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Sailor Obtains Security Deposit Held in SCRA Violation with Help of Volunteer Attorneys

February 19, 2016

A Navy servicemember and his spouse needed to vacate their apartment lease due to a military transfer. The sailor properly notified his landlord of lease termination and timely vacated his apartment, as allowed by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under the SCRA, security deposits must be returned to transferred servicemembers within 30 days of lease termination absent any damage claim.  The servicemember had requested its return multiple times, provided the landlord with a photocopy of his original transfer orders and sent a demand letter from his military attorney.  However, several months had passed and the landlord failed to return the servicemember’s security deposit nor had the landlord claimed any damages.

The sailor was no longer stationed in the area and going into court to obtain his security deposit was not feasible, so the ABA Military Pro Bono Project promptly referred the sailor to an experienced team of pro bono attorneys in the proper jurisdiction to assist him.  Due to the dedicated assistance of these volunteer attorneys, the sailor and his spouse were finally successful in obtaining the return of their security deposit and the sailor could refocus on his military duties.

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