CUNA, along with the Ohio Credit Union League, attended Thursday’s arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The cases are Brintley v. Aeroquip CU and Brintley v. Belle River Community Credit Union, two Michigan-based credit unions hit with frivolous lawsuits claiming website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
CUNA filed amicus briefs with the Michigan Credit Union League supporting the credit unions’ appeal of the denial of their motion to dismiss.
Credit unions around the country have faced lawsuits due to uncertainty about how the ADA applies to websites, and in addition to its work in the legal arena, CUNA is pursuing solutions with Congress and the Department of Justice.
During Thursday’s proceedings, each party was given 15 minutes to present arguments and answer questions from the panel.
Defendants’ attorneys emphasized that credit unions’ field-of-membership requirements are “neutral legal barriers” to the plaintiff’s access to credit unions’ services and argued that the previous denial of the defendants’ motion to dismiss was erroneous and disregarded well-established requirements for establishing standing.
CUNA, Leagues and credit unions have achieved two previous appellate-level victories in similar suits, the first in the Fourth Circuit in January and the second in the Seventh Circuit in July. Such victories create binding precedent in their respective circuits.
Efforts to find a solution include CUNA meetings and communications with the Department of Justice and CUNA/League engagement with policymakers resulting in both members of the House and Senate, as well as 19 state attorneys general, writing to the agency calling for a solution.