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Page Title: Death Cases
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l l l l l l l Combined investigations of maritime incidents Security  violations Postal  violations Injuries  and  diseases  incurred  by  service members Quality of medical care reasonably in issue Redress of damage to property Death  cases DEATH CASES A  fact-finding  body  must  be  convened  in  the following   death   cases: (1)  when  the  death  of  a member  of  the  naval  service  occurred,  while  on  active duty,  from  other  than  a  previously  known  medical condition;  (2)  when  civilians  or  other  nonnaval personnel are found dead on a naval installation under peculiar   or   doubtful   circumstances,   unless   the incident  is  one  that  the  Naval  Criminal  Investigative Service  (NCIS)  has  exclusive  jurisdiction;  and  (3) when  death,  or  permanent  disability,  in  which  the adequacy of medical care is reasonably in issue. You  do  not  have  to  send  a  report  to  the  Judge Advocate General (JAG) when death occurs as a result of  enemy  action. A  fact-finding  body  should  be convened and the record forwarded in any case when it is unclear if enemy action caused the death. Because some commercial life insurance policies contain certain restrictions and/or certain types of double-indemnity provisions, it is desirable to make sure the essential facts are recorded while witnesses are known and available. When  feasible,  the  facts  reported  should  permit determinations  as  to  whether  death  resulted  from accidental  causes,  natural  causes,  or  enemy  action. Progress status reports are required on all death investigations   from   all   command   and   reviewing activities every 14 days. Send a message to the Chief of Naval Personnel, with JAG and all intermediate commands/reviewing   authorities   as   information addressees. The requirement for the status report ceases once the investigation has been sent to the next higher level of command/reviewing authority. Advise the next of kin that they may request copies of the death investigation from JAG (Code 33). It is most important, therefore, that mature, experienced officers  complete  these  investigations  in  an  accurate, professional,  and  expeditious  manner.  Send  an  advance copy of each death investigation, with the GCM CA's endorsement,  to  JAG. If  it  would  unduly  delay submission  of  the  investigation  to  await  a  final  autopsy report, autopsy protocols, death certificates, or similar documents, submit an initial report promptly upon completion  of  the  investigation.  Submit  a  supplemental report via the review chain, with an advance copy to JAG,  once  the  autopsy  has  been  completed.  The advance report is usually released to the requesting next of kin by JAG (after exclusion of material protected by the exemptions to the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act), unless JAG has been alerted that subsequent reviewers may significantly alter findings, opinions, or recommendations; in which case, release is withheld until  the  investigative  report  is  finally  reviewed. INVESTIGATIONS REQUIRED BY OTHER REGULATIONS If an investigation is required under the JAGMAN, it  must  be  conducted  in  addition  to  any  other investigation required by other regulations. Situations in which two investigations may be required are listed in JAGMAN § 0208a. A JAGMAN investigation is not required if there is no reason for the investigation other than possible disciplinary  action.  To  avoid  interference,  a  JAGMAN investigation should not normally proceed at the same time as a law-enforcement type of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), NCIS, or local civilian  law-enforcement  units. If  an  investigation  is  required  for  other  than disciplinary action, the IO should communicate with the law-enforcement  personnel,  explaining  the  need  for  the JAGMAN investigation, and request that the police investigators  keep  him  or  her  informed  of  what information  is  obtained. Other types of investigations that have additional instructions and guidance include the following: l l l l l Safety  investigations—OPNAVINST  5100.14 Aircraft accident reports and aircraft mishap investigations—OPNAVINST   3750.6 Accidental  inquiry  to  personnel—OPNAVINST 5100.12 Admiralty—JAGINST  5880.1 Felonies  involving  both  naval  and  civilian personnel—SECNAVINST   5820.1 13-2

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