FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 22, 2013
CONTACT: Michael Connelly, Executive Director,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (214)731-6280
The United States Justice Foundation (USJF) has filed the first of several lawsuits against the Veterans Administration (VA) involving the VA’s violation of Constitutional rights of veterans guaranteed by the Second and Fifth Amendment.
The initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests sent to the agency under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) rules, regulations, and criteria for making “determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient” and copies of all rules, regulations and criteria used by the VBA to determine that a veteran found incompetent for any reason can be “prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.”
The statutory deadline for the VA to respond has passed so this litigation has become necessary.
Michael Connelly, Executive Director, said, “The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition. This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.”
The suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The USJF is also filing additional lawsuits on behalf of individual veterans whose Constitutional rights have been forfeited due to the actions of the VA. Connelly said that “the USJF will not charge the veterans or their families any fees or expenses for its representation. As a veteran myself I know that America’s heroes, many of them recovering from wounds do not need the additional pressure of having to pay to defend their rights.”
The USJF is a nonprofit, public interest, legal action organization, dedicated to instruct, inform, litigate, and educate the public on significant legal issues confronting the United States.