A Marine attempted to sell his home after he received orders to deploy. However, he was unable to sell his home, so he surrendered his home to the mortgage company without a formal foreclosure. Later, while the Marine was deployed overseas, his wife received harassing phone calls about unpaid dues from the homeowners association of their former residence. After explaining the Marine’s situation to the association, the Marine’s wife was assured that any dues and fees that accumulated after the surrender would be waived. However, despite these assurances, the association sued the Marine for these fees. The Marine contacted a military legal assistance attorney who referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project connected the Marine with a volunteer attorney who successfully negotiated with the homeowners association to drop the suit.
A Coast Guard servicemember terminated her apartment lease when she received orders to transfer from Alaska to Guam. Following the servicemember’s transfer, her former landlord failed to return her entire security deposit, noting a list of vague deductions. Although the charges against the servicemember’s deposit were groundless, the landlord refused to cooperate with a military legal assistance attorney’s requests to return the servicemember’s money. The servicemember’s legal assistance attorney referred her case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project connected the servicemember to a volunteer attorney who filed a complaint and successfully recovered the entire security deposit for the servicemember.
A Navy servicemember gained physical custody of his child following the death of the child’s mother. Although the servicemember had always supported his child, he was not listed on his child’s birth certificate. As a result, the servicemember’s child was not eligible to receive military benefits and insurance. Hoping to resolve this matter before his deployment, the servicemember contacted a military legal assistance attorney who referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project referred the servicemember’s case to a volunteer attorney who helped obtain a temporary order amending his child’s birth certificate before his deployment. A year later, when the servicemember returned, the volunteer attorney again provided pro bono help to the servicemember in finalizing the child custody order.
An Air Force servicemember lost physical custody of her special needs child when she received orders to transfer stations from the East Coast to the West Coast. The servicemember and her child’s father originally had joint physical and legal custody of their child. When the servicemember received orders to transfer to the West Coast, she filed a motion to relocate the child. However, her motion was denied, and the father was granted primary physical custody. Later, when the servicemember transferred back to the East Coast, she wanted to regain joint physical custody of her child, but the father was represented by counsel and opposed the change. The servicemember visited a military legal assistance attorney, who referred the case to the Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who—after donating approximately 350 hours of pro bono legal services for this contested case—helped this servicemember regain joint physical custody of her child.
An Army servicemember needed pro bono help to finalize his divorce that involved the custody of his children. Although the soldier and his wife agreed to the terms of the divorce, they struggled with the court system to finalize the divorce without representation. The soldier visited a military legal assistance attorney, who referred the case to the Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who agreed to pro bono representation for the soldier. The attorney was able to help the soldier quickly finalize the divorce and arrange a parenting plan that was acceptable to both parties.
A Marine wanted to be appointed as his teenaged sister’s guardian, so he could provide her with a stable family environment and better education. His sister’s biological father was incarcerated, and the mother previously lost her parental rights. After their parental rights were extinguished, the Marine’s grandparents had custody of his sister. However, they ultimately abandoned custody to the state, which placed her in foster care. The servicemember spoke to a military legal assistance attorney who referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who helped the servicemember get appointed as his sister’s guardian.
While attending Boot Camp, a Navy servicemember lost custody of her two children after a court order was issued in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The order, which gave custody of her children to their father, was granted at a hearing the servicemember was unable to attend because of her duties. With the child’s father planning to move the children out of state, the servicemember spoke to a military legal assistance attorney who referred her case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who was able to help return custody to the servicemember and establish a favorable child custody and visitation agreement between the servicemember and the father.