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United States Army
390, Suite 101, Double Eagle Avenue
Fort Buchanan Puerto Rico 00934
Legal assistance is available to you and your family. Below, you’ll find information about claims and installation specific programs and services. If you have questions, reach out to the legal assistance program at your installation.
What is legal assistance?
Our mission is to assist eligible clients in managing their personal legal affairs in a timely and professional manner. The most common issues dealt with are listed below.
Eligibility – Legal Assistance is available to Service Members of the Armed Forces of the United States (Active, Guard, Reservist, Retirees) and eligible family members. A detailed list is found at AR 27-3, para 2-4. ***A person seeking legal assistance will provide proof of eligibility prior to receiving legal assistance by way of a valid military identification card.
Notarizations at our Installation Legal Office (ILO) operate under the auspices of 10 U.S.C. § 1044, and not Puerto Rico law. Accordingly, none of the formalities required under PR law apply to the notarial work we carry out. The validity of our notarizations (but not the content of the document notarized) must be accepted in any jurisdiction under the American flag. Contrary to PR notaries, ILO DOES NOT retain either originals or copies of the documents notarized.
A Notary Public is subject to severe legal penalties for the improper performance of their duties. Consequently, do not be surprised if our notaries pay close attention to details such as your identification and your signature.
Power of Attorney (POA).
POAs are documents through which you authorize somebody else to execute documents and transactions on your behalf. The person to whom you delegate any such authority is referred to as your attorney-in-fact. A POA becomes null upon its expiration; revocation; or your death. Unless otherwise warranted or requested, POAs prepared at ILO will expire one-year after their execution. At ILO we have various templates, but you should add any language deemed necessary to carry out your intended purposes and remove any content with which you feel uncomfortable. A POA can be rejected if it lacks the wording deemed necessary by the recipient. Frequently requested POAs are:
It is not uncommon for someone to request from you a certification (also referred to as county-clerk slip or apostille) in order to accept the validity of a military notarization. Such a requirement applies only to civilian notarizations. Notarial acts executed under the authority of 10 U.S.C. §1044 are exempt from any such formalities in any jurisdiction under the United States flag.
Estate (Wills and Probate).
Must be prepared by an attorney. Wills are prepared only by appointment. Advice on probate requirements when the deceased does not leave a will is provided as well.
Translation services are available ONLY for documents required for DOD transactions (Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS), Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). *This service is not available for medical documents*
Family Law (separation, divorce, support).
Legal counseling on separation, child support and divorce matters. Legal representation is not available, but on suitable occasions, we can assist clients in filing documents by themselves (pro se).
Counseling for landlord-tenant issues, contract disputes and debt collection.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Provides safeguards to active-duty and mobilized Soldiers, such as the stay of civil litigation while deployed; termination of certain leases and contracts; and interest-rate reduction in loans and mortgages.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA).
This law protects civilian job rights and benefits for reservists and mobilized Soldiers.
Assistance in preparing rebuttals to Letters of Reprimand and FLIPLs.
Household goods claims are not processed at ILO. We can only provide general advice. Please go to https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/Apps/PCLAIMS/PCLAIMSPublic.nsf/xpOnline.xsp.
Consultations with attorneys are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Legal Assistance attorneys are not ordinarily authorized to represent you in any court. Consultations are often carried out by phone.
ILO hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Our office is located at Building 390 Double Eagle Avenue, Suite 101. For information or appointments, please call ILO’s main number 787-707-5155. Walk-in service is available for most notarial services on a first-come-first-serve basis