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Michigan Credit Union League

Michigan Credit Union League Files Amicus Briefs Supporting Two Michigan Credit Unions

Today, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) filed amicus briefs in Federal Court supporting Belle River Community Credit Union and Aeroquip Credit Union supporting their efforts to defend themselves against cookie cutter lawsuits alleging their websites are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The lawsuits allege that the defendant’s websites are not in compliance with the ADA, which was passed in 1990, literally decades before the development of the world wide web and widespread usage of the internet. While the Department of Justice (DOJ) has rulemaking authority under the ADA, to date, it has declined to exercise its authority. This has left even well-meaning credit unions trying to make good faith efforts to comply while fundamentally unsure about what efforts will bring them into legal compliance. This latest round of lawsuits seeks to exploit this uncertainty.

“Lack of guidance from the DOJ is forcing credit unions to waste money on litigation unnecessarily,” said Ken Ross, president/COO of the Michigan Credit Union League. “Community-based institutions like credit unions, trying to do the right thing, are being hamstrung by lack of regulatory clarity.”

On January 29, 2018, MCUL filed a similar amicus brief in support of American 1 Credit Union as it combats unsubstantiated complaints from the same plaintiff and California law firm. At the time of these latest filings, more than 20 Michigan credit unions have received demand letters from the same law firm alleging similar issues.

“MCUL stands behind its member credit unions,” Ross continued, “At the end of the day, this is a colossal waste of time and money — if we had a clear sense of what the DOJ considered good faith compliance, our members would have a path forward, rather than playing a legal guessing game on a case-by-case basis.”

MCUL’s amicus briefs, filed by Holzman Corkery, PLLC, are in support of motions to dismiss that were filed by attorney Joseph A. Starr of the law firm Starr, Butler, Alexopoulos & Stoner, PLLC.

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2018-02-16 00:00:00