Supreme Court Attorney Carson J. Tucker of Lex Fori PLLC filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court seeking to overturn Georgia’s dismissal of a military servicemember’s suit in the county of his official “home of record”, even though the servicemember was never domiciled or living anywhere else. Upon a change of duty station from Japan back to the United States, the servicemember filed for divorce in the county he designated as his home of record (HOR) when he joined the Marines at the age of 18. The Georgia state court refused to recognize his rights to file suit, which lead to him and his children being deprived of their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed and the state supreme court denied his petition to appeal.
The case is even more interesting because while the entire family was under a Mutual Cooperation Treaty between the United States and Japan and a “Status of Forces” Agreement (SOFA) was in place while they were located in Japan, the Respondent’s mother was Japanese and her father was also an active-duty American serviceman. Respondent attempted to use her status to stay in Japan with the children and refused to cede to the jurisdiction of the United States, even though she was a United States citizen, only, and was also subject to the SOFA agreement the entire time they lived in Japan.
The petition has elements of international treaty law as well as basic constitutional law principles of equal protection and due process. Another great petition on behalf of a military servicemember in need of assistance!