Through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, an attorney successfully assisted a young Navy servicemember with a landlord-tenant dispute that involved the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The Sailor received notice that he would be deployed on a ship for a year. Two months before his deployment, to terminate the lease, the Sailor provided written notice to his landlord, along with a letter from his Commanding Officer that stated his deployment dates. However, while deployed, the Sailor learned that his former landlord ignored his notice, and a debt collector was working to retrieve the alleged unpaid rent after the deployment of several thousand dollars. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connected the Sailor with a volunteer attorney. Through communications with the landlord about the SCRA violation, the attorney promptly resolved the matter with the landlord, who withdrew the claim against the Sailor. In turn, the young Sailor was released from this legal concern and he could focus on his military mission.
After an Air Force servicemember’s mother passed away, he needed pro bono help to be appointed as his little brother’s guardian. Despite the tragic situation, the servicemember was confident that he could provide his little brother with stable housing, physical and emotional well-being, and needed medical care. The child’s biological father is still alive, but he abandoned the child years ago. After discussing the situation with a military legal assistance attorney, the servicemember was referred to the ABA Military Pro Bon Project, which located a volunteer attorney to help. The civilian attorney promptly helped the servicemember successfully receive guardianship over his little brother.
Federal News Radio posted its interview with ABA President Silkenat about the ABA’s new Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (VCAN). In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the ABA will provide attorneys with the opportunity to help veterans receive the disability benefits they earned and deserve. ABA VCAN will connect veterans in the VA backlog with the opportunity to work with volunteer attorneys who will help complete their claims packages for expedited review by the VA. Listen to the interview, and find further information on http://www.ABAVCAN.org.
An Air Force servicemember faced problems with his landlord. He received military orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) to another state, so the servicemember lawfully terminated his lease with his landlord under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). However, in violation of the SCRA, the landlord refused to return his security deposit and rent concessions, and the landlord informed the servicemember that they would pursue a claim for unpaid rent. The servicemember tried to resolve this matter with the landlord, but when he was unsuccessful, he visited a military legal assistance office about the problem. His JAG referred the case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which located an attorney who volunteered to help and quickly resolved this issue between the servicemember and the landlord.
When a Marine was a teenager and a ward of the state, she became pregnant and gave birth to a child. She signed over physical custody of her child to her foster mother. After high school, she joined the Marine Corps—through which she established a stable career and housing—so she then had the means to care for her child. Both the Marine and the foster mother agreed to transfer custody. However, the Marine was stationed in another state, and they were unsure about how to proceed in court. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project located a volunteer attorney who was able to quickly help obtain the proper order to transfer custody to the Marine.
While a young Air Force servicemember was deployed in Afghanistan, his wife informed him that she wanted a divorce in Colorado. The stress that the servicemember was experiencing in Afghanistan was compounded by this situation, so he sought help to finalize the divorce. He visited a JAG in Afghanistan, who referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which located a volunteer attorney in Colorado to help. The attorney provided pro bono assistance to complete the divorce. The servicemember was then able to better focus on his mission in Afghanistan.
Volunteer attorney drafted Special Needs Trust for the disabled sister of a Marine scheduled to deploy
A Marine was scheduled to deploy to a combat zone. He named his disabled sister as his primary beneficiary in the event of his death in his will and Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. However, the Marine needed pro bono assistance to draft a Special Needs Trust, so his disabled sister would not lose eligibility for public benefits, such as Supplement Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, in the event of his death. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project located an attorney who volunteered to work with the Marine to draft a Special Needs Trust.