How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33073
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
11181181
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is a PCS modification that states WHERE a servicember will

Customer Question

Is a PCS modification that states WHERE a servicember will be discharged considered a Permanent Change of Station? I will add that the service member requested the location well after having signed a lease.
-brent
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.
Sorry...I do not understand...are you asking if discharge orders can be used to break a lease?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's a modification to the original orders that my tenant had prior to signing the lease. "Orders modified as follows: member's authorized travel for PCS." The mod states that Uncle Sam will pay for his travel from northern Virginia to Arizona so he may be discharged from active duty marine corps as he requested. My tenant says it's a "new" PCS. I believe it's not. He always new he would be discharged after his PCS to Virginia. Just had not decided where.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you...but I still do not understand the question...are you asking if he can use this to break the lease?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
The law that applies can be seen here
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50a/usc_sec_50a_00000535----000-.html
This law is called The servicemembers civil relief act.
The law allows the servicemember to terminate the residential lease if they receive orders to leave the area.
The tenant is correct, these are new orders. That is, if you attempted to sue this tenant for breaking the lease, the servicemembers civil relief act will protect the tenant. The Law does not distinguish between PCS orders and modification of PCS orders. The law allows breaking a lease upon receipt of the orders.
Now, the tenant does have some duties under this law. Specifically the tenant must give you a copy of the orders and they have to give you notice they are planning on leaving at least 30 days before the effective date.
But if your question is can these orders be a basis to void the lease? The answer is yes.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that the Servicemember civil relief act did not rapply to the orders you're describing but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, Does it matter that he knew when he signed the lease that he would ultimately be discharged? What I mean is his ooders never changed. He was always going to discharge. It was up to him to decide where he wanted to be discharged and if he required Uncle Sam to pay for his travel. So he requests his preferred place of disc he was always going to discharge. It was up to him to decide where he wanted to be discharged and if he required Uncle Sam to pay for his travel. So he requests his base to be discharged and requests the Gov't to pay for it, and this is considered a NEW PCS?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I believe the confusion is the term PCS. The orders you are describing, in effect, are PCS orders. They are directing the member to a new location (their future home). The member is still has an obligation to serve in the IRR (individual ready reserve)...so they are still under military authority.
The government is obliged to pay travel costs (not to exceed travel costs to his home of record ).
I understand your frustration. And frankly, if you bring this case to court, it may be you can convince the judge to rule in your favor. The servicemember civil relief act is a federal law but it is typically used in state court. If you can convince the judge that this individual lied to you, tricking you to allow him to have the benefit of the lease and that puts you in a position where you will lose money it may be you can convince the judge to award a judgment against this member.
However, if you're asking what the law says and how it is typically interpreted? What you're describing the servicemembers civil relief act would apply in the case you describe and would allow termination of the residential lease.
Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Related Military Law Questions