HARRISBURG, Pa. – A federal judge in Harrisburg, Pa., has dismissed a lawsuit that had alleged a credit union violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFT) with improper ATM fee notification, saying in his ruling that the credit union showed undisputed evidence that an unknown third party had removed its posted notice illegally.
The suit was filed on May 24, 2011 by Gerald Rivello Jr., who withdrew funds from an ATM owned by Pennsylvania State Employees CU, a $3.8 billion asset credit union located in Harrisburg, on April 30, 2011, according to the court documents.
In the past two years, there has been a spike in the number of lawsuits filed by individuals against more than three dozen credit unions and banks based on missing ATM fee notifications. Some plaintiffs travel the country looking for ATMs without the proper notices attached, take photographs, and sue several financial institutions.
In this suit, Rivello, who was not a member of the credit union, alleged he was charged a fee for the transaction and alleged that at the time there was "no clear and conspicuous external notice at or near the ATM that a fee would or may be charged."
U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani, in a ruling issued March 28, ruled that Rivello failed to provide evidence rebutting the credit union's complete defense, citing section 1693 (h) of the U.S. Code, which says that if the required ATM notice has been posted by the operator in compliance with the law and the notice is subsequently removed, damaged or altered by any person other than the operator of the machine, the operator has no liability.
For more information and to read the rest of the judge’s ruling, click here for the full CUNA News Now story.