Skip to content

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.


With Attorney’s Pro Bono Representation, Soldier Reunited with Daughter

November 16, 2017

A soldier had not seen his daughter for years, and he desperately wanted a relationship with her. Despite a parenting plan in his divorce decree, the Army servicemember’s ex-wife had refused to allow any child visitation, and she often moved to unknown locations without notifying the soldier. After the soldier discovered his ex-wife’s location, he visited a military legal assistance office to discuss proper actions so he could see his child.

A military legal assistance attorney referred the soldier’s case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which placed the soldier with a local volunteer family law attorney. With the attorney’s pro bono representation, the court held the soldier’s ex-wife in contempt and ultimately established a new custody and visitation order. The soldier was overjoyed to have the opportunity to visit his daughter. After the soldier and his daughter began spending time with each other, they were both delighted to be reunited and start a new father-daughter relationship.


Volunteer Attorney Helps Soldier with Lawsuit Against Car Dealership

October 30, 2017

An Army servicemember obtained a loan to purchase a used vehicle from a car dealership. In the purchase agreement, the dealership acknowledged that the car had an engine problem and agreed to fix it. However, after finalizing the sale, it refused to make the agreed repairs. The soldier then obtained an independent inspection and discovered that the vehicle was irreparably damaged, unsafe to drive, and previously totaled, which was not disclosed by the dealership. The soldier wanted to return the vehicle or get a refund.

Without any cooperation from the dealership, the soldier visited a military legal assistance office, where a Judge Advocate (JAG) recognized the soldier’s need for legal representation from a civilian attorney. Because the soldier could not afford to hire an attorney, the JAG referred the soldier to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the soldier with an attorney who offered pro bono representation. The volunteer attorney filed a lawsuit against the dealership and ultimately reached a successful settlement for the soldier. Through the settlement, the dealership provided a refund to pay off the soldier’s loan in exchange for a return of the vehicle.