If You Don’t Know Military Status, Can You Get a Default Judgment?

can you get a judgment if you don't know military status

Plaintiffs are usually required to provide documentation in court regarding the defendant’s military status.

This documentation is important, because if they are in the military, they are entitled to some protections in court. These protections are outlined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Under the SCRA, the court will not issue a default judgment against a defendant without proof about their military status.

The best way for plaintiffs to get over this hurdle is to get a military affidavit.

What Is a Military Affidavit?

A military affidavit can go by many other names. These include:

  • nonmilitary affidavit
  • SCRA affidavit
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act affidavit
  • affidavit of military service
  • and others.

The easiest way to get one is to go through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (SCRACVS). Although it is possible to get the required documentation on your own if you have the defendant’s Social Security number, it can be can be time-consuming and frustrating. Writing to the various military branches (Army, Navy, etc.) often does not yield the desired results. The Army, for example, readily admits that it does not have the resources to reply at all. Other agencies may take up to six months to do so.

In some instances, this can cost you more money. For instance, if you are seeking payment of rent or storage locker fees, waiting months for a reply from a military branch and then a court date means you can’t rent out that apartment or locker during that time to a paying customer.

It’s easiest to learn a defendant’s military status if you have their Social Security number. Without a SSN,  but with a date of birth, the Defense Manpower Data Center will issue a certificate that says the results of the search is not guaranteed.  As you might guess, courts may not accept that kind of certificate.

The SCRACVS can help when you don’t have the defendant’s Social Security number. If you provide us with their name and other identifying information such as birth date, address, relatives’ names, driver’s license number, etc., we can get you a reliable military affidavit.

What if You Can’t Determine Military Status?

But sometimes, despite all efforts and for varying reasons, you simply cannot confirm military status.

Understandably, judges are reluctant to enter a default judgment against a defendant when there is even a possibility that they are on active duty. In these cases, SCRACVS can provide you an affidavit swearing that you have done your due diligence in searching for this information. Frequently, this is all you need for your case to move forward.

Depend on SCRACVS for Military Status Verifications

Using a private firm such as SCRACVS can save you time and money. We provide status confirmation quickly and for a nominal fee. Handing this headache over to the SCRACVS means a quicker end to your case. Plus, you get the peace of mind of knowing you have met all the requirements of the SCRA.

Depend on SCRACVS to provide you with the proper documentation you need in court.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.