The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan filed a lawsuit to recover damages from the COPOCO Community Credit Union, alleging that it violated the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by repossessing protected service members’ motor vehicles without obtaining the necessary court orders.The SCRA protects the rights of service members on active duty by suspending or modifying certain civil obligations. The law prohibits repossessing a motor vehicle from a service member during military service without a court order if the individual made a deposit or installment payment on the loan before entering military service. The department’s complaint alleges that COPOCO’s vehicle repossession procedures did not include any process to determine customers’ military status – such as checking the Department of Defense’s database – prior to conducting repossessions without court orders. The complaint also alleges that COPOCO illegally repossessed U.S. Army Private First Class Christian Carriveau’s car, along with his two-year-old daughter’s car seat, out of his driveway in Lacey, Wash., near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. His wife, Alyssa Carriveau, initially believed that the car had been stolen, but she subsequently learned that it had been repossessed. Private First Class Carriveau was away at military training at the time and Alyssa Carriveau was not able to get to work without the vehicle.
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