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Copyright (c) 2006 Curators of the University of Missouri
Missouri Law Review

NOTE: Special Statutes of Limitation and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: Case Closed?

Summer, 2006

71 Mo. L. Rev. 805


Alfred J. Ludwig


I. Introduction

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) 2 was enacted by Congress "to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service." 3 To this end, the SCRA prevents any period of military service from being "included in computing any period limited by law, regulation, or order . . . by or against the servicemember or the servicemember's heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns." 4

In State ex rel. Estate of Perry v. Roper, the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri applied the SCRA to prevent the application of a "special" statute of limitations contained in Missouri's Probate Code. 5 This note examines the court's decision and the policy implications thereof in light of the history of the SCRA and Missouri Revised Statutes section 473.050, the statute of limitations on presentment of wills under Missouri law.

II. Facts and Holding

Marvin J. Perry died on July 25, 2003. 6 His son, Paul E. Perry, filed a petition in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court of Boone County to enter a self-proving will into probate on September 9, 2004. 7 Perry claimed that, pursuant to the SCRA, his active duty service in the U.S. Army from January 8, 2003, to July 13, 2004, tolled Missouri's one-year statute of limitations applicable to presentment of wills and applications for letters testamentary. 8

One day after Perry ...
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