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Soldiers & Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA)
Chapter 7, Public Lands
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Purpose and Scope

Sections 501-505 of the Act [50 U.S.C. App. §§ 561-565] provide the service member who is a homestead or desert-land entryman, who has a mining claim, or whose widow has a claim to such land, with the right to obtain waiver of certain requirements as to occupancy and improvement of public lands

Rights to Public Lands Not Forfeited; Grazing Lands

Section 501

(50 U.S.C. App. § 561)

(1) No right to any lands owned or controlled by the United States initiated or acquired under any laws of the United States, including the mining and mineral leasing laws, by any person prior to entering military service shall during the period of such service be forfeited or prejudiced by reason of his absence from the land or his failure to perform any work or make any improvements thereon or his failure to do any other act required by or under such laws.

(2) If a permittee or licensee under the Act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269), enters military service, he may elect to suspend his permit or license for the period of his military service and six months thereafter, and the Secretary of the Interior by regulations shall provide for such suspension of permits and licenses and for the remission, reduction, or refund of grazing fees during such suspension.

(3) This section shall not be construed to control specific requirements contained in this article [App. §§ 560-574].

Homestead Entries and Settlement Claims; Service as Equivalent to Residence and Cultivation

Section 502

(50 U.S.C. App. § 562 )

If any person whose application for a homestead entry has been allowed or who has made application for homestead entry which may thereafter be allowed, after such entry or application enters military service, or if any person who has a valid settlement claim enters military service, the Department of the Interior shall construe his military service to be equivalent to residence and cultivation upon the tract entered or settled upon for the period of such service. From the effective date of this Act no contest shall be initiated on the ground of abandonment and no allegation of abandonment shall be sustained against any such person, unless it shall be alleged in the preliminary affidavit or affidavits of contest and proved at the hearing in cases initiated subsequent to the effective date of this Act that the alleged absence from the land was not due to such military service. If such person is discharged on account of wounds received or disability incurred in the line of duty, the term of his enlistment and any period of hospitalization due to such wounds or disability shall be deducted from the required length or residence, without reference to the time of actual service. No patent shall issue to any such person who has not resided upon, improved, and cultivated his homestead for a period of at least one year.

Next page > Death or Incapacity > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Above Information Courtesy of United States Army JAG Corps

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