DOJ lawsuit regarding servicemembers’ vehicles dismissed by court
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, April 11, 2018
Honolulu – On Monday, Hawai‘i U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson approved the Joint Stipulation to Dismiss submitted by the U.S. Justice Department, All Island Automotive Towing and the city, and dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in United States v. City and County of Honolulu on February 15, 2018, for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in the city's auction of vehicles registered to active-duty servicemembers without court orders or waivers from the servicemembers.
The city fulfilled the terms of the settlement agreement that required payments to three of the affected servicemembers, a payment of a $60,788 civil penalty to the United States, and the establishment of a $150,000 settlement fund for other affected servicemembers, who may be eligible to receive compensation. The Joint Stipulation and Order for Dismissal is attached.
“The City and County of Honolulu is pleased that the lawsuit has been dismissed,” said Sheri Kajiwara, Director of the Department of Customer Services. “We are moving forward to address the abandoned vehicle issues, including the removal of abandoned vehicles from city streets, and we are considering measures, such as stricter penalties, to discourage vehicle abandonment. We are also sharing information with the public about how to properly dispose of vehicles. The city is grateful for the continued assistance from military leaders stationed on O‘ahu in locating and obtaining waivers from servicemembers whose vehicles are in the city’s custody.”
The Department of the Corporation Counsel will seek authorization from the Honolulu City Council to obtain court orders allowing the city to dispose of vehicles registered to active-duty servicemembers who cannot be located.
See full Order for Dismissal.
Feb 13, 2018: City Agrees to Stop Illegally Towing Cars Belonging to Deployed Military Personnel