Skip to main content

Stay of Civil Court Proceedings

If you receive notice that a civil action has been filed, or that a child custody proceeding has been initiated, against you during a period of military duty or within 90 days thereafter, you have the right under the SCRA to request that the action or preceding be stayed for a period of at least 90 days. The stay provision applies to state and federal civil courts as well as administrative agencies, such as hearings before Administrative Law judges. You also have the right to request that the court extend such a stay if necessary. If your request for an extension of a stay is denied, then the court must appoint an attorney to represent you in the action or proceeding.

To request a stay under the SCRA, you must send a letter or other communication to the court or administrative agency. The communication must include facts stating the manner in which your military duty materially affects your ability to appear.  It should also state when you will be available to appear. The request should also include a letter or other communication from your commander stating that your current military service prevents appearance and that military leave is not authorized. 50 USC App 3932.

Michigan law, MCL 32.517, provides that suits in the courts of this state including, but not limited to, all intermediate hearings in the suits, pending against you when you enter active service, or commenced at any time during your service, stand adjourned until after the termination of your service. This applies if you are on active service in excess of 7 days and when so ordered by the Governor in support of civilian authority or in time of war or emergencies of this state or of the United States.