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					                LEGAL MEMORANDUM 01-261 (SECOND REVISION)
 (This Memorandum rescinds and replaces Legal Memorandum 01-261 (Revised), Judges’
   Guide to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act) AND Legal Memorandum 01-261
                (Revised), Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (July 26, 2004)


TO:            ALL JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
               ALL JUSTICE OF THE PEACE CIVIL COURT MANAGERS

FROM:          HON. PATRICIA W. GRIFFIN
               CHIEF MAGISTRATE

RE:            NEW JUDGES’ GUIDE TO THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF
               ACT

DATE:          OCTOBER 6, 2004

______________________________________________________________________________

        As you are aware. a new act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, has replaced the
Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act as of December 19, 2003. Justice Ridgely has advised me
of the availability of a new judges’ guide which updates the prior judges’ guide concerning this
act. The new judge’s guide can be found on the ABA web site at:

http://www.abanet.org/family/military/scrajudgesguidecklist.pdf

A copy of the Act itself may be obtained on the ABA web site at:

http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/downloads/lamp/servicemembersreliefactdec2003.pdf

       The new Act provides for various protections for servicemembers during military service
involving civil actions, including:

   Provision for stays of court actions and procedures;
   Protections against default judgments;
     Provision for the appointment of an attorney prior to the entry of a default judgment or if a
      motion for an additional stay is denied in an action or proceeding against a servicemember;
     Provisions for staying the execution of a judgment against a servicemember;
     Tolling of statutes of limitations in any action by or against a servicemember during the time
      a person is in military service;
     Provisions permitting servicemembers to terminate residential, professional, business,
      agricultural, or similar leases entered into prior to entry into active duty or by active duty
      servicemembers who subsequently receive orders for a permanent change of station or a
      deployment for a period of 90 days or more and certain protections against evictions;
     Provisions for termination of automobile leases;
     Restrictions on enforcement of time payments or installment contracts entered into prior to
      entry into active duty.
     Reduction of interest (including service charges) to 6% and forgiveness of amounts over that
      rate on debts and mortgage payments entered into before entry on active duty unless the
      creditor can prove that the servicemember’s ability to pay was not materially affected by
      military service; and
     Protections against mortgage foreclosures.

    You should also review the revised Supplement to this Legal Memorandum, Appointing an
Attorney for a Default Judgment or Denial of a Request for an Additional Stay under the
Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act. (Revised July 26, 2004). See also LM 94-203 “Pay
Garnishment of Members of the United States Armed Forces,” (March 10, 1995), for information
related to the garnishment of the wages of military personnel.

       J.P. Civil Form 13 (copy attached) has been revised to reflect the reference to the
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, instead of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act.

PWG/crm

cc:              Hon. Myron T. Steele
                 Hon. Henry duPont Ridgely
                 Hon. James T. Vaughn, Jr.
                 Hon. Alex J. Smalls
                 Hon. Chandlee Johnson Kuhn
                 Thomas W. Nagle
                 Anna A. Lewis
                 H. John Betts
                 Larry Sipple
                 All Justice of the Peace Courts
                 Law Libraries: New Castle County, Kent County, Sussex County,
                 Widener University School of Law
                              IN THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT OF
                 THE STATE OF DELAWARE, IN AND FOR _________ COUNTY
                                         COURT NO. _____
COURT ADDRESS:
________________________________              CIVIL ACTION NO. ____________
________________________________
       PLAINTIFF(S):                           VS.         DEFENDANT(S):
________________________________                           ____________________________
________________________________                           ____________________________
Address (street, city, state, zip code)                    Address(street, city, state, code)
________________________________                    ____________________________
(phone number)____________________                         (phone number)________________

              STATEMENT OF PLAINTIFF IN SUPPORT OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT
TO OBTAIN A DEFAULT JUDGMENT, PLAINTIFF MUST COMPLETE THIS FORM, HAVE IT
NOTARIZED, AND RETURN IT TO THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT NAMED ABOVE.
A.       I am the Plaintiff in this action and have personal knowledge of the facts in the claim.
B.       This action is for (check one)
         ___ A claim based upon Defendant’s written promise to pay the amount claimed below. (Attach
         document containing the promise to pay).
         ___ A civil penalty for a mandatory amount specified in the statute as payable to the State or a
         state agency.
         ___ Other (for example, claims not in writing or statutory penalties in which there are no
         mandatory dollar amounts or which are not payable to the State or a state agency).
C.       Plaintiff claims the following which were listed in the original complaint:
         (1) $_____________ Amount of money claimed (this may be reduced from the amount
         in the complaint but may not be increased).
         (2) $_____________ Court costs
         (3) Pre-judgment interest of $__________ amount calculated at the rate of _____%
         beginning __________________, 20___ to _____________________, 20___.
                                                    (date this form completed)
         (4) Post-judgment interest (check one)
                  (    ) at legal rate OR ( ) at contractual rate of ______%.
         (5) $____________ Other (If, for example, attorneys' fees are requested, attach a
                               statement as to amount and legal basis.)
         (6) REPLEVIN ACTIONS ONLY
             Return of the following property or $__________ total value (Attach list of property
stating description, number and value of items on 8 1/2" X 11" paper)

I hereby attest under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information is true and correct to the best of my
knowledge and belief and that the Defendant is not in the military service as defined by the Servicemembers’ Civil
Relief Act, nor is the Defendant under the age of eighteen or incompetent.

_______________                                                                   __________________________
Date                                                                                       Signature of Plaintiff

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this _____ day of ___________, 20___.

                                                             ____________________________________
                                                                      Notary Public/Court Official



J.P. Civ. Form No. 13 (Rev. 7/27/04)                                Document No. 02-13-96-06-07
                      IN THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT OF
                             THE STATE OF DELAWARE

                                       INSTRUCTIONS


        No answer has been received by the Court from the Defendant within the proper time
period. Upon return of completed "Statement of Plaintiff in Support of Default Judgment" to the
Court, a default judgment will be entered, unless additional information is needed by the Court.
Plaintiff should note that this form must be NOTARIZED, that the amount of money claimed
may not exceed the amount claimed in "Complaint", that pre-judgment interest, attorney’s fees or
other claims may not be included in the judgment unless requested in the complaint. Pre-
judgment interest amount must be calculated by the Plaintiff in order to be included in the
judgment.

       Attorney’s fees are recoverable only on notes, invoices, or other written documents where
payment of attorney’s fees is expressly provided for in the document. 10 Del.C. § 3912.
However, no provision in a residential rental agreement providing for the recovery of attorney’s
fees by either party in any proceeding arising from the tenancy is enforceable. 25 Del.C. § 5111.
Where fees may be obtained, they can not be more than 20% of the judgment.

        Plaintiff will not usually need to appear at the Court to obtain a default judgment. If the
Court has questions concerning the information provided by the Plaintiff, the Court may
schedule a hearing prior to entering judgment. If the Defendant is in the military as defined by
the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act or if the Plaintiff cannot determine the Defendant’s
military status, the Plaintiff will need to request a hearing. The Plaintiff should contact the
Defense Data Manpower Data Center (1600 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Attn: Military Verification,
Arlington, VA 22209-2593 or phone: 703-696-6762) if the Defendant’s military status is
unknown.

       If the Plaintiff fails to file "Statement of Plaintiff in Support of Default Judgment," the
case will be dismissed by the Court, on its own motion, one year after the last docket entry.

       Any questions should be directed to the Court at the above address.

     (IF THE CLAIM IS BASED UPON A WRITTEN CONTRACT OR IF PRE-
JUDGMENT OR POST-JUDGMENT INTEREST IS DEMANDED AT A CONTRACTUAL
RATE ABOVE THE CURRENT LEGAL RATE, A COPY OF THE CONTRACT ON WHICH
THE CLAIM IS BASED MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THIS FORM).




J.P. Civ. Form No. 13 (Rev. 7/27/04)                       Document No. 02-13-96-06-07

				
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