auto purchases

 

Estate Planning

We host an estate planning brief every Tuesday at 1330.

 

We can create and answer questions about the following estate planning documents:

1) Will:  This document lays out the disposition of your estate (everything you own and everything you owe) upon death. The Legal Assistance Office provides a Wills and Estate Brief every Tuesday at 1330 for anyone interested in creating a will.

2) Living Will:  Also called an “advance medical directive,” this document states your preferences regarding life sustaining treatment in the event that you become terminally ill, enter a persistent vegetative state, or become otherwise unconscious, so long as it is unreasonable to believe that you will recover.

3) Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care:  This document designates an agent to make health care decisions in the event that you become incapacitated or too sick to make medical decisions.

4) Springing Durable Power of Attorney:  This document designates an agent to make non-health care decisions in the event that you become incapacitated or too sick to make such decisions.  You may limit the scope of the powers conferred or give broad powers to your agent.

5) Funeral Plan:  This document outlines your wishes for your funeral and the handling of your remains.

6) Designation of Agent to Handle the Disposition of Remains:  This document assigns an individual to facilitate the handling of your remains.

 

Note: Some of your most important financial assets might not pass through a will.  For example, SGLI beneficiaries are determined by your election in the SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES), which cannot be overridden by a will.

 

Resources:

SGLI Online Enrollment System

 

Landlord-Tenant Law

Common issues include:

Return of Security Deposits

Lease Termination upon PCS or EAS

Unsafe or Unsanitary Living Conditions

 

Note: You must provide a copy of your lease agreement in advance of your appointment in order to speak with an attorney about a landlord-tenant dispute.

 

Resources:

Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Nolo.com summary of Arizona Landlord-Tenant law

 

Military Rights and Benefits

We work closely with the Station ID/DEERS office to assist with military rights and benefits.

 

We cannot assist with:

-          Claims against the government, including TriCare

-          Investigations or administrative complaints involving the Department of Defense

-          Petitions to the Board for the Correction of Naval Records

Resources:

U.S. Department of Justice Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative page

U. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service page

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve page on USERRA

 

Immigration and Citizenship

Services include:

Citizenship applications

Consultation on green card applications and issues

Consultation on marriages to foreign citizens

 

Resources:

Citizenship Resource Center

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

 

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The VITA program provides free individual income tax preparation for all military personnel and family members for legal assistance (e.g. active duty, retirees, reservists on active duty orders of 30 days or more, and dependents).  The program is a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the military.”

 

 

NOTICE:

 

 

Due to COVID-19, the VITA Tax Center will be minimizing contact with customers by only preparing tax returns using a drop off/pick up method.

 

 

If you would like to utilize our drop off service, please come by our office, pick up a Client Intake Packet, and fill it out at home.  When you return to our office to drop off the completed Intake Packet, have copies of all necessary tax documents, ID cards, social security cards, and/or a power of attorney for spouses who cannot be present.  Please be prepared to leave these documents with us, and sign a consent form for authorization.

 

 

Your tax return will be completed as soon as possible.  However, we ask for your patience during this time as we are assisting as many clients as possible during this pandemic. 

 

 

From January to 15 April 2020, IRS trained and certified Marines will assist active duty and retired personnel and their families in filing federal and state tax returns.  Bring all necessary documents (e.g. ID cards, social security cards, and/or a power of attorney for spouses who cannot be present) and a current/active phone number.  Our VITA Marines will prepare and e-file your returns.

 

 

Current active duty military receive priority for walk-in appointments.  Hours of operation are 0800 to 1600 Monday through Friday.  The VITA Center phone number is (928) 269-3277.

 

 

Most customers are seen on a walk-in basis, but please make an appointment if you have:

  •  

    Rental property

  •  

    Multiple residences

  •  

    Stocks/investments/trade

     

  •  

    House sale

     

  •  

    Retroactive Veterans’ Affairs lump sum pay

     

  •  

 

***WE CANNOT PROVIDE W-2 AND 1099-R FORMS FOR RETIREES***

 

 

***Until 1 April 2021, the VITA Center will only prepare taxes for Tax Year 2020.  After 1 April 2021, we will resume preparing taxes from Tax Years 2018 and 2019.***

 

Services

 

 Contact Us
Area code and prefix for all numbers is 928-269-XXXX unless otherwise specified.
Legal Services Support Team Yuma
PO Box 99126
Yuma, AZ
85369-9126
3483


 
Administrative Law 2870
OIC
1stLt Ian Lamb
 
NCOIC
Sgt Blake Morris
 
Clerk
Cpl Angelique Perez
 
Defense Services
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1700
Bldg 852 West Wing

3480
 

Defense Services OIC
Capt Joseph Riccardi

 
Defense Chief
Cpl Julio Torres
 
Defense Clerk
PFC Envy Pasillas
 
Legal Assistance
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1130, 1300 - 1630
Bldg 852

3586
 
Legal Assistance OIC
1st Lt Robert Tylka

 
Clerk
Cpl Adam Serrano
 
Legal Assistance Paralegal
Mr. Joe Covarrubias
 
VITA Tax Center
Mon - Fri 0800 - 1530
3277
VITA Tax Coordinator
Ms. Erlinda Knight
 
Trial Services 2891
Senior Trial Counsel
Maj Raul L. Chiriboga III
 
Trial Counsel
1stLt Ian Lamb
 
NCOIC
Sgt Blake Morris
 

Clerks
Cpl Brenden Maisonet
Cpl Angelique Perez
LCpl Criston Pena

 

Victims' Legal Counsel Western Region
Capt Lauren Neal

3411

 


 

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma