Towing company settles after illegally selling Active Duty Marine’s car

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a Press release On Tuesday, they had reached an out-of-court settlement with a towing company that allegedly sold a car belonging to an active-duty US Marine.

Black and White Towing Inc. in Los Angeles, Calif., agreed to pay $22,000 compensation to the Marine whose car was sold and $5,000 to the U.S. Treasury as a civil penalty. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which provides service members with housing and financial protections in several areas, it is illegal to auction off a service member’s car unless a court order is issued. is obtained. In addition to financial penalties, Black and White Towing will also need to adopt new policies and training to prevent this kind of mistake from happening again.

“When towing companies ignore their legal obligations under the Military Civil Assistance Act, it can have serious financial consequences for service members and their families,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Division of civil rights. “We hope this settlement will encourage all towing companies to review and improve their policies and ensure that the rights of all service members are honored and respected.”

The Justice Department said in a press release on Tuesday that they had reached an out-of-court settlement with a towing company that allegedly sold a car belonging to a US Marine who was on active duty. This is an image of a truck towing a car.
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The DOJ filed proposed settlement terms with the lawsuit on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges that a 2014 Honda Accord owned by an active-duty U.S. Marine was legally parked and unoccupied when it was struck by another car. Black and White towed the car to its parking lot in Pacoima, California.

The Marine was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif. She reportedly contacted Black and White towing to inform them of her military status and told them she would work with the driver’s insurance company to get her car back. However, before the company made arrangements to collect or inspect the car, Black and White Towing allegedly sold the car at auction without a court order, in violation of the SCRA.

The proposed settlement will need to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Newsweek contacted Black and White Towing Inc. for comment, but did not hear back before publication.

This is not the first time the SCRA has been called upon to help a military service member after a towing company illegally sold their car. In September 2020, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jennifer Ko received a $17,500 settlement through SCRA after Target Recovery and Towing in Tampa, Florida auctioned off her 2011 Nissan Versa while it was deployed in Okinawa, Japan.


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