Attorney General Frosh Obtains Restraining Order Against Prince George’s County-Based Swift Van Lines

Baltimore, Maryland – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed charges against Swift Van Lines, LLC (formerly known as Revolution Moving and Storage, LLC), a household goods moving company based in Hyattsville, and its owner, Juan Carlos Martinez, for charging consumers several times the amount the company estimated it would cost to move consumers’ goods, and then driving off with consumers’ goods if they did not pay the increased demand.

Under Maryland law, when a move takes place within the State, a moving company cannot refuse to deliver consumers’ household goods after they have been loaded on the truck. Maryland law also places limits on how much movers can charge consumers above their estimates. In most cases, movers cannot charge more than 125% of the estimate.

The Division obtained a temporary restraining order from Prince George’s County Circuit Court on November 21 that prohibits the company from failing to deliver consumer goods.

“Moving companies operating in Maryland cannot hold a consumer’s items hostage,” said Attorney General Frosh. “When moving consumers within the State, companies cannot exploit consumers either by charging substantially more than promised or by refusing to deliver household goods once they are loaded onto a truck.”

The Attorney General alleges that Swift Van Lines, LLC (“Swift”) gave consumers low estimates for moving services, but then drastically increased its prices after loading customers’ items onto its trucks, sometimes charging several times the estimate. The Attorney General further alleged that if consumers refused to pay the increased amounts, Swift refused to deliver the items and instead drove off with the goods still on its trucks.

The charges allege that Swift’s practices violate both the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and the Maryland Household Goods Movers Act. The charges seek an order that would permanently prohibit Swift and Martinez from refusing to deliver consumers’ goods and from committing further violations of law, as well as an order requiring Swift to pay restitution to consumers harmed by its alleged unfair and deceptive practices. The charges also seek to impose civil penalties for the alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

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