Volunteer Lawyer Helps Soldier Avoid Contempt Finding
An Army servicemember stationed outside of the continental U.S. needed to respond to a motion for child support but was not properly served because notice was sent to the wrong Army post. As a result, a default judgment was entered against the soldier and the court was threatening to hold the soldier in contempt. In addition, the underlying child support order failed to account for issues that the soldier would have addressed, such as his ability to provide military health insurance to his child. The soldier did not know how to address this, and the mother of the soldier’s child was represented by counsel. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project referred the soldier to a pro bono attorney who was able to get the contempt hearing vacated and rescheduled for a later date. In the meantime, the parties negotiated an outcome that was acceptable to the court and, with the help of his attorney, the soldier was able to successfully avoid a contempt finding.