I am on active military service and my former landlord has sued me for damages to my former residence. I received a copy of the lawsuit but was unable to file an answer. A default judgment was entered against me. What can I do?
The Service Members Civil Relief Act (S A) permits active duty service members,
who are unable to appear in court or at an administrative proceeding due to their military duties,
to postpone the proceeding for a mandatory mmum of ninety (90) days upon the service
materially affects the service members ability to appear, (2) provide a date when the service
member can appear, and (3) include a lefrom the commander stating that the service
member's duties preclude his or her appearance and t at he is not authorized to take leave at the
time of the hearing. This letter orrequest to the court will not constitute a legal appearance in
additional delays, an attorney must be appointed to represent the service member.
If a default judgment is entered against a service member during his or her active duty
service, or within 60 days thereafter, the Service Members Civil Relief Act allows the service
member to reopen the default judgment and set it aside. In order to set aside a default judgment,
the service member must show that he was prejudiced by not being able to appear in person, and
that he has good legal defenses to the claims against him.
I signed a year lease but I am in the military service and must relocate. Can I terminate my lease?
Yes, under both state and federal law you can terminate your lease early. The federal
law, the Service Members Civil Relief Act, allowsthe termination of leases entered into before
the tenant enters military service and leases entered into while the tenant is in military service.
The Act applies to residentialeases for housing occupied ointended to be occupied by the
service member or his dependents. The tenant can terminate the lease at any time after entry into
military service or the date the tenant receives military orders for a permanent change of station