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Tow Company Pays Marine for SCRA Violation with Pro Bono Legal Help

May 27, 2016

A Marine’s wife was in an accident, and his vehicle was towed. The tow company was paid for its services. However, the Marine was unable to pick up the vehicle because he was deployed to Afghanistan. In violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the towing company sold the Marine’s vehicle without a court order. Despite efforts by the Marine’s military attorney, the company was unwilling to engage in settlement negotiations, so the ABA Military Pro Bono Project quickly referred the servicemember to an experienced team of pro bono attorneys in his area to assist him. The Marine’s volunteer attorneys filed and served a complaint in the local court based on violations of the SCRA as well as handled several other procedural, discovery and insurance-related matters for the Marine. Ultimately, the servicemember’s attorneys were able to negotiate a favorable settlement agreement with the tow company, thereby avoiding a prolonged court battle and allowing the Marine to refocus on his military duties.

Soldier’s Parents Permitted to Reside in His Home with Volunteer Attorney Help

May 20, 2016

An Army servicemember and his wife entered into a “lease to own contract” for a home and the soldier’s parents were residing in the home. The contract did not restrict this; however, the landlord claimed that the soldier and his wife had breached the contract by abandoning the premises and subleasing without due procedures. Despite attempts by the servicemember’s military to negotiate a resolution, the landlord filed an eviction lawsuit against the soldier for which he needed civilian legal representation. The ABA Military was able to quickly refer the servicemember to an experienced pro bono attorney to assist him in his defense. Within just a few weeks of referral, the volunteer attorney was able to get the eviction lawsuit dismissed, allowing the soldier’s parents to continue residing in the home and relieving the servicemember and his wife of stressful legal proceedings.

Soldier Reimbursed by Fraudulent Car Dealership with Pro Bono Attorney Help

May 13, 2016

An Army servicemember purchased a vehicle and began to suffer financially from the cost of the loan she received and the significant unexpected maintenance issues with the vehicle. The soldier therefore decided that she needed to trade the vehicle in for a less expensive vehicle. However, when attempting to trade in the vehicle, the servicemember found out that the car dealership misrepresented in the paperwork the features of her vehicle as having upgrades that it did not actually have and therefore was worth much less than represented by the dealership. Because the servicemember’s military attorney could not represent her in court, the ABA Military Pro Bono Project quickly referred the soldier to an experienced pro bono attorney in her area. Within less than two months of the referral, the soldier’s volunteer attorney was able to negotiate a refund of all of the servicemember’s out of pocket expenses associated with the purchase, including the down payment, loan payments, car insurance payments, and repair costs as well as a release from the sale contract, warranty and gap coverage which she purchased. As a result, with this legal dispute behind her, the soldier is able to stay focused on her military missions.

Landlord’s Lawsuit Against Airman Dismissed with Help of Volunteer Attorney

May 6, 2016

An Air Force servicemember, who was stationed overseas, had been added to a commercial lease by a relative without his knowledge and suspected that he was being used by the relative as a guaranty on the lease. The airman was subsequently sued by the landlord for unpaid fees from the lease, was not served properly with the lawsuit and a status hearing had already been set by the court. The servicemember’s military attorney determined that the airman needed additional legal assistance in handling this matter, so the ABA Military Pro Bono Project referred the airman to an experienced attorney in his area who was willing to handle the case pro bono. Within two weeks of the referral, the servicemember’s attorney was able to negotiate an agreement from the plaintiff’s attorney to stay the proceedings against the airman in light of his active duty status and shortly thereafter to sever the complaint as to the servicemember. The case was ultimately dismissed by the court and the airman can now focus on his military missions with the knowledge that this legal matter is resolved.

Moving Co. Pays Back Marine with Pro Bono Legal Help

April 29, 2016

A Marine’s wife and young son moved across the country to join him on base. Shortly thereafter, the Marine was deployed overseas, requiring him to leave behind a legal dispute with their moving company. The dispute centered on the moving company’s refusal to return the Marine’s security deposit and provide the necessary documentation that would avoid the servicemember from being personally charged for all costs by the Marine Corps who paid for the move. In addition, to the family’s astonishment, the moving company lost the family cat during the move, damaged several of the Marine’s possessions, including his child’s handmade toy box, and refused to reimburse the servicemember’s family for their loss. Unfortunately, neither the Marine nor his military legal assistance attorney were able to resolve the dispute despite several attempts. The servicemember was then referred to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project who was able to connect the Marine to an experienced team of pro bono attorneys in his area to assist him. The volunteer attorneys forwarded demand letters to the moving company and were ultimately able to negotiate a settlement agreement in the Marine’s favor and arrange for payment by the moving company. As a result of his pro bono attorneys’ efforts, the Marine can better focus on his military missions knowing that his family’s distressing legal dispute is resolved.

Airman Obtains Custody of Minor, Providing Mental Health Insurance, with Volunteer Attorney Help

April 22, 2016

An Air Force servicemember and his wife had assumed sole responsibility for the care of the wife’s minor sister who was suffering from bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and self-injury from constant bullying. The airman’s sister-in-law had no medical insurance but would qualify for his insurance if she became the legal dependent of the airman. The child was residing with her sister and the servicemember for several months and her biological mother was consenting to the transfer, however, the servicemember needed legal help to obtain custody over his sister-in-law before she could be considered a dependent. Within one day of receiving the case from the servicemember’s military attorney, the ABA Military Pro Bono Project was able to place the airman with an experienced family and mental health law volunteer attorney in his area.  Within only four months of placement, the airman’s attorney was able to obtain waivers from the biological parents, file the required documents, appear in court on the servicemember’s behalf, and obtain an agreed order granting him conservatorship over his sister-in-law. All parties are satisfied that the new custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests and she finally has access to the medical care that she desperately needs.

Airman Settles Vehicle Warranty Dispute With Pro Bono Attorney Help

April 15, 2016

An Air Force servicemember and his spouse purchased a used vehicle and a three year warranty. Approximately four months after the purchase, the vehicle started having major problems, such as reverting to limp mode when driving up a hill, which required a few thousand dollars in repairs. The insurance company was refusing to pay for the repairs, even though the repairs appear to be covered by the warranty. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project was able to refer the airman to an experienced pro bono attorney who, within less than two months of receiving the case, was able to negotiate a settlement of the matter on terms very favorable to the servicemember. As a result, due to the efforts of his volunteer attorney, the airman and his wife will soon be compensated for the repair of their vehicle while avoiding the time, expense and stress of engaging in formal legal proceedings.

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