WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Justice Department, Va. Towing Company Settle Lawsuit

May 2, 2012

The Justice Department said Tuesday that it has settled its lawsuit against a Norfolk company accused of improperly towing and selling military service members' cars while they were deployed.

Aristocrat Towing agreed to pay $75,000 in damages and repair the credit of 26 service members whose cars were towed and sold without obtaining court orders as required by federal law. The case began with a referral from the Navy to the Justice Department after Lt. Yahya Jaboori returned from Iraq to find his car had been towed and sold.

The lawsuit, filed in 2008 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, accused Aristocrat of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

"This settlement sends a strong message to businesses nationwide that the Justice Department will enforce the SCRA to protect against the taking of service members' property without first seeking court orders as required by law," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

In a telephone interview, Aristocrat vice president Earnest A. Cooper Jr. denied wrongdoing. The consent order filed in federal court said the parties wanted to "avoid costly and protracted litigation" and agreed the matter should be resolved without a trial.

Cooper called the case against his company "an absolute railroad job" and said the government wanted to make an example of him.

"I'm a straight shooter, and I've never seen the government just rip somebody apart for no reason," he said.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 149832755