Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?
  2. What is this Settlement about?
  3. What does the Settlement provide?
  4. How will the "Net Settlement Fund" be used to compensate Class Members?
  5. How do I qualify?
  6. What if I don’t submit a timely claim?
  7. How is my Pro Rata Share calculated?
  8. How is the size of my Pro Rata Share determined?
  9. What if I have moved out of the Township? Can I still file a claim?
  10. Can I exclude myself?
  11. Am I bound to the terms of the proposed settlement if I remain a class member?
  12. When is the Settlement Hearing?
  13. How do I obtain more information?
  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    You paid the Charter Township of Shelby for water and sanitary sewage disposal service at any time between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2020 and are a member of the Class. 

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  2. What is this Settlement about?

    A proposed Settlement in the amount of $6,000,000 has been reached with the Township in a class action lawsuit pending in Macomb County Circuit Court titled Staelgraeve v. Charter Township of Shelby, Case No. 2017-001775-CZ, presiding Judge Michael Servitto, challenging the retail water and sewer rates imposed by the City on users of its water and sanitary sewage disposal services.  The amounts Plaintiff and the Class paid or incurred between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2020.

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  3. What does the Settlement provide?

    For the purposes of the proposed Settlement, the Township expressly denies any and all allegations that it acted improperly, but, to avoid litigation costs, the Township has agreed to create a settlement fund in the aggregate amount of Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000) for the benefit of the Class (“Settlement Amount”).  The Settlement Amount will be utilized, with Court approval, to pay refunds or provide credits to the Class, to pay a potential incentive award to the Class Representative, and to pay Class Counsel an award of attorneys’ fees, the total amount of which shall not exceed 33% of the Settlement Amount, and expenses for the conduct of the litigation.

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  4. How will the "Net Settlement Fund" be used to compensate Class Members?

    Each Class Member’s share in the Net Settlement Fund shall be referred to herein as his, her or its “Pro Rata Share,” and each Class Member’s Pro Rata Share of the Net Settlement Fund will be distributed via a refund payment or credit.

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  5. How do I qualify?

    To qualify to receive a distribution of cash via check (a “Payment”) from the Net Settlement Fund, Class Members are required to submit sworn claims (the “Claims”) which identify their names, addresses, and the periods of time in which they paid the Water and Sewer (“W&S”) Charges in order to participate in the Settlement.  Class Members who submit Claims will hereafter be referred to as the “Claiming Class Members.”  The Claiming Class Members are required to submit those claims no later than November 16, 2020.

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  6. What if I don’t submit a timely claim?

    The Pro Rata Shares of the Net Settlement Fund for Class Members who/which do not submit a timely claim will be distributed in the form of credits on those Class Members’ water and/or sewer service accounts.   The Claims-Escrow Administrator will return those funds to the Township at least three (3) days prior to the Settlement Date (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) to be used solely to fund and provide credits on the water and/or sewer service accounts in the amount of those Class Members’ Pro Rata Shares.  Any Credit will attach to the account associated with the W&S Charges and will remain until W&S Charges accrued after the Settlement Date exceed the amount of the Credit.  The Township will apply the Credits as of the Settlement Date.

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  7. How is my Pro Rata Share calculated?

    The size of each Class Member’s Pro Rata Share shall be determined by (1) calculating the total amount of Charges the Class Member paid during the Class Period, and then (2) dividing that number by the total amount of Charges the Township collected from Class Members during the Class Period, and then (3) multiplying that fraction by the amount of the Net Settlement Fund.

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  8. How is the size of my Pro Rata Share determined?

    The size of each Class Member’s Pro Rata Share shall be determined by: (1) calculating the total amount of ater and Sewer (“W&S”) Charges the Class Member paid during the Class Period and then (2) dividing that number by the total amount of Stormwater Charges the City collected from Class Members during the Class Period and then (3) multiplying that fraction by the amount of the Net Settlement Fund.

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  9. What if I have moved out of the Township? Can I still file a claim?

    Yes. You may submit a claim online by clicking on the orange “File Claim” button on the top right of this webpage and following the steps outlined for you. Alternatively, you may download and complete a claim and mail it to:

    Staelgraeve v. Charter Township of Shelby Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 43501

    Providence, RI 02940-3501

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  10. Can I exclude myself?

    Class Members who wish to exclude themselves from the Settlement may write to the Administrator, stating that they do not wish to participate in the Settlement and that they wish to retain their right to file an action against the Township.  This proposed Settlement should not be interpreted, in any way, as suggesting that the claims alleged against the Township have legal or factual merit.  The Township has challenged the validity of Plaintiff’s claims, and many of the substantive legal and factual issues have not been resolved.  This request for exclusion must be received no later than November 16, 2020 and mailed to: Staelgraeve v. Charter Township of Shelby Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 43501, Providence, RI 02940-3501 or emailed to admin@shelbysettlement.com.

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  11. Am I bound to the terms of the proposed settlement if I remain a class member?

    By remaining a Class Member, you will be bound by the terms of the proposed Settlement and will be barred from bringing a separate action against the Township for the claims asserted in the Lawsuit at your own expense through your own attorney.  You will, however, receive your Pro Rata Share of the Net Settlement Fund via a Refund or Credit. If you were to successfully pursue such a separate action to conclusion, recovery might be available to you which is not available in this class action settlement.  Whether to remain a member of this class or to request exclusion from this class action to attempt to pursue a separate action at your own expense without the assistance of the Township in this Action is a question you should ask your own attorney.  Class Counsel cannot and will not advise you on this issue.

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  12. When is the Settlement Hearing?

    Pursuant to the Order of the Court dated September 17, 2020, a Settlement Hearing will be held in the Macomb County Circuit Court, 40 N. Main Street, Mt. Clemens, MI 48043 at 8:30 a.m. on December 21, 2020, to determine whether the proposed Settlement as set forth in the Settlement Agreement dated August 21, 2020, is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be approved by the Court, whether the Lawsuit should be dismissed pursuant to the Settlement, whether counsel for Plaintiff and the Class should be awarded counsel fees and expenses, and whether the Class Representative should receive an incentive award.  At the Settlement Hearing, any member of the Class may appear in person or through counsel and be heard to the extent allowed by the Court in support of, or in opposition to, the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the proposed Settlement.  However, no Class Member will be heard in opposition to the proposed Settlement and no papers or briefs submitted by any such Class Member will be accepted or considered by the Court unless on or before November 16, 2020, such Class Member serves by first-class mail written objections that set forth the name of this matter as defined in the Notice, the objector’s full name, address and telephone number, an explanation of the basis upon which the objector claims to be a Class Member, all grounds for the objection including any known legal support for the objection, the number of times the objector has objected to a class action settlement in the past five years and a caption of each case in which an objection was filed, the identity of all counsel representing the objector at the hearing, a statement confirming whether the objector intends to appear and/or testify at the hearing (along with a disclosure of all testifying witnesses) and the signature of the objector (not just the objector’s attorney) upon each of the following attorneys:

    Counsel for Plaintiff

    Gregory D. Hanley  

    Kickham Hanley PLLC

    32121 Woodward Avenue Suite 300

    Royal Oak, Michigan 48073

    Counsel for Defendant

    Rob Huth (P42531)

    Kirk, Huth, Lange & Badalamenti, PLC

    19500 Hall Road, Suite 100

    Clinton Township, Michigan 48038

     

    and has filed said notice, objections, papers and briefs, as to the Settlement with the Clerk of the Macomb County Circuit Court. Any Class Member who does not make and serve written objections in the manner provided above shall be deemed to have waived such objections and shall be forever foreclosed from making any objections (by appeal or otherwise) to the proposed Settlement.

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  13. How do I obtain more information?

    For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in the Lawsuit, including the terms of the proposed Settlement, you are referred to papers on file in the Lawsuit, which may be inspected during regular business hours at the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court for Macomb County, Michigan. You may also view the Settlement Agreement and other important court documents at ShelbySettlement.com and kickhamhanley.com. Should you have any questions with respect to this Notice of the proposed Settlement of the Lawsuit generally, you should raise them with your own attorney or direct them to counsel for the Class, IN WRITING OR BY EMAIL TO ADMIN@SHELBYSETTLEMENT.COM, identified as Attorneys for Plaintiffs, above. DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, THE CLERK OF THE COURT, THE DEFENDANT OR THE ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT.

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