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					                                                                                                 NEWS                                                                                                                                                    May 6, 2010                             A5

Landlord, tenant issues: Your rights under SCRA                                                                                                                                    Justice
  BY E. STEPHANIE HEBERT                                                                                             as printed, then they’ll have to
    Legal Assistance Attorney                                                                                        look elsewhere for a place to live.
                                                                                                                     Feeling like they have no choice
   The Fort Hood Legal Assis-                                                                                        in the matter, some Soldiers sim-
tance Office counsels Soldiers                                                                                       ply sign the contract and hope
each day regarding the early ter-                                                                                    for the best.
mination of their leases, often                                                                                                                                Court Martial results:
within days of a Soldier’s deploy-                                                                                   Educating Soldiers/spouses                   On April 29 at a General Court Martial,
ment or departure for a perma-                                                                                          In order to correct these prob-        Pvt. David Malone Jr., assigned to 48th
nent change of station. With-                                                                                        lems, we need to teach our Sol-           Chemical Brigade, pled and was found guilty
out planning ahead, reading                                                                                          diers (and their spouses) to read         of Absent Without Authority in violation
your lease and providing proper                                                                                      every line of every document              of Article 86, UCMJ, Disobeying a Supe-
notice as outlined by the Service-                                                                                   before they sign on the dotted            rior Commissioned Officer in violation of
members Civil Relief Act, there’s                                                                                    line. We need to encourage our            Article 90, UCMJ, two specifications of Flee-
not much we can do to help.                                                                                          Soldiers to get a second opin-            ing Apprehension in violation of Article 95,
In order to better plan for an                                                                                       ion or seek legal assistance if           UCMJ, and Reckless Operation of a Motor
upcoming move, here are a few                                                                                        they don’t understand a docu-             Vehicle in violation of Article 111, UCMJ .
issues to think about:                                                                                               ment they intend to sign. We              He was sentenced to forfeiture of all pay and
                                                                                                                     need to encourage them to walk            allowances, confinement for 15 months and a
Written notice required                                                                                              away from consumer transac-               bad-conduct discharge.
   Assessing penalties for early                                                                                     tions if they feel forced to choose          On April 28 at a General Court Martial,
termination of a contract is not                                                                                     between (a) their SCRA rights             Spc. David J. Isenhower, assigned to the
only understandable, but reason-                                                                                     and (b) an apartment, a car or            4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment
able, in most civilian situations.                                                                  Courtesy photo   any other consumable item they            Command (Expeditionary), pled and was
The SCRA, however, enables                                                                                           think they desperately need or            found guilty of Resisting Arrest in violation
Soldiers to terminate their resi-      fined and incarcerated.               have to deal with litigating this       want.                                     of Article 95, UCMJ, Breach of the Peace, in
dential leases without being                                                 issue just before deployment, or           We vehemently discourage               violation of Article 116, UCMJ, two specifi-
penalized when they receive PCS        Waiving your rights?                  worry about it after he’s down-         Soldiers from signing any con-            cations of Assault and Battery, in violation of
or deployment orders. Specifical-         We recently found the fol-         range.                                  tract which attempts to waive             Article 128, UCMJ, and communicating a
ly, the SCRA authorizes the early      lowing penalty/waiver language           Given the high volume of Sol-        their SCRA rights or impose               threat, in violation of Article 134, UCMJ. He
termination of a residential lease     contained in a Killeen apartment      diers in the Fort Hood area,            financial penalties against them          was sentenced to reduction to E-1, forfeiture
if a Soldier provides the landlord     lease involving a Fort Hood Sol-      how can landlords and property          simply because they are Soldiers.         of all pay and allowances, confinement for 13
with written notice of an upcom-       dier:                                 managers (many of whom are              We track and report individuals           months and a bad-conduct discharge.
ing PSC or deployment along               • $75 admin fee is charged to      former Soldiers themselves) get         and businesses who take advan-               On April 28 at a General Court Martial,
with a copy of the new mili-           all active-duty military personnel    away with assessing these finan-        tage of our Soldiers and con-             Pvt. Ian D. Carter, assigned to U.S. Army
tary orders. If both documents         on ETS and PCS orders                 cial penalties against our active-      sider placing them “off limits” if        Garrison, Reception Detachment, pled and
are delivered to the landlord,            • $100 admin fee is charged to     duty Soldiers? The assessment of        they continue to insist that our          was found guilty of Absent Without Author-
a Solider will be released from        all active-duty military personnel    such penalties is not only wrong,       Soldiers discard the important            ity in violation of Article 86, UCMJ, Dis-
the lease contract thirty days         on deployment orders                  but unlawful as well. The SCRA          legal protections afforded by the         obeying an Order of an NCO, in violation
after the next rental payment             • $200 for replacement tenant      was enacted in order to prevent         SCRA.                                     of Article 91, UCMJ, Larceny of military
is due. And, unless you waive             • Fees are payable upon notice     the assessment of penalties just                                                  property over $500, in violation of Article
your rights under the SCRA,            of intent to vacate                   like the ones listed above.             How LAO can help                          121, UCMJ, and Housebreaking, in violation
the landlord cannot assess any            This language will likely be          So, if Soldiers need not pay            If your lease imposes a pen-           of Article 130, UCMJ. He was sentenced to
additional charges against you         found by a court to be invalid        any fees according to the SCRA,         alty as a result of your mili-            reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and
or retain your security deposit        because it constitutes a waiver of    why are they signing contracts          tary service or requires that you         allowances, confinement for 36 months and a
as a result of your early termina-     rights under the SCRA, and the        agreeing to do so? The most             waive any of your rights under            bad-conduct discharge.
tion. If the landlord violates the     SCRA requires that any waiver         likely answer is that some Sol-         the SCRA, contact the Legal
                                                                                                                                                                   Court Martial results are published using the Sol-
SCRA by assessing additional           be contained in a separate docu-      diers simply don’t know any bet-        Assistance Office at 287-7901 to          dier’s name and rank. Because of privacy restrictions,
fees or by unlawfully keeping          ment. Even though the Soldier         ter. Or, they are told that if they     schedule an appointment with a            all non-judicial punishment and letters of reprimand will
your security deposit, he can be       should win his case, he shouldn’t     refuse to sign a “standard” lease       legal assistance attorney.                only be published with the servicemember’s rank.

          Phantom Voices
   What special plans do you have to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?

   “Call my mom and                            “Go home to Helotes,                       “Buy my mom                                 “Send my mom a card.”                          “Hang out with my
   send her a nice gift.”                      Texas to visit family.”                    something from the                                                                         wife and call my mom.”

        Spc. Randy Caminita,                            1st Lt. (Chaplain)                    Pvt. Richard Harvey,                            Pvt. Luther Hyslop,                          Pvt. Nicholas Laitres,
               3-4 Avn. Regt.                               Patrick Cobb,                   21st Replacement Det.                                    1st Cav. Div.                                  1st Cav. Div.
                                                             1st Cav. Div.

Regulation states Soldiers responsible for supporting families despite separations
      We’re here to help                   Child Custody and Paternity, sets        valid court order, written agreement          When a Soldier and former                payments made by check, money
                       Inspector General
                                           the Army’s policy on responsibilities    or proper relief from the chain of         spouse have a court-ordered divorce         order or other means.
                                           and procedures for financial sup-        command as outlined in AR 608-             decree from any state, the Soldier            Commanders and leaders must
BY MASTER SGT. DAVID F. LUTZ               port in the absence of a court order.    99.                                        is obligated to pay according to the        actively engage Soldiers to ensure
       Asst. IG, III Corps                    This regulation also includes reg-      Let’s look at a hypothetical sce-        court order. If the court orders the        they are meeting their obligations
                                           ulatory standards relating to child      nario; Staff Sgt. John Doe and his         Soldier to pay $450.50 per month,           in accordance with AR 608-99.
   The III Corps Inspector Gen-            custody, visitation matters, paterni-    wife, Jane, were separated in Octo-        the Soldier is only required to pay         This includes conducting periodic
eral Office services all Soldiers, fam-    ty cases and compliance with court       ber 2009. On Feb. 5, 2010, Mrs.            that amount, regardless of the BAH          counseling and promptly investi-
ily members and civilians on Fort          orders, as required by law to family     Doe calls the IG office and requests       II rates.                                   gating requests for assistance from
Hood. On any given date, many              members of Soldiers.                     assistance, reporting that Staff Sgt.         While the Soldier’s family mem-          family members. Spouses who are
of the Soldiers at Fort Hood are              For example, if a Soldier is sepa-    Doe is not providing any financial         bers are residing in government             not receiving their full BAH II
deployed and we receive phone calls        rated from his/her spouse, the full      support to his family. The IG will         family housing, the Soldier is not          entitlement may contact unit com-
about the entitlements a spouse            amount of BAH Type II would be           then notify the Soldier’s command-         required to provide additional              manders. Commanders must then
should receive if he/she is separated      paid to the spouse and children. It      er to ensure AR 608-99 is properly         financial support. However, when            initiate immediate action to ensure
from a Soldier. This command issue         is important to note that BAH II is      applied.                                   the supported family member(s)              the Soldier is in compliance with
continues to be the number one IG          a universal rate, not the local rate.      In this simple case, Staff Sgt.          move(s) out of government family            AR 608-99 and inform the spouse
request for assistance at Fort Hood.          Commanders must consult with          Doe pays the required BAH II rate          housing, the Soldier will provide           of the corrective actions taken with-
   All commanders, including rear          their servicing staff judge advocate     of $894.00 (2010 BAH II rate for           BAH II. The bottom-line is com-             in 14 days. Commanders should
detachment commanders, must                or inspector general for assistance      a staff sergeant in support of his         manders must determine all the              inform Soldiers that failure to pro-
be engaged in this matter. Good            with specific situations.                family) until a divorce decree ter-        facts and consult with their staff          vide financial support is a violation
leaders know their Soldiers entitle-          Considering support cases are sta-    minating the marriage is provid-           judge advocate when determining             of AR 608-99, and such violations
ments, as well as what the Soldiers        tistically the majority of the IG’s      ed through the civil court system.         the solution.                               may be punishable under UCMJ.
are required to provide for their          workload. Soldiers need to be edu-       The Soldier is required to provide            The purpose of BAH II is to pro-           For more information on Soldier
family members. Many believe the           cated concerning their responsibili-     continuous financial support to his        vide Soldiers with a housing allow-         family support obligations, contact
answer is the Basic Allowance for          ties under AR 608-99. The Army           dependents, in accordance with AR          ance for his/her dependents. New            your local servicing Legal Assistance
Housing.                                   recognizes the transient nature of       608-99, until a judgment is made           BAH II rates went into effect Jan.          Office or Inspector General Office.
   The truth is the amount of              military duty.                           by the court; at which time the            1. If a Soldier is currently pay-
financial support a dependent may             However, AR 608-99 prohibits          court order replaces the AR guid-          ing the 2009 BAH II rate to his                             IG INFO
receive depends on the variables           the use of a Soldier’s military status   ance. Staff Sgt. Doe’s commander           or her separated spouse, the Sol-
                                                                                                                                                                             III Corps IG
that exist in the situation. The           or assignment as reason or cause         has to determine all the facts and         dier should consult their MyPay               287-7209
                                                                                                                                                                                                     1st Cav. Div. IG
Army does have a regulatory stan-          to deny financial support to family      consult with his local staff judge         account or local finance office to                                    287-6775
                                                                                                                                                                             III Corps IG Hotline
                                                                                                                                                                                                     CRDAMC IG
dard to assist commanders when             members. Soldiers must continue          advocate to find a solution.               make the necessary changes to that            287-2428
determining the amount a Soldier           to support family members as long          Let’s look at a few examples of          allotment. After reviewing the 2010           First Army,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     13th ESC IG
                                                                                                                                                                             Div. West IG
must provide for their dependents.         as there is a legal obligation by mar-   when the BAH II rate does not              BAH II rates, Soldiers should make            553-5030
   AR 608-99, Family Support,              riage or custody and until there is a    apply:                                     the necessary adjustments in their

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