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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19176
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I recently received my second reading for a company article

Customer Question

I recently received my second reading for a company article 15 and I asked for a closed hearing. When a hearing is closed I know that only the commander and witnesses shall be present, but what if one of those witnesses discloses the information or punishment to others not involved is that a violation of army regulations when dealing with a closed hearing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

No, it is not. The purpose of a closed hearing is not confidentiality. Nothing about a person's punishment under Article 15 is confidential. Those punishments are legally recorded in personnel documentation, published for the general command to see and discussed openly during larger meetings where unit disciplinary issues are the main subject.

The purpose of a closed hearing is to allow you to make your case without others staring at you. Some people are more comfortable speaking in a small setting. There is also the right to an open hearing, because some people feel that if everyone hears the evidence, the commander would be pressured to consider exculpatory evidence and not railroad someone. Both are rights that related to the process of the hearing, but again, they have nothing to do with any sort of confidentiality. Article 15 punishment is not confidential.

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