Justice on Your Side

Department of Justice lawyers have prosecuted a landlord that failed to return prepaid rent and a security deposit to Col. Deborah Bean, vice commander of the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins AFB, Ga.. This is the first DOJ lawsuit involving a landlord’s violation of the 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides protections to active-duty military members who must terminate residential leases to comply with military orders for a permanent change of station or for deployment. In this case, Bean’s landlord did not respond to requests for the return of her money, initially prompting her to turn to Robins’ legal office for help and then, with its assistance, to get DOJ involved. Bean said it is critical as a tenant to keep meticulous records. “Do everything you can to document communications,” she said. (Robins report by Kendahl Johnson)