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Improvements to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

  • Published
  • By Major Scott A. Hodges
  • Air Force Chief of Legal Assistance
Have you ever wondered what you were going to do about your expensive cell phone if you deployed for 90 days, or if you got an assignment overseas? Under the current law, the answer was not crystal clear. However, on 28 Sept the Senate approved a bill that will make several improvements to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). One change is an improvement of the ability for servicemembers to terminate cell phone contracts. Currently, the member can only request termination or suspension under some limited circumstances, and arguably the carrier doesn't have to grant the request.

Under the proposed law, the member will have a right to terminate the contract, and the circumstances are broader. Basically, anytime you get orders to go somewhere where you can't get cell phone service for more than 90 days, you would have the right to terminate the contract. The bill is still waiting for final approval of the House, and signature of the President, before it will take effect.

The new law will also make important improvements to the ability of servicemembers to enforce their SCRA rights in court. If you would like to learn more about your rights under SCRA, please visit the Legal Assistance Website: You can locate current information about assorted legal topics, fill out online worksheets for legal documents that can then be produced at your nearest legal office, find your nearest legal office, and leave feedback about your visit to the legal
office - all at the new website.