725.10 Response to requests or demands in conflict with this instruction.§ 725.10 Response to requests or demands in conflict with this instruction.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, DON personnel, including former military personnel and civilian employees, shall not produce, disclose, release, comment upon, or testify concerning any official DOD information in response to a litigation request or demand without prior written approval of the appropriate DON official designated in § 725.6. If a request has been made, and granted, in whole or in part, per 32 CFR part 97 and this part, DON personnel may only produce, disclose, release, comment upon, or testify concerning those matters specified in the request and properly approved by the determining authority designated in § 725.6. See United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951).
(b) If, after DON personnel have received a litigation request or demand and have in turn notified the appropriate determining authority described in § 725.6, a response to the request or demand is required before instructions from the responsible official have been received, the responsible authority designated in § 725.6 shall notify the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General or Associate General Counsel (Litigation) who has cognizance over the matter. That official will furnish the requester, the court, or other authority that the request or demand is being reviewed in accordance with this part and seek a stay of the request or demand pending a final determination.
(c) If a court of competent jurisdiction or other appropriate authority declines to stay the effect of the request or demand in response to action taken under § 725.10(b), or if such court or other authority orders that the request or demand must be complied with, notwithstanding the final decision of the appropriate DON official, the DON personnel upon whom the request or demand was made will, if time permits, notify the determining authority of such ruling or order. That authority will notify the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General or the Associate General Counsel (Litigation) having cognizance over the matter. After due consultation and coordination with the Department of Justice, as required by the Manual of the Judge Advocate General, that official will determine whether the individual is required to comply with the request or demand and will notify the requester, the court, or other authority accordingly. The witness shall, if directed by the appropriate DON official, respectfully decline to comply with the demand. Legal counsel for the command concerned should accompany and advise DON personnel during any court proceedings involving the foregoing circumstances.
(d) It is expected that all DON actions in the foregoing paragraphs will be taken only after active consultation with the appropriate component of the Department of Justice. Generally, DON personnel will be instructed to decline to comply with a court order only if the Department of Justice commits to represent the DON personnel in question.