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Does a congressional inquiry result in any substantive action?

Ann Arbor, MI |

I've recently submitted a congressional inquiry to my representative in the House regarding an ongoing case against a Air Force Criminal Investigator. I am a civilian that was a victim of abuse in this case. As I'm currently waiting to hear back from the Rep's Office, I do know their military liaisons have received the inquiry. A copy of my letter to my congressional rep also went to the Inspector General of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI)/AF. Given the military's, especially the Air Force, poor record on ending assault against women, I am wondering if the filed inquiry will bring any punitive action or results. If not, is there any legal recourse? The AF deployed my ex partner as I was in the process of filing a civilian PPO and I cannot do anything else at the moment.

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Filed under: Criminal record
Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately, time and time again individuals do not see the results they expect after filing a Congregational Inquiry. Whether or not there is any additional action you can take really depends on what your claim and the resulting damages are. More facts regarding your circumstances are needed. Most of the attorneys who post answers to questions on Avvo offer free consultations. Take advantage of this service. Good luck.


A congressional inquiry can be an effective way to draw attention to a legal issue. The military service is not supposed to receive any adverse action for using the inquiry system. Generally though, the congressional will result in some bad feelings from the Chain of Command. I generally direct my clients to file congressional inquiries as part of a coordinated plans. They do not seem to be effective as the only means of attack.



Would you be able to provide some additional clarification on what other plans should be coordinated with the inquiry? The servicemember is already under investigation by his own unit as a result (at least in part) of a no contact order that was submitted to his commanding officer at WPAFB. I was contacted by the criminal investigator handling the case, and I cooperated as well as provided any evidence I had at my disposal. As the servicemember was deployed while the investigation was underway, the OSI investigators could not go any further by means of interviewing the servicemember. The commanding officer in the field would not allow any interviews to take place during the deployment. I spoke with the legal department at WPAFB and they referred me to the Inspector General at Quantico. I ended up sending a letter to the IG that also went to my congressional rep. describing the situation and how a commanding officer's discretionary authority has impeded the investigation. At this point, I have very little faith in the entire system, leaving the serviceman empowered to continue his abusive behavior and I am left without any civilian protection. It is an extremely vulnerable and potentially dangerous situation for me.


It depends, I see a lot of congressional inquiries that result in no action. However, they are protected communications and you cannot be penalized for communicating with your Congressional representatives. Depending on the nature of the assault, and the recency, there may be other ways to resolve this.

This information is intended for public use only, it does not form an attorney-client relationship and it does not constitute legal advice. If you seek legal advice on military law issues, contact an military law attorney. My contact information is or 804-955-9867.

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