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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26512
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My friend is currently under investigation for fraternization

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My friend is currently under investigation for fraternization between him and his XO. The investigation was started by a command inquiry. He is an E-5 and she is an 1LT. The only proof that the investigator has is that they talked numerous times via text message and phone calls with text and call logs. Is this enough evidence to prove Fraternization? Can they force him to turn over call logs and text logs? Can a negative outcome arise if he does not turn in the call logs and text logs? They have never hung out with each other outside of work but they have talked numerous times late at night and for long periods of time. There is also no content with the text logs, only saying that they texted each other many times and late at night. With this evidence what can happen to him and what can happen to the 1LT?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Are call logs enough to prove fraternization? Sure...more than enough, assuming that the text of the conversations bears out a unduly familiar relationship.

Now...can they force her to release her records? No...no, she has a right under Art 31 UCMJ to refuse to assist with the prosecution. But that will not matter. The military prosecutor has subpoena power....so they can subpoena the records.

It is not a crime to refuse to release the records. I would not release them were I the target. But if the investigator wants them (the text logs)? They are not tough to get.


Sorry to have to bear bad news


Let me know if you have more questions.
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26512
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The phone company says it is not possible to get the content of the text messages but just the log itself. Without the content and with just the call records and phone records what type of punishment would they be looking at? And what negative actions can come from them refusing to turn in records since it is only a command inquiry right now?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
With no content it is more difficult to prove. It may be that they do not have enough to prosecute if they can not subpoena the records. But multiple calls, after business hours is certainly some evidence of a relationship. Really it depends on what else the IO can uncover.

There is no negative actions that can be taken in response to refuse to cooperate....every soldier has the right to refuse to cooperate...they can not punish for that.

P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26512
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you sir for all of your help. My final question is can they turn it into a full investigation if they chose not to turn over the records since it is only a command inquiry right now?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
They (really he or she) can investigate as much as they feel is needed. A command inquiry is the investigation most commonly used for investigating misconduct. But if the Commander feels they need more insight into what happened they can contact the command prosector and they can use their tools, or can bring in CID/OSI to investigate further. It really is up to the commander.


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