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31st Fighter Wing Legal Office

Welcome to Aviano Air Base Legal Office
Phone: DSN 632-7843; Commercial 0434-30-7843
 
 
 
Airmen Cannot Ignore Italian Traffic Tickets    
In Italy, similar to the States, there are a number of reasons why you may have been issued a traffic ticket. However, in Italy there are serious consequences if you fail to pay your traffic ticket within the required time frame. Bottom line, when you receive a traffic ticket in Italy, you must take action. The Aviano Legal Office can assist you in either paying or contesting your ticket within the required time frame. After being issued a ticket, contact the Aviano Legal Office and provide your name, number, and time frame. The Aviano Legal Office will do its best to accommodate you and your deadline. Please read below for more detailed information on traffic tickets.

Are you legally prepared for deployment?
The operations tempo in USAFE is high. If you do not have your legal affairs in order, now is a good time to do so. Don't wait until the last minute. The 31st FW/JA is here to help make this a less stressful time and an easy transition as you deploy. The best way to utilize our office, visit https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil/lass/lass.html and we'll be ready to hit the ground running!

Almost all Airmen should have a will, which allows them to direct disposition of property, name guardians for minor children, and appoint individuals to handle their estates. Many Airmen choose to have living wills and durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care, which permit them to express their desires and appoint family members to make medical decisions if they become incapacitated. Special Powers of Attorney allow Airmen to appoint agents to conduct various transactions on their behalf in their absence. Durable Special Powers of Attorney, on the other hand, remain in effect even if the member becomes incapacitated. This is distinguished from Springing Special Powers of Attorney which only become in effect upon the member's incapacitation. If you think you need any of these documents, a legal assistance attorney will advise you on your options.

Legal Office Hours
7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Legal Assistance/Wills - Walk-in Only
Mon & Wed. 3:30pm - 4:30 pm (sign-in); Fri. 9 am - 10 am (sign-in)
Notary & Power of attorney always available

Disclaimer: This website is intended to provide only broad general legal guidelines for life in Italy. If you have any questions or would like clarification regarding any information herein, please contact the legal office.

tabPurpose of Legal Office 
Eligibility for Legal Assistance
T
he 31 FW Legal Office is here to assist you with various personal civil legal matters. Active duty military members, dependents, members entitled to retired or retainer pay and their dependents are among those are eligible for legal assistance. For further details on who is eligible please look to AFI 51-504, Legal Assistance Program.

Deployment
Our primary goal and first priority is to ensure members and their families are prepared for deployment. That means we work with you to make sure you have everything in order. This includes a will, an advance medical directive (living will or medical power of attorney), powers of attorneys and arrangements to support your family.

Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a written instrument that allows you (the "principal") to authorize your agent (your "attorney-in-fact") to conduct certain transactions on your behalf. It is one of the strongest legal documents that you can give to another person. Every act performed by your agent under the authority of a POA is legally binding upon you. Since a POA is such a powerful document, you should only give it to a trustworthy person, and only when absolutely necessary.

There are two types of POA - a general POA and a special (or limited) POA.

GENERAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A general POA gives your agent the authority to do most things you could do yourself, such as write checks and pay bills, borrow money, and sign contracts in your name. Not all institutions accept a general power of attorney; some require a POA from them specifically. You should check with the institution before getting a POA.

SPECIAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A special, or limited, POA authorizes your agent to do only a specific act, such as sell your car, ship your household goods, or cash your paycheck. It restricts the agent's action to a particular purpose which you have chosen. It is best to give a special power of attorney when possible.

Other Legal Assistance
We also offer other forms of legal assistance, including domestic relations assistance (divorce, child support, and custody), advice regarding the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, personal property claims, landlord/tenant issues, and tax questions.

tabItalian Laws and Customs 
  • Drugs -- Drug use is NEVER legal for active duty service members. Dependents and civilians are subject to local law.
  • Political Posters - Do not disturb them.
  • Fiscal Receipt Law - Italian law requires vendors to give customers a receipt; it is your responsibility to keep the receipt after it's given to you for at least 100 meters.
  • Quiet Hours -- Americans should respect the Italian Quiet Hours - from 12 pm to 4 pm and 11 pm to 7 am. For example, avoid making noise with music, kids, dogs, and lawn mowers.
  • Pets - Italian law is very protective of animals. Do not mistreat or abandon domestic animals.
  • Contracts - DO NOT sign a contract unless you understand it. Breaking a rental lease may result in you having to pay 6 months rent. There is NO LEMON LAW in Italy. You should get the vehicle inspected prior to purchase because there is no grace period to return car.
  • Drinking & Driving -- The maximum allowable BAC is .05. There are stiff penalties for driving with a BAC in excess of .05.
  • Authority of the Police -- You must stop for the lollipop-shaped signal from the Carabinieri. The police officers have broad authority to search vehicles, places, and people.
  • Weapons - Do not carry anything in your car that can be considered a weapon, including knives, golf clubs, or bats (unless you're going to or returning from the game). Firearms are strictly forbidden. BB guns, paintball guns, and bows and arrows are generally illegal.
  • Traveling - Be sure to have a vignette for driving in certain countries, such as Austria and Slovenia, and observe the local laws and customs of the country into which you're traveling. Vignettes can be purchased at the border, the Italian Driving Club, and at the Aviano AB Community Center.
tabElectronic Wills and Power of Attorney 
To electronically send the Aviano Legal Office your wills and Power of Attorney forms,  send an email to the address below with the completed form attached. Blank forms can be found in the right column of the webpage.
The link below will direct you to the newest service offered by the Aviano Legal Office
tabPaying traffic citations 
In Italy there are serious consequences if you fail to pay your traffic ticket within the required time frame - it can more than double your fine! Here are some general rules of thumb.

Ticket in the Mail: Tickets are often pursued through license plate numbers. Therefore, you may receive a ticket in the mail. For certain violations, such as speeding or running a red light, you are required to pay the ticket AND verify the driver of the vehicle within 60 days. If you fail to do both within 60 days, you can receive an additional 300 euro fine.

If you receive a ticket, make sure the ticket matches your license plate and that the ticketed offense actually occurred when you were issued the license plate. If you suspect that you were not issued the license plate when the offense occurred (for example, you PCSed to Aviano two months ago and the offense was 4 months ago), make an appointment with the Aviano Legal Office immediately. We can submit a package on your behalf to revoke the ticket.

Driver's License and Insurance Card: You may receive a ticket if you drive without your license or you do not have your insurance card displayed on your windshield. In either case, you usually have between 10-30 days to prove to Italian law enforcement that you have these required documents. If you surpass 10-30 days, you will not only have to pay the original fine, but you may also be fined 400-1,600 euro for not presenting the required documentation to law enforcement.

Restricted Zones: Many Italian city centers have restricted areas where you may only drive if you have a permit from the municipal police. Typically, these areas are marked as "zona a traffico limitato" or limited traffic area (ZTLs). You can be fined each time you enter and exit a restricted area. When traveling to new city, ask your hotel about the "zona a traffic limitato" and your hotel may be able to provide you a permit.

When you receive a traffic ticket in Italy, you must take action. Typically, if you pay fines on time you can save money and avoid stress. If you recently received an Italian traffic ticket, please contact the Aviano Legal Office.
tabLegal Claims 
Household Goods Claims
There are two systems under which HHG claims may be processed: Full Replacement Value (FRV) or the web-based Defense Personal Property System (DPS).

FRV is available for most shipments after Oct/Nov 2007.

The carrier must be notified (DD Form 1840) of any loss/damage at the time of delivery or within 75 days from the delivery day. The claimant can file notice of loss/damage online within 70 days from the day of delivery at https://claims.jag.af.mil/legalassistance/. The Air Force Claims Service Center (AFCSC) will forward the notice to the carrier. The legal office can help set up an account (must first login using a government computer). Deadlines are from date of delivery of goods.

Under FRV, you must file the claim (not just the notice), within 9 months to get full replacement value. Full replacement does not mean all new items. The carrier can replace, pay full value, or repair damaged items. Do not get estimates unless asked. If you file the claim beyond the 9 month time period, but before the two year statute of limitations expires, you may receive only depreciated replacement costs. The AFCSC handles FRV disputes and depreciation claims.

The DPS is a cradle to grave web-based moving system. If you began your move in DPS, you will complete your claim in that system as well. Just go to http://www.move.mil, click on "Access DPS" and look for the "Claim" tab at the top center of the page. If the claimant moved with the DPS system, file the loss/damage online within 75 days (takes the place of DD Form 1840R).

POV Claims
If your POV is damaged during your PCS, note the damage on the back of the VISF form. Damages of up to $500 can be settled at the time of pick up - you DO NOT have to accept the amount offered. Make sure Transcar signs the VISF Form, even if they disagree with the damage claim. Damage found later should be noted with a dated and signed statement to Transcar, then to the claims section ASAP. Settlement of damages of up to $1,000 is authorized.

Status of Forces Agreement -- SOFA
The SOFA is the legal agreement between the U.S. and Italy that defines our relationship while we have a base here. Under the SOFA, active duty members and their dependants are subject to Italian criminal law consequences including jail and substantial fines. Military members are still subject to the UCMJ. Dependents and civilians are subject to U.S. federal criminal law under the MEJA.
tabWorking on Italian Economy 
Military dependents are issued a mission visa; it does not give U.S. dependents a right to work on the Italian economy (off-base); they can only hold GS, NAF, or DeCA jobs on base. Dependents can apply for a work visa before arrival in Italy or can return to the U.S. and apply. If issued a work visa, the dependent will not be issued a mission visa and will be subject to taxes on the income earned on the Italian economy. Military Members CANNOT apply for a work visa, and can only work off-duty through SVS/NAF jobs.

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