The Credit Union National Association and League of Southeastern Credit Unions – which represents CUs in Florida and Alabama – have filed a joint amicus brief supporting a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Alabama-based Naheola Credit Union.

Naheola is one of many institutions across the country targeted for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act on their websites. Less than a week ago the pair filed another amicus brief together, petitioning that a similar suit against The Infirmary Credit Union be dismissed.

CUNA and LSCU’s motion rests on the following claims:

  • The plaintiff lacks standing to file suit against the credit union;
  • A website is not a place of public accommodation;
  • Applying Title III of the ADA to websites renders the statute impermissibly vague in the absence of any implementing regulations by the Department of Justice
  • The court should dismiss the complaint pursuant to the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine.
Patrick La Pine, CUSC
Patrickl La Pine, chairman of LSCU

“The league and CUNA have made it a priority to support our credit unions in the face of wrongful allegations such as those set forth in these frivolous lawsuits using the Americans With Disabilities Act as a pretense to make money,” said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “We take the rights of disabled Americans seriously and we again ask the U.S. Department of Justice to set forth clear website guidelines.”

Mark Johnson, Naheola CU president and CEO, urged regulators to provide clarity on ADA.

“Credit unions are institutions built on service to our membership,” he said. “It is crucial that we have clear guidelines to meet ADA expectations and that the Department of Justice respond quickly so that we can continue to serve our members in every area of compliance.”

LSCU in a statement called on DOJ to take a number of measures to clarify the issue, including issuing a proposed rule so credit unions know what they must do to comply or, in lieu of a rule, issuing less-formal guidance, such as weighing in on litigation with an amicus brief or issuing a legal memo about the recent increase in litigation and provide additional clarity to help resolve it.

For more of Credit Union Journal’s coverage on how ADA suits are impacting the movement, click here.

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