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Legal Information: Federal


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June 25, 2013

Are MPOs and civil protective orders (CPOs) valid wherever I go?

The answer is different for each type of order. An MPO will not be directly enforced off the installation by civilian courts or police. However, local police often have an agreement (called a "memorandum of understanding" or "MOU") with the installation to detain (hold) someone who may have committed a violation until military police can respond. Regardless of whether there is a response at the time of the incident, it can still be a violation of a command order to violate the MPO off the installation and the commander can (but does not have to) discipline the service member for any violation.*

According to military rules, Service members are supposed to follow a CPO even while on the installation. Commanders and law enforcement officers are supposed to take all reasonable measures necessary to ensure that a CPO is given full force and effect on all installations that are within the jurisdiction of the court that issued such order. Active duty Service members who fail to follow a CPO may be subject to administrative and/ or disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.** The civil court judge who issued the CPO can also punish the abuser for a violation of the CPO even if it occurred on base. Also, civilians who violate a CPO, including Department of Defense civilian employees, may be barred from the installation.***

* DoD Instruction 6400.06 (Incorporating Change 1, September 20, 2011), section
** DoD Instruction 6400.06 (Incorporating Change 1, September 20, 2011), sections;

*** DoD Instruction 6400.06 (Incorporating Change 1, September 20, 2011), sections;