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Washington
Appeals Court Gives Plaintiffs Standing In ATM Suit
WASHINGTON (8/7/13)--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit earlier this month overturned a 2012 decision which ruled that plaintiff Jarek Charvat lacked constitutional standing to file suit against First National Bank of Waterloo for violating the Electronic Fund Transfer Act as it applies to fee disclosure notices on ATMs.

The 2012 decision was made in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.

The Eighth Circuit court said the district court "erred in finding plaintiff did not have standing because he did not have an injury in fact; assuming without deciding that plaintiff waived the claim that the $2.00 fee he was charged constituted an injury in fact, plaintiff still had standing to pursue his claim against the defendants based on the informational injury he allegedly sustained because of the failure to post the notice."

Once Charvat alleged a violation of EFTA notice provisions in connection with his ATM transactions, he had standing to claim damages, the Eight Circuit statement read. "Further, the injury was fairly traceable to defendants' conduct," the statement added.

Charvat's lawsuit was one of many alleging that individual credit unions and other financial institutions violated EFTA by failing to provide fee disclosures at their ATMs. In some cases, plaintiffs vandalized or removed disclosure stickers from ATMs and then photographed the ATM. These photos were used as evidence of noncompliance in their court cases against individual institutions.

Last year, Regulation E was revised to require that ATM fee disclosures only need to be presented on an ATM's screen. The law eliminated a duplicative provision that required a physical notice also be posted on the ATM machine. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in March implemented a rule to eliminate redundant ATM disclosures.


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