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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Licensed attorney in private practice.
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Is there a military court that can over rule a civilian

Customer Question

Is there a military court that can over rule a civilian court regarding an annulment thats been granted AFTER my husbands death?The petition was brought on by my father in law almost a year after his death which was in 2010 and I am still in appeals court fighting this.It has been a total nightmare and I need help and guidance from someone who knows military law.My own attorney has asked me to reach out to JAG for advice and encourages me to keep fighting as this will set a precedence for any surviving spouses after me..It should not be this easy for someone to annul my marriage after my husband is gone.Please help with any suggestions..
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me more about what has happened? Just a general background. If you can, include the month/year of each event.

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My husband and i got engaged in Oct 2008 and married on June 1,2010.He committed suicide on August 8 2010.He was a veteran of the Iraq war and was medically discharged due to MS after serving about 3 years.He was very healthy minded and was not incapacitated to make decisions ect..(example,built a new house and all contracts that go along with it less than a year before he passed)however my father in law hired 4 attys and i didnt even have an atty that had dealt with probate issues because i knew nothing about probate at the time.We went to trial and my atty didnt even call any of my wittnesses or have any expert witnesses and the other side hired Drs to testify that he was mentally incompacitated even though there was no real evidence of that.On the contrary all the VA records i have show he was alert,oriented ect.My father in law never contested the marriage when he was alive but the day after we buried him he came to the house and showed me the will from when he was deployed(a generic soldiers will from 2001 years before we met) and told me not to get comfortable.May things happened after that and i gave him the house and mostly everything else but he still wanted me to stay with nothing.I hired a new atty who is working on the appeal to the Texas supreme court now and he has spoken to the man that represented my husband and myself from the paralyzed veterans of america in the VA Houston regional office and he even told my atty that William was by no means mentally incapacitated and if we could get another trial he would be a witness to that.I dont know,i am just lost and i know i am rambling but i am just hopping there is help somewhere from the military side.If they are allowed to just declare a 100% service connected veteran incompitent after he has passed then what is going to happen to all of the other veterans spouses of people with ALS.MS or any other disability?The veterans are a class of their own and they deserve dignity and respect and if the VA felt our marriage was good then how can this be happening?...Thank you and I hope you can provide me with some guidance..This is an outrage not just to me but to all spouses in general.
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** am sorry to hear about this. The issue is that you still do not clarify what you are fighting with his father about.

Is he claiming that your husband did not have mental capacity when he married you?

Is he claiming that your husband did not have mental capacity when he created the will?

Or, what exactly is the issue?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He claimed my husband did not have mental capacity when he married me and he won in trial because he hired Drs to get up there and say in their opinion he didnt.They were convincing enough for the jury.Basically i had horrible representation.I did not have the money at the time to hire people the way he did.But someone that has MS is not mentally incapacitated,they have tremors and issues getting around ect but for the most part able to lead full long lives.
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Thank you.
Unfortunately, a military court does not have the authority to overrule a decision by the district/county court. One has to appeal this via the appellate procedure of the civilian court. I am not sure that JAG would be of any help.
Someone in your situation has to appeal the decision and show that the decision by the trial court was wrong. That is pretty much the only option.
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