BOSTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts today announced an agreement with PRTaylor Enterprises LLC, a company doing business as Father & Son Moving & Storage (Father & Son), to resolve issues allegations that she violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by failing to obtain a court order before auctioning off the contents of a US Air Force technical sergeant’s storage units while ‘he was deployed overseas.
According to the complaint, the technical sergeant’s property sold by Father & Son included military equipment and memorabilia belonging to a cousin killed in military action in Afghanistan, his grandfather’s military service medals and all of his furniture. and personal photographs.
The SCRA provides financial and housing protections and benefits to military personnel while they are in military service. One of the protections of the SCRA requires that anyone with a lien on a military’s property obtain a court order before auctioning, selling or otherwise disposing of that property. Under the agreement, Father & Son will pay the Tech Sergeant $ 60,000 in damages and the United States a civil fine of $ 5,000. Father and son must also implement some new policies to prevent future SCRA violations.
“It is wrong to auction off the property of a military member who serves our country overseas,” Acting US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell said. “The law protects military personnel from this type of abuse – they have more important things to fear when they are abroad risking their lives to protect our nation. We will aggressively uphold the rights of our military and hold those who violate SCRA to account. “
“The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously enforcing the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to protect the rights of those who sacrifice so much for their country,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Justice. “These regulations should send a clear message to all operators of storage facilities that they are prohibited by federal law from auctioning a member’s property without a court order.”
Acting US attorney Mendell and AAG Clarke made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the United States Department of Transportation, the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Torey B. Cummings of the Mendell Civil Rights Unit and Trial Counsel Tanya Kirwan of the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division handled the case. .
The Civil Rights Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office was established in 2016 with a mission to strengthen civil rights enforcement at the federal level. For more information on the Bureau’s civil rights efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/civil-rights.
This lawsuit was the result of a referral to the US Air Force Department of Justice. The Department’s enforcement of the SCRA is conducted by the Housing and Civil Law Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division in partnership with the 93 prosecutor’s offices in the United States, including the District of Massachusetts. Since 2011, the department has obtained more than $ 474 million in monetary relief for more than 120,000 military personnel through the application of the SCRA. For more information on the ministry’s SCRA enforcement efforts, please visit www.servicemembers.gov.
Service members and their dependents who believe their rights under the SCRA may have been violated should contact the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office. Offices can be found at legalassistance.law.af.mil.