Bill Summary for S 420 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Mar 28 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 420 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 28, 2019
AN ACT TO ENACT THE NORTH CAROLINA SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT AND TO CLARIFY THAT NO MEMBER OF THE NORTH CAROLINA NATIONAL GUARD SHALL BE FORCED TO USE ANY VACATION OR OTHER LEAVE FROM HIS OR HER CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT FOR A PERIOD OF ACTIVE SERVICE.
Intro. by Britt, Daniel.

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Bill summary

Identical to H 523, filed 3/28/19.

Enacts new Article 4 (North Carolina Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) in GS Chapter 127B. States that the purpose of the Article is to incorporate into State law the rights, benefits, and protections of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and to extend those rights, benefits, and protections to members of the North Carolina National Guard serving on State active duty and to members of the National Guard of other states serving on state active duty who reside in North Carolina.

Defines military order as official military orders, or any notification, certification, or verification from the servicemember's commanding officer, with respect to the servicemember's current or future military service. For members of the North Carolina National Guard, this term includes an order from the Governor pursuant to GS Chapter 127A, and, in the case of a member of the National Guard of another state, this term includes an order from the governor of that state. Defines military service as: (1) as defined in 50 USC § 3911; (2) in the case of a member of the North Carolina National Guard, State active duty under an order of the Governor pursuant to this Chapter, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days; (3) in the case of a member of the National Guard of another state, service under an order of the governor of that state that is similar to State active duty, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.

Provides that the rights, benefits, and protections of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act apply to a service member engaged in military service to the extent the service materially affects the servicemember's ability to comply with his or her obligations. Extends the rights and protections of the contract-termination provisions of this Act, described below, and of USC Title 50, Chapter 50, Subtitle 2 (Rent, Installment Contracts, Mortgages, Liens, Assignment, Leases, Telephone Service Contracts) to dependents of servicemembers engaged in military service. Authorizes servicemembers to terminate contracts for telecommunication, internet, television, or satellite radio service at any time after the date the servicemember receives an order to relocate for a period of military service of at least 90 days to a location that does not support the contract, without any early termination charge, or unusual or uncustomary resubscription fees, and with a refund for any fee paid for service that extends beyond the termination date of the contract. Provides a notice requirement, and provides that unpaid obligations at the time of termination remain the obligation of the servicemember. 

Prohibits evicting a servicemember while the member is engaged in military service or within 14 days after service terminates. If service prevents the member from removing possessions from the residence, provides that the servicemember is not liable for any penalty or fee arising from failure to vacate the residence. Allows a lease agreement expiring while the member is engaged in military service to be extended by the member to terminate 10 days after the members's service terminates.

Violations of the Article are an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

Authorizes the Attorney General or any aggrieved servicemembers to commence a civil action against persons who violate this Act, and provides remedies for their respective suits. Authorizes the court to assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000 in a case brought by the Attorney General, and court costs and attorneys' fees in cases brought by aggrieved servicemembers. Supercedes any agreement that reduces, limits, or eliminates any right or benefit under this Article.

Recodifies GS 127A-41.1 as GS 127B-31 and deletes existing provisions and replaces it with the following. Allows, at any stage of any civil action or proceeding in which a service member engaged in military service is a party, a court to stay the action or proceeding on its own motion and requires staying the action or proceeding on application by the servicemember or a person acting on the member's behalf unless the member's ability to litigate is not materially affected by his or her military service. Applies during the servicemember's military service and within 60 days after service terminates. 

Enacts GS 127A-65 to direct the North Carolina National Guard to post a list of rights a servicemember or servicemember's dependent has under the state and federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act on its website. Effective October 1, 2019, and applies to contracts entered into, renewed, or modified on or after that date.

Amends GS 127A-111 to clarify that a no member of the NC National Guard can be forced to use (was, forced to exhaust) any of his or her vacation or accrued leave from his or her civilian employment for a period of active service.

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