George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

M-VETS Secures Landlord-Tenant Victory for Veteran Family

(From L to R: Former Student Advisors Casey Hunt and Michael Vlcek)

The Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (“M-VETS”) secured payment for a Veteran tenant and his wife on a $2,000 judgment rendered after a trial in the Loudoun County General District Court.  Though the judgment was entered in 2018, the Veteran family only recently received payment through the use of a lien placed on the landlord’s real property.

In May 2018, M-VETS, on behalf of the Veteran and his wife, filed a warrant in debt against the clients’ former landlords seeking the return of their $2,000 security deposit.  Former M-VETS Student Advisors Casey Hunt and Michael Vlcek successfully litigated the trial which resulted in the entry of a judgment in favor of the Veteran and his wife in October 2018 in the full amount of the security deposit, plus court costs and interest.

Though initial attempts to collect on the judgment failed, M-VETS filed a lien against the landlord’s real property in 2019.  Nearly five years later, M-VETS’s clients received payment after the sale of the landlord’s property in 2024.  Because post-judgment interest was awarded, the Veteran and his wife received over $2,700 after court costs and interest were calculated.

“The day we found M-VETS, we went from having exhausted all options to having a full legal team with a way forward,” said the clients. “The knowledge, professionalism, and tenacity of the M-VETS team was a blessing we will always be thankful for.”

“We are extremely happy to see this matter fully concluded for our clients,” said M-VETS Deputy Director Leigh Winstead.  “Particularly with security deposit disputes, it is usually cost-prohibitive for clients to retain an attorney because the attorneys’ fees outweigh the amount in controversy.  Our clinic makes recovery financially feasible for clients while providing hands-on opportunities for our law students to gain real trial experience.”

M-VETS provides free legal representation to veterans, active duty service members, and their families while allowing law students to gain practical legal experience under the supervision of practicing attorneys. M-VETS provides representation in a variety of matters including Virginia civil litigation matters, uncontested divorces, consumer protection matters, wills and powers of attorney, as well as assisting with matters before the VA and various administrative boards, including discharge upgrades, record corrections, military pay and entitlement matters, and VA disability benefit appeals.