Service Member Civil Relief Act

  • Published
  • By 436th Airlift Wing Legal Office
  • 436th Airlift Wing

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del., -- The Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides various legal protections for servicemembers, including protections for servicemembers facing eviction from their residential home. Section 3951 of the SCRA states that a landlord may not evict a servicemember, or his/her dependents, from a residential home during a period of military service without first obtaining a court order. This requirement applies regardless of whether a state otherwise permits evictions without court orders (also known as non-judicial evictions). Furthermore, if a landlord or property manager pursues a court order through a default judgment, the SCRA requires that they file an affidavit notifying the court of the tenant’s military status. If the tenant is in military service, the court must appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the servicemember. The court may also postpone the judgment by 90 days if the servicemember cannot be reached or the servicemember’s appearance is necessary to present a defense.

The law as originally passed by Congress applied to dwellings with monthly rents of $2,400 or less. However, the law requires the DoD to adjust this amount annually. Applying the inflation adjustment for the calendar year 2023, the maximum monthly rental amount for 2023 is $9,106.46. Thus, if your monthly rent is below $9,106.46 you would still be covered by these eviction protections.

For more general information see or make an appointment with your nearest legal assistance office.