New guide on legal protections for Ohio military service members

CONTACT: Kenneth A. Brown, OSBA, 800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426
COLUMBUS (Oct. 24, 2012) –The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and the Ohio Judicial Conference (OJC) today released a legal guide designed to assist the judiciary and other members of Ohio’s legal community in understanding federal law that protects military personnel and their families. 
The guide provides an overview of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA, passed in 2003, is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, mortgages, civil judicial proceedings, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments. 
“The principal reason for having the SCRA is so that active duty service members are able to concentrate on serving their country overseas and not be worried about legal issues back home,” OSBA Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair and Ohio National Guard Col. Duncan Aukland said. “By distributing this guide, we hope to raise awareness in the legal community of the rights the federal law affords our military men and women, such as their right to terminate a lease when called to active duty."
While written for the legal community, the guide is also a valuable resource for military service members, their families and the general public. It is available on the OSBA website .The OJC will also be distributing copies to its members. 
“The guide will be useful tool for our members,” OJC Chair Judge Jim D. James commented. “It will be a ready reference for the more than 700 trial court judges in Ohio to better assist service members and their families in legal matters that come before the court.”
OSBA President Judge Patrick F. Fischer added, “We are pleased to collaborate with the Ohio Judicial Conference to distribute this guide as part of a continuing effort to expand the resources available to legal practitioners and improve legal services to military personnel and their families.”
The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. The OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.
The Ohio Judicial Conference is an independent statutory entity within the judicial branch of government. The OJC encourages uniformity in the application of law, rules and practice throughout the state and within each division of the courts as an integral part of the judicial system.
Editor’s note: Col. Duncan Aukland discusses how the SCRA addresses the major legal issues facing Ohio military service members in a video available on the OSBA YouTube channel.



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