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Domestic Violence Victim Obtains Divorce with Volunteer Attorney’s Help

May 25, 2018

A Navy servicemember was a victim of violence and sexual assault from her husband. She obtained an order of protection against her husband, but she needed help to move forward with a divorce. She visited a military legal assistance office on her base to seek help, where a military attorney referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the servicemember with a civilian attorney who offered pro bono representation for her divorce. The volunteer attorney helped the servicemember throughout the divorce proceedings to obtain a dissolution of marriage.

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Attorney Helps the Mother of a Sailor in Tragic Accident

April 16, 2018

A Navy servicemember was in a serious vehicle accident, which caused major brain and spinal injuries. It was expected that he would be in a long-term incapacitated state. His mother needed to be appointed as his guardian so she could handle his affairs, including his property and medical decisions. She visited a military legal assistance office for guidance, which referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the servicemember’s mother with an attorney who offered pro bono help.

The volunteer attorney prepared all necessary documents to petition the court for the mother’s appointment as her son’s guardian. However, miraculously, the servicemember regained consciousness and recovered to the extent that he could provide informed consent to provide his mother with a power of attorney and execute related forms, including a living will and healthcare surrogate documents. With this, the mother obtained legal authority to make personal, financial, and medical decisions on behalf of her son, so she can ensure that he receives proper care.

With this authority, the mother could also help with her son’s procedures for a medical discharge from the Navy and obtaining VA benefits. The volunteer attorney went above and beyond to provide continued pro bono assistance for these procedures. The servicemember was ultimately medically discharged and received the expected benefits from the Navy and VA.

Military Family Receives Favorable Settlement from Landlord with Volunteer Attorney’s Help

March 30, 2018

A Marine and his family had major problems with their home and landlord. The property’s sump pump failed and raw sewage flooded their home’s basement, which damaged personal possessions, created pungent odors and mold growth, attracted vermin, and caused electrical problems. The landlord failed to perform adequate repairs, despite the military family’s many attempts to coordinate with the landlord. The home was inhabitable, but the Marine and his wife—with a young child and another one on the way—did not have the finances needed to move to another apartment.

With concerns about the wellness of his family and their lost property, the Marine visited a military legal assistance office to discuss the situation. A JAG provided written requests to the landlord on behalf of the military family, but because the landlord still failed to resolve the matter, the JAG referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the military family with an attorney who offered pro bono representation. The volunteer attorney negotiated with the landlord about the military family’s claims and damages. After seeing that they were facing a significant lawsuit, the landlord agreed to a favorable settlement for the military family.

 

Volunteer Attorney Helps Domestic Violence Victim with Divorce

February 23, 2018

An Air Force servicemember was brutally attacked by her husband. She was physically abused, sexually assaulted, and threatened with weapons. Her husband was arrested and she was desperate to end the marriage. Because she was stationed in Europe, she struggled to get started with a divorce pro se in her home state of California.

To seek help, she visited a military legal assistance office on her base, which referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the Airman with an attorney in California who offered pro bono help. The volunteer attorney promptly prepared and filed a petition for divorce, and the husband was served in prison. After the divorce proceedings where complete, the Airman received what she desperately needed—a divorce from the man who abused her.

 

Volunteer Attorney Helps Soldier Receive Favorable Settlement with Towing Company

January 31, 2018

After completing his six-week basic training, an Army servicemember came home to learn that his car had been towed from his apartment’s parking lot and sold. He had never received notice, and his car was sold without a court order. The soldier visited a military legal assistance office to discuss his situation. Recognizing that the towing company had violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by selling the soldier’s car without notice and a court order, the military attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project.

Through the Military Pro Bono Project, a civilian attorney offered pro bono legal assistance to the soldier. To seek damages from the towing company, the volunteer attorney filed a two-count lawsuit in state court for conversion and violation of the SCRA. After the attorney later filed a motion for summary judgment, the towing company and its counsel agreed to a settlement of several thousand dollars, which was a favorable settlement for the soldier. With help from the volunteer attorney, the soldier was successfully made whole.

 

With Pro Bono Legal Help, Airman Adopts Adult Disabled Siblings

January 5, 2018

An Air Force servicemember had guardianship over her two adult siblings. Both siblings are disabled and suffer from autism. Because of some complications with the guardianship orders, the servicemember’s application to declare her siblings as military dependents was denied. To resolve this, the servicemember needed to either modify her guardianship orders or adopt her disabled children.

After visiting a military legal assistance office to discuss this issue, a JAG referred this servicemember to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which located an attorney who volunteered to help. Determining that an adoption would be the best solution for this family, the volunteer attorney represented the servicemember through the legal process of adopting her siblings. Thanks to this volunteer attorney’s assistance, the servicemember can now claim her siblings as dependents and better care for them through military services and benefits. This will also help the servicemember with her military readiness, especially when she needs to make arrangements for her siblings before potential deployments.

 

With Pro Bono Help, Sailor and His Wife Appointed as Their Disabled Adult Child’s Guardians

December 5, 2017

A Navy servicemember and his wife have a disabled daughter. When their daughter was 17 years old and just weeks before becoming a legal adult, they visited a military legal assistance office to discuss their concern that their daughter would be unable to care for herself as an adult. Recognizing that they needed to establish guardianship but would struggle to afford hiring an attorney, a JAG at the legal assistance office referred this military family to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project.

The program connected this military family with an attorney who offered pro bono representation. This attorney successfully helped this servicemember and his wife get appointed as their daughter’s guardian advocates through a court order. With this, this servicemember and his wife could continue to provide needed care and medical attention to their adult daughter.