An Air Force servicemember sought temporary guardianship of her 16 year-old niece who had been abandoned by her parents. The matter presented some unusual procedural hurdles since the servicemember had been located in Italy and her niece had been located in Georgia. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connected the servicemember with a pro bono attorney who assisted the servicemember by filing letters of guardianship with a Georgia probate court. As a result, the servicemember was able to gain custody of her niece who was thereby allowed to relocate to Italy so she could live together with her aunt in a stable home.
An Air Force servicemember borrowed money from a relative and later repaid the loan. However, his relative filed suit against the servicemember for $10,000 plus attorney’s fees while he was deployed, so he was unable to provide documentation about his repayment to the court. The servicemember needed legal assistance to recover funds that were being garnished from his bank account due to a default order granted during his deployment. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connected the servicemember with a pro bono attorney who represented the servicemember and his wife at trial. The court entered judgment against the servicemember for only approximately $500 without assessing fees and in favor of his wife, while awarding her costs against the Plaintiff.
An Air Force servicemember’s former husband had been incarcerated for several years from a conviction that involved abuse of his children and others. Fortunately for the children, the servicemember’s current husband had been acting as their father figure and wanted to pursue a step-parent adoption. The soldier’s husband sought pro bono help with the ABA Military Pro Bono Project which connected him with a pro bono attorney to assist him. The attorney successfully finalized an adoption which will give the servicemember and her children a stable family unit and allow the current husband to adequately care for the children in case the servicemember is deployed or is otherwise unavailable due to military service. Click here to read more from the servicemember’s perspective.
An Army servicemember’s ex-wife was granted majority timesharing with their children in their divorce decree. However, the ex-wife developed substance abuse problems and had been in and out of jail. Because she could not provide a stable home for their children, the soldier and his ex-wife signed an agreement to give temporary custody to the soldier. His ex-wife then wanted custody back, retained an attorney and filed a motion to regain custody. The soldier sought legal help with the ABA Military Pro Bono Project which connected him with a pro bono attorney. The soldier, through the assistance of this attorney, was able to modify the final divorce judgment which resulted in an increase in his custody and visitation rights while lowering the servicemember’s child support payments. The attorney also assisted the soldier to document thoroughly the informal arrangements the two parents had previously made.
A single mother serving in the Marines sought pro bono assistance to create a special needs trust for her child who was recently diagnosed with autism. The Marine was concerned that in the event of her death, a special needs trust needed to be put in place to guarantee that her son would be eligible for public benefits to support him. A JAG officer drafted advance directives for the servicemember; however, because special needs trusts fell beyond the JAG’s expertise, the officer referred the Marine to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Marine was then placed by the Project with a volunteer attorney who has expertise in special needs trusts. The attorney provided the Marine with a pour-over will and a special needs trust for the benefit of her and her child.
A young soldier and his wife entered into an apartment lease. Soon thereafter, they noticed a realtor’s sign in their front yard. From that, they learned that the building had been foreclosed upon. They received a notice of eviction and stopped paying rent. However, the landlord still demanded full rental payments and brought suit. The military family visited a military legal assistance office to discuss this issue. Their JAG referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected the family with a pro bono attorney. This volunteer attorney helped the family receive a favorable result: the landlord’s suit was dismissed.
An Air Force servicemember and his wife entered into an apartment lease. They paid rent and a security deposit to a landlord. Unbeknownst to the servicemember and his wife, the property already had been foreclosed and sold at an auction. The servicemember and his family vacated the property after receiving a letter from the bank requesting them to leave the property, and they notified the landlord. However, the landlord filed a suit against them, alleging lost rent.
The servicemember visited a military legal assistance attorney, who referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. A volunteer attorney offered to help the military family. With the attorney’s help at an eviction meeting, the case was dismissed. Additionally, the attorney took further steps to get the landlord’s information removed from a local housing website due to the landlord’s unfair dealings with local military personnel.