Attorneys For DFCU Financial Members Await Hearing

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Attorneys representing members of DFCU Financial in a lawsuit against their credit union said they are hopeful that a hearing will be held sometime this month.

The members filed suit to force the credit union to hold a special meeting at which a recall of the board would be voted upon. The board had attempted to convert the credit union into a bank, but later withdrew the plan after members protested the move.

"We are awaiting word from the court as to when the hearing will take place," Bryan R. Walters, of Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, LLP, of Grand Rapids, told The Credit Union Journal.

He added that he expected DFCU Financial officials to file a brief in opposition to the motion prior to the hearing.

Walters and attorney Richard A. Kay, also of Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, filed papers in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, on May 24 on behalf of members Richard Sly, Northville Township, and Raymond Ward, Dearborn.

As longtime members of DFCU Financial, Sly and Ward contend personal damage as a result of the credit union's alleged breach of bylaws, misuse of CU funds and employees and failure to provide members access to records related to a proposed conversion attempt.

Sly and Ward have asked for preliminary injunctions requiring the defendants to provide notice of and hold a special meeting for the purpose of a recall vote of all nine directors, make records relating to DFCU's proposed conversion available for inspection and copying, and prohibit DFCU from using CU money and employees to sway members to vote against the removal of one or more of its directors.

Both plaintiffs have said they would not grant media interviews during the process. Walters also declined comment, explaining that he was respecting his clients' wish that the merits of the case not be discussed.

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