Galveston, TX; August 11, 2023: Jeffrey Moats is suing the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for violating his right to a fair trial.

Jeffrey served as CEO of the Edinburg Teachers Credit Union for more than 25 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the credit union developed financial problems that resulted in the Texas Credit Union Department ordering the credit union into conservatorship under the NCUA. The NCUA dismissed Jeffrey when it took over the credit union’s operations as part of the conservatorship arrangement.

The credit union declined to pay Jeffrey post-termination benefits owed to him, and Jeffrey sued the credit union in state court to reclaim the $1 million payment that his contract guaranteed him. The NCUA then accused him of breaching his fiduciary duty to the credit union and unjustly enriching himself. The NCUA sought to prosecute the matter in an in-house tribunal.

“In-house tribunals, like the one Mr. Moats faces, bear only a passing resemblance to a real federal court if one squints very hard,” said Adi Dynar, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Real courts have a jury that decides the case with a presiding impartial and independent federal judge who gains nothing from awarding the government monies payable by the private party. NCUA’s in-house tribunal has none of that. Plus, NCUA’s in-house action is inherently partial because NCUA stands to gain millions of dollars from Mr. Moats if it decides the in-house case in favor of itself. Mr. Moats has a right to a fair and impartial trial in federal court.”

In-house agency adjudication discards impartial judges for administrative law judges who are employees of the very agencies whose charges they are supposed to adjudicate. It also discards the rules of evidence and procedure that have been fine-tuned over centuries to protect the rights of the accused. Finally, in-house tribunals ignore the Constitution’s requirement of a jury trial before the government can punish someone. All in all, in-house tribunals are an affront to the Constitution.

The case is Jeffrey Moats v. National Credit Union Administration Board, et al., filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

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Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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