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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 1, 2020

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter CPart 720Subpart C → §720.31

Title 32: National Defense
Subpart C—Production of Official Records

§720.31   Production of official records in the absence of court order.

(a) General. Release of official records outside the Department of the Navy in the absence of a court order is governed by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The following sources pertain: SECNAVINST 5211.5 series (Privacy) and SECNAVINST 5720.42 series (Freedom of Information).

(b) Release of JAG Manual Investigations, Court-Martial Records, Articles 69 and 73 Petitions, and Article 138 Complaints of Wrongs. Except as provided in this section, only the Assistant Judge Advocates General (Civil Law) and (Military Law) shall make determinations concerning the release of the records covered herein if less than a release of the complete requested record will result. In all other instances the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocates General, who have cognizance of the record(s) in issue, may release such records. Local record holders are reminded that the authority to release records does not necessarily include denial authority.

(1) JAG Manual Investigations (including enclosures). Any request for release outside the Department of the Navy shall be forwarded to the Assistant Judge Advocate General (Military Law) for determination, except that Privacy Act requests for release shall be forwarded to the Assistant Judge Advocate General (Civil Law) for determination.

(2) Court-martial records and Articles 69 and 73 petitions. These are matters of public record and may be released by any local holder. Court-martial records should be released only following proper authentication.

(3) Article 138 Complaints of Wrongs. Forward as in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Affirmative claims files. Affirmative claims files (including Medical Care Recovery Act files), except to the extent that such files contain copies of reports of investigations prepared under the Manual of the Judge Advocate General, or classified or privileged information, may be released by local holders to insurance companies to support claims; to civilian attorneys representing the injured party's and the Government's interests; and to other components of the Department of Defense, without the prior approval of the Judge Advocate General, provided that the amount of the claim is within the monetary settlement authority of the releaser. When the request for production involves material related to claims in favor of the Government, notification should be made to the affirmative claims office at the naval legal service office having territorial responsibility for the area.

(d) Accounting for disclosures of records from systems of records. When records located in a “system of records” are released, the official responsible for releasing the records shall consult SECNAVINST 5211.5 series regarding the requirement that accountings of the disclosures be maintained. Appendix A-3-a of the Manual of the Judge Advocate General is recommended for this purpose.

(1 CFR 18.14, and part 21, subpart B)

[45 FR 8599, Feb. 8, 1980, as amended at 48 FR 4466, Feb. 1, 1983]

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