SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) — Lincoln Military Housing will
pay $200,000 to resolve allegations it unlawfully evicted active-duty
servicemembers and their families in violation of the Servicemembers Civil
Relief Act (SCRA),the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.
“Lincoln Military Housing unlawfully evicted active duty
servicemembers and their families from their homes,” said principal deputy
associate attorney general Bill Baer.
“This settlement rights that wrong and serves as a powerful reminder
that we will protect and defend the rights of those who protect us all.”
Lincoln Military Housing owns and operates multiple military
housing communities, both on-base and off-base, throughout Southern California.
In California, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they must obtain a court
order. The SCRA requires, before requesting default judgments, the landlord
must fill out an affidavit notifying the court of a tenant’s military status.
Lincoln Military Housing allegedly failed to complete this step, which meant servicemembers were put at risk of being evicted without having an
opportunity participate in the case.
“Our servicemembers, who risk their lives to protect our
freedom, should never return from duty to find their civil rights violated and
their families evicted,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general
Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue our
vigorous and robust enforcement of the SCRA to safeguard the rights of those
who defend us.”