A federal lawsuit in Norfolk has accused a towing company of illegally seizing and selling vehicles belonging to service members deployed overseas.

In the lawsuit filed on Friday, federal officials accuse Steve’s Towing of Virginia Beach of illegally seizing and selling vehicles belonging to seven service members, including a SEAL Team member while he was deployed overseas. Their car had Arizona tags and was towed from a parking lot across from team headquarters at Little Creek in January. While Steve’s Towing asked the Virginia DMV for vehicle records, it did not check with Arizona. Thirty-six days after towing the vehicles, Steve’s Towing filed liens $970 to cover storage charges for each vehicle.

Officials say the seizures violate the Civil Relief Act, which requires towing companies to get a court order before selling service members’ vehicles.

The lawsuit seeks damages for affected service members, a civil penalty, and a court order barring Steve’s Towing from auctioning off seized vehicles without court orders. The act prohibits the enforcement of storage liens while service members are deployed.

Hopefully, this is a lesson learned by this company to not take advantage of deployed service members and to do their due diligence before trying to sell cars belonging to active military members.