UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 6, 2005
KAARYN GUSTAFSON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF AMENDED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND SETTING FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING
The Parties appeared before the Court on December 1, 2004, and January 5, 2005. A proposed Amended Settlement Agreement (hereafter "Settlement Agreement") was submitted for preliminary approval at the January 5, 2005 hearing. The Parties were represented by their attorneys of record. Good cause appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The stipulated class definition set forth in the Settlement Agreement is approved as meeting the requirements of Rule 23(b)(2). The settlement class shall be defined as:
All UC Berkeley students disabled by mobility and/or vision impairments as defined under state and/or federal law who allegedly have been denied their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, California Civil Code §§ 51, et seq., California Civil Code §§ 54, et seq., California Government Code §§ 4450, et seq., and/or California Civil Code §§ 11135, et seq., to access to the programs, services, and/or activities of the University of California, Berkeley resulting from and/or relating to physical barriers.
2. The Settlement Agreement between the class and the University of California, Berkeley ("University") appears to be fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable and within the range of possible approval. Preliminary approval is therefore granted. Accordingly, the Settlement Agreement shall be submitted to the class members for their consideration and for a hearing pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e).
3. The Parties shall provide notice to the class as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Specifically, the notice set forth as Attachment H-1 to the Settlement Agreement shall be mailed to all known class members, and the notice set forth as Attachment H-2 shall be published as described in the Settlement Agreement. All notice shall be distributed no later than January 19, 2005. Proof of the giving of notice shall be filed with the Court no later than January 26, 2005.
4. Any class member may object to the proposed settlement by filing with the Clerk of the Court a written objection filed or postmarked no later than February 28, 2005. A written copy of any objections filed with the Court shall also be sent to class counsel as follows:
Stephen Tollafield, Disability Rights Advocates, 449 15th Street, Suite 303, Oakland, CA 94612. Any objections received or postmarked after the deadline may not be heard at the hearing for final approval.
5. Any response to any objection shall be filed by counsel for the Parties by March 11, 2005.
6. A fairness hearing shall be held before this Court in Courtroom G, 15th Floor, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94102-3483, on March 23, 2005, at 3:00 p.m. to consider whether the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should receive the Court's final approval.
7. Should the Court grant final approval after the fairness hearing, the Court will at that time and conditioned upon such final approval direct the filing of the amended complaint pursuant to the Parties' stipulation and grant Plaintiffs' uncontested motion for attorneys' fees and costs for work up through July 31, 2004.
United States Magistrate Judge
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