Hannah Magee Portee - Mike Morath (W.D. Tex.)
On November 20, 2023, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and entered a final judgment in favor of the plaintiff in Portee v. Morath et al. in the Western District of Texas. This is the first case brought nationwide under a new Servicemembers Civil Relief Act’s (SCRA) provision that guarantees the portability of certain professional licenses held by U.S. servicemembers and their spouses when they relocate pursuant to military orders. In its order, the court held that Texas state licensing authorities violated the SCRA by refusing to recognize plaintiff’s out-of-state licenses because she had not used them continuously for the two years preceding her relocation to Texas. The judgment followed the court’s July 21, 2023 order granting the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The United States had filed a Statement of Interest on July 13, 2023, arguing that plaintiff was likely to succeed on the merits of her claim that her school counseling licenses are covered under the new provision, vigorous enforcement of the provision serves the public’s exceptionally strong interest in national defense and military readiness, and plaintiff had standing to bring her case.