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Legal Services Support Team

Logo for LLST Iwakuni

Mission

To provide timely, competent, and comprehensive legal support to commanders, Marines, and families while providing mentorship and guidance to judge advocates and Legal Service Specialists to elevate the practice of law.

LSST does not provide translation or interpreter services outside of in-office meetings. Military OneSource is available to furnish certified translations of documents and translators are welcome to accompany clients to meetings.

The legal assistance office provides free legal assistance regarding personal civil legal matters to eligible beneficiaries. 

A. HOW TO BECOME A NEW CLIENT OF A LEGAL ASSISTANCE ATTORNEY:

a. You must have a valid military identification card

b. You must be eligible (see section B).

c. You must fall within our scope of services (see section C).

d. New Client Walk-Ins:

i. If you meet the eligibility requirements, and fall within our scope of services, you must come into our office in person and complete the client intake worksheet.

ii. Once your ID is verified and your intake paperwork processed an appointment can be scheduled with a legal assistance attorney.

iii. Clients are taken on a first come, first serve basis.


B. ELIGIBILITY:
Services are provided to persons in the following categories: Active Duty Members of the Armed Forces, Reservists on Active-Duty Orders, Retired Members, DoD Civilian other than Local Hires, Members of Allied Forces, and all Dependents of the Previously Named Categories. Exceptions fall under 10 U.S.C. 1072, 10 U.S.C. 1408(h), 10 U.S.C. 1059, and those with approved requests from the SJA to CMC.

DoD Civilians who are Local Hires and Civilian Contractors are NOT eligible for services, other than notarizations, unless their contract specifically states they rate legal services.


C. SCOPE OF SERVICES:

  • Family Law (divorce, separation, child custody, etc.)

  • Consumer, credit, and debt issues

  • Service members’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

  • Veterans reemployment rights

  • Estate Planning/Wills

  • Limited Immigration Assistance

Our office is prohibited from providing advice on:

  • Personal business matters

  • Criminal matters (traffic violations, DUI)

  • Claims against the government

  • Military justice or official military matters (courts-martial, NJPs, administrative separations)

Our office is also prohibited from providing advice to opposing parties (see section D), to third parties, and to anyone not established as a LSST-Iwakuni Legal Assistant client.


D. OPPOSING PARTIES:

Our office is unable to represent or advise opposing parties in any matter. If there is a conflict, we will transfer your file to another legal office for assistance. 

For further questions or assistance please email our office at iwakuni_legal_assistance@usmc.mil.

Self-help POAs and other simple notary services are available on a walk-in basis. An appointment is mandatory for Housing & Real Estate notary packages such as selling, purchasing, refinancing or any other documents requiring 5 or more Notary signatures. The Legal Assistance Attorney can provide a custom Power of Attorney if needed. Please reach out to IWAKUNI_LEAGAL_ASSISTANCE@USMC.MIL or stop by the legal office to make an appointment.

Unfortunately, The LSST is unable to print or scan any documents related to notary services. Our office is not authorized to create certified copies of public records, court records, original records, etc. or any other documents that our office did not create.

If you have a baby while living in Japan, we can also assist with applying for both the Consular Report of Birth Abroad and Passports (CRBA).  A CRBA is a formal document certifying the acquisition of United States citizenship at birth for a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Please review the checklists below and follow up with our office at IWAKUNI_LEGAL_ASSISTANCE@USMC.MIL make an appointment to review and notarize the necessary paperwork.

The LSST Immigration team can assist with life’s major changes and answer questions regarding SOFA status, becoming a naturalized U.S. Citizen, staying in Japan after you retire or getting married here in Japan. The requirements may vary depending on your work status here at MCAS Iwakuni or what branch of service you are in.

Our Immigration Specialist now offers an on-line appointment scheduler that is up and running. For VISA help getting a new dependent from Japan to the States, those who want to start the Naturalization Process, or have SOFA concerns – please use https://lsstiwakuni.setmore.com/.

LSST offers on-site Passport services for Commands that need 20+ Official Passport applications processed. Please reach out to LSST for more information and scheduling.

The LSST stands up the Tax Center seasonally and provides free, accurate federal and state income tax preparation. Tax services will be provided for active duty, mobilized reservists, retired U.S. military personnel, government employees and their dependents aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. 

During tax season (beginning of February to middle of April), the tax center opens Monday through Friday by appointment. Walk-in services will be provided Thursday afternoons only. The tax center is closed on federal US holidays. Note, you must have an intake form 13614-C completed prior to making an appointment or arriving for a walk-in time. 

Please email us at IWAKUNI_LEGAL_ASSISTANCE@USMC.MIL or call DSN 253-3540/0827-79-3540 to schedule an appointment.

Leaders

OIC: Major Zachary Phelps
SNOIC: SSGT Emil Gray

 

Phone Number

DSN : 315-253-5591
From US cell phone : 0827-79-5591

 

E-mail

iwakuni_legal_assistance@usmc.mil

 

Hours of Operations

Monday – Thursday 0800-1130 and 1300-1600
Friday 0800-1100 and 1400-1600 on the 2nd and 4th Friday’s of the month. The 1st and 3rd afternoons we will be closed.

 

Location

Building 608

PHONE NUMBER

DSN : 315-253-3626 
From cell phone: 0827-79-3626
Emergency 24-hour Line: 0827-79-3322

 

LOCATION

BLDG.# 360, 2nd Floor, Room# 16

 

MISSION

The Marine Corps Victims' Legal Counsel Organization provides legal advice, counseling, and representation to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other qualifying offenses, while ensuring that victims’ rights are protected at all stages of the investigation and throughout the military justice process.

 

WHAT WE DO

VLCO services are primarily intended for active duty military members and reservists on active duty who are victims of sexual assault; however, eligible victims of other crimes in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) may also seek assistance from a Victims’ Legal Counsel (VLC) as provided under 10 USC §1044 and JAGINST 5800.7F (JAGMAN).

A victim of sexual assault shall be informed and given the opportunity to consult with a VLC as soon as the victim receives assistance from a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program or Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Victim Advocate, military criminal investigator, victim-witness liaison or coordinator, or trial counsel.  10 USC §1565b.

Marine Corps VLC are judge advocates, who are highly qualified attorneys with extensive military justice backgrounds, have completed a certified victims’ advocacy course, and are required to be selected through a "sensitive screening process."  The VLCO chain-of-command is functionally independent of convening authorities, staff judge advocates, LSSS OICs, trial counsel, and defense counsel.  VLC are under the supervision of, and report to, the OIC, VLCO, who reports directly to the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps

VLCO services supplement, not replace, existing victim support services, including assistance currently provided by VWAP, SAPR Program, FAP, SARC, and Victim Advocates.

Conversations between VLC and victims are confidential and privileged communications.  The relationship between a VLC and victim is that of an attorney-client relationship. 

VLC provide victims an overview of the military justice system, including: investigation of crimes; roles and responsibilities of the convening authority, trial counsel, defense counsel, and investigators; purpose of the Article 32 hearing (also known as a Preliminary Hearing); preferral and referral of charges; trial procedures; and evidentiary matters.

VLC assist victims to understand legal options including: obtaining restraining orders and military protective orders; making Restricted versus Unrestricted reports of sexual assault; and obtaining testimonial or transactional immunity regarding collateral misconduct before testifying against the accused in the case.

VLC will ensure that victims are informed of existing rights provided under the UCMJ, Military Rules of Evidence (M.R.E.), and Rules for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.), specifically, right to be present at military justice proceedings (M.R.E. 615 and R.C.M. 806); right to provide victim’s view to convening authority regarding initial disposition of an offense (R.C.M. 306); right not to be compelled to make statements or produce evidence when not material and tends to degrade the person (M.R.E. 303); right to attend and be heard regarding admissibility of prior sexual history or predisposition evidence in sexual assault cases (M.R.E. 412); psychotherapist-patient privilege (M.R.E. 513); victim advocate-victim privilege (M.R.E. 514); right to receive a copy of the Record of Trial when victim testified in case involving sexual assault (Article 54, UCMJ); and right to be heard through counsel in court-martial proceedings pursuant to LRM v. Kastenberg, 72 M.J. 364 (C.A.A.F. 2013).

VLC will represent victims of crime in the military justice process.  Detailed VLC attend interviews of the victim by investigators, trial counsel, defense counsel, and others.  They represent the interests of the victim in court by writing and arguing appropriate motions for relief and assist victims with post-trial matters.

VLC solely represent the interests of the victim, even where those interests may be different than the Government’s interest in prosecuting the accused in the case.

VLC will assist in matters where the Victim may have been in violation of rules and regulations such as underage drinking, out after curfew hours, adultery, out without liberty buddy, etc.

VLC will assist victim with submitting matters post-trial (known as clemency).

If you are a service member and need to consult with a criminal defense attorney about any matter, including: a pending investigation, NJP, Art 31b rights read to you, notification of separation, or any other matter involving misconduct, please visit the office during walk in hours (Tuesday and Thursday 1300-1600)

Location: Building 608. 

Defense Entrance is located in rear of building 608. 

Follow sidewalk around the right side of the building, take the stairs to the 2nd floor, check in with defense clerk, room#219. 

DSO HQ site; https://www.hqmc.marines.mil/dso/Locations/RDC-Pacific-Region/MCAS-Iwakuni/

Disclaimer

The information on this site is for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice from an attorney.