January 01, 2017

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: Is Your Courtroom SCRA-Compliant?

By Mark E. Sullivan

A law designed to protect the rights of members of the armed forces, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA),1 became effective 14 years ago and is still undergoing changes to improve its protections.

When servicemembers2 are involved in litigation, it might be difficult for them to participate in the proceedings while they are involved in the defense of the nation. Judges and court personnel must be alert to the protections and limitations that the SCRA imposes in civil litigation, including the protections provided to those in uniform appearing in court—or who are absent and about to be defaulted—when the SCRA applies.3

This article provides a brief history of the SCRA, explains how the SCRA may impact court proceedings, and discusses some unresolved issues under the SCRA.

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