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Federal Court Rejects Bank’s Bid To Block Debit Card Regulations

Posted  April 14, 2011

Judge Lawrence Piersol of the U.S. District Court for South Dakota has denied a motion by TCF National Bank to preliminarily enjoin the enforcement of anticipated regulations regarding debit card interchange fees.  TCF has appealed the denial of the preliminary injunction to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and has asked for expedited briefing and argument.

The judge took under advisement a motion by the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss the litigation – with the court anticipating further briefing on the motion after the Federal Reserve issues final rules pursuant to the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The Federal Reserve is expected to issue those final rules before July 21, 2011.

TCF National Bank, a unit of Minneapolis-based TCF Financial, filed a complaint last October claiming that the Durbin Amendment was unconstitutional.  TCF’s complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that no set of regulations the Board could adopt could pass constitutional muster.

TCF moved for a preliminary injunction, and was supported by amicus briefs filed by financial institutions.  The DOJ, representing the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency, opposed the motion for a preliminary injunction and moved to dismiss TCF’s complaint on the merits.  The Government’s position was supported by amicus briefs filed by merchant and consumer groups.

Constantine Cannon has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Retail Litigation Center.