Sunday, July 14, 2024

Legals for February, 28 2024

| February 28, 2024 12:00 AM

NO. 2739 NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION Beck, et al. v. City of Whitefish Case No. CV 22-44-M-KLD United States District Court for the District of Montana THIS IS A NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION LITIGATION THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU BORE THE COST OF WATER AND/OR WASTEWATER IMPACT FEES PAID TO THE CITY OF WHITEFISH TO DEVELOP PROPERTY YOU OWNED UNDER ITS EFFECTIVE RATES FROM JANUARY 1, 2019, TO DECEMBER 31, 2023. The United States District Court for the District of Montana in the Missoula Division (the “Court”) authorized this notice but has not yet decided on the merits of the claims made in the above-referenced litigation. • In Montana, impact fees are charges “imposed upon development by a governmental entity as part of the development approval process to fund the additional service capacity required by the development.” Montana Code Annotated Section 7-6-1601(5). • The City of Whitefish (the “City”) charges impact fees for development within Whitefish city limits, including new construction, remodels, and renovations. The City conditions its issuance of building permits on payment of these fees, if applicable. • In 2022, several persons and entities (the “Plaintiffs”) who had paid impact fees to the City to develop their properties filed this lawsuit claiming that, since 2019, the City has charged excessive water and wastewater impact fees in violation of the United States Constitution and Montana law.  • On September 29, 2023, the Court entered an order allowing the lawsuit to proceed as a class action. • A class action is a case in which one or more persons sue on behalf of other people who have substantially similar claims. Those people together are a “Class” and anyone within the Class is a “Class Member.” • The Court has defined the Class in this lawsuit as:  All persons or entities who bore the cost of impact fees for water and wastewater services to the City of Whitefish from January 1, 2019, to the present. • The Court has appointed the Plaintiffs’ lawyers in this lawsuit as Class counsel to represent the interests of the entire Class. • Class Action Notice letters are being sent out to potential Class Members who owned property for which water and/or wastewater impact fees were paid between January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023, and whose last known mailing address could be obtained. If you believe you or your company is a potential class member and you did not receive a mailed or emailed notice letter, please contact the Class counsel whose information is provided at the end of this notice. OPTIONS AND LEGAL RIGHTS OF POTENTIAL CLASS MEMBERS: 1. If you so request, by completing and submitting a “CLASS OPT OUT FORM” on or before March 18, 2024, the Court will exclude you from the Class, and therefore from this litigation. 2. If you do not opt out of the Class, you will remain a potential Class Member. The final judgment, whether favorable to the Class Members or against them, will be binding on all Class Members who do not opt out of the Class by requesting exclusion. 3. As a potential Class Member, more information may be required of you to determine your eligibility to receive refunds for any impact fee amounts ultimately deemed unlawful by the Court. Please complete and submit a “CLAIM INFORMATION FORM” to receive updates on the lawsuit and ensure you can be easily contacted if more information is needed from you. 4. Any Class Member who does not opt out of the Class will be bound by any judgment rendered by the Court, whether favorable to the Class or the City. Class members may still choose to acquire their own lawyer to represent their interests in this lawsuit. ***Forms can be found and completed online at CLASS COUNSEL CONTACT INFORMATION Email Laird Cowley, PLLC Phone: (406) 541-7400 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4066 Missoula, MT 59806 Attorneys: Cory Laird Lindsay Mullineaux Riley Wavra Kovacich Snipes Johnson, PC Phone: (406) 500-5000 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2325 Great Falls, MT 59403 Attorneys: Mark Kovacich Caelan Brady A class action website with more information on the lawsuit and important case filings is also being maintained at Jan. 24, 31 and Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 and March 6, 13, 2024 MNAXLP __________________________