There are many times that someone wants to file a civil suit against someone in the military, but when the courts come calling – that person is nowhere to be found. This may sound strange, but it happens a lot more than you think. A military service affidavit can be required by the courts in order to move forward with a ruling. Without the military service affidavit, the courts have no reason to believe the person is in the military, and that can hold up your ruling for a very long time.
The purpose of the military service affidavit is the clearly contact any person who is actively serving. This means that the court cannot move forward without notifying this person with a military service affidavit. Before the military service affidavit is requested, the defendant will likely be served with other legal papers. If there is no response from this person, but they are thought to be serving in the military, the judge may order a military service affidavit. This is just and fair, and requires the person filing for the affidavit to know that the defendant was in the military recently.
For example, if you cannot get ahold of the person you’re petitioning, you cannot simply file for a military service affidavit. The affidavit must be ordered by the courts and will only be done for people who have served recently. This allows you to move forward with your case. In the vast majority of court cases, no response to the military service affidavit will result in a ruling in favor of the plaintiff. This is why it is worth your time to obtain a military service affidavit when requested by the judge.
Ideally, a lawyer should be hired to help you fill out the affidavit. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can do it yourself, but as with many legal documents, there’s a lot to understand which is why it’s best left to a professional. Those who choose to not have their papers filed by a practicing attorney in their state must state on the military service affidavit that the papers were filed by a ‘nonlawyer.’
The documents that must accompany the military service affidavit vary from state to state. In most states, you will not need documents if you know for a fact that the person is serving in active duty. For those who are not listed as active, you will be required to supply the courts with documents that support this.
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