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Michigan court rules in DFCU Financial case
DEARBORN, Mich. (3/19/08--UPDATED 10:18 a.m. CDT)--A Circuit Court in Michigan has ruled that DFCU Financial FCU must hold a special meeting as demanded in a petition members presented during the credit union's earlier attempt to convert to a mutual savings association. "DFCU Financial recently received a copy of the decision by Judge Cynthia Stephens of Wayne County Circuit Court in which she ruled in favor of a petition submitted April 26, 2006, to hold a special membership meeting to recall the board of directors at DFCU Financial," said the credit union in a statement this morning. The credit union "is disappointed by and disagrees with Judge Stephens' decision, which fails to take into account events that have occurred since the lawsuit was filed in 2006. In particular, eight of the nine directors named in the recall petition have either resigned or been re-elected by the membership since 2006," the statement said. "DFCU Financial will continue to evaluate the court's decision and the appellate and other options available to it," the credit union said. The court also ruled in the Feb. 25 decision that the members of the Dearborn-based credit union had a right to inspect the credit union's books and records under state law. The court scheduled a hearing for March 25 to consider the reasonableness of the terms and conditions under which the inspection would occur and said the special membership meeting must take place within 60 days after the hearing. The Michigan Credit Union League said it hoped the matter would be resolved quickly and fairly. "We hope that this is resolved quickly and fairly in the interest of all the credit union's members who are being very well-served by their credit union," said David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League. He noted that DFCU Financial has had two years of strong, record patronage dividends. Last October, the credit union issued a dividend exceeding $17 million for the second consecutive year to nearly 134,000 members (News Now Oct. 25). "It serves no one's interest to have an extended battle," Adams said. "There is too much at stake in the Michigan economy for the state's largest credit union to be embattled for an extended time," he added. The league believes in the principles and rights of members and in observing the credit union's bylaws, Adams said, adding the credit union's "positive track record the past two years" should be considered and that the matter not be extended to "finish a crusade." Since the credit union dropped its attempt to convert to a mutual savings bank, it's not clear how the decision will play out. "We don't know what this means, but the members and the officials need to talk more and work things out," Adams said.


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