United States District Court, N.D. California
November 18, 2005.
BONNIE TUCKER, PETER MENDOZA, CALIFORNIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND and CALIFORNIANS FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS, a non-profit corporation, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION, RUTH COLEMAN, and the STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES BREYER, District Judge
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CONSENT DECREE
The Joint Motion for Final Approval of Consent Decree filed by
the plaintiffs and defendants, respectively, came on regularly
for a Fairness Hearing on November 18, 2005, the Honorable
Charles Breyer presiding. Laurence Paradis and Stephen Tollafield
of Disability Rights Advocates appeared on behalf of the
plaintiffs and Caryn Craig of the State of California Attorney
General's Office appeared for defendants. Prior to this Fairness
Hearing on said Consent Decree, on July 8, 2005, the Court had
issued an Order to Reopen Case and For Preliminary Approval of
Consent Decree (the "July 8, 2005 Order"). Under the terms of the
July 8, 2005 Order and the proposed Consent Decree, defendants
were obligated to provide notice to class members of the proposed
Consent Decree on or before July 29, 2005. Under the July 8, 2005
Order, members of the plaintiff class who wished to submit
written objections or comments to the proposed Consent Decree had
to submit such objections or comments to the Court postmarked no
later than November 7, 2005.
The parties have complied with the notice requirements of the
July 8, 2005 Order. The Court received a written objection from
the Environmental Health Council in Reseda, California, regarding
the use of pesticides/herbicides in parks and the impact on
people with neurological diseases.
The Court has read and considered the Motions, Memoranda,
Declarations and Exhibits submitted by the parties, including
most importantly the proposed Consent Decree itself, as well as
the comments/objections to the terms of the proposed Consent
Decree presented by the Environmental Health Council and the
response thereto from the parties. Based on these considerations,
the Court hereby rules and adjudges that the proposed Consent
Decree is fair, reasonable and comports with the requirements of
Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and applicable
case law. Accordingly, the Court hereby GRANTS the parties' Joint
Motion for Final Approval of Consent Decree.
Additionally, the Court hereby GRANTS Plaintiffs' uncontested
motion for attorneys' fees and costs for work up through March 1,
2005. Pursuant to Section XV of the Consent Decree, Plaintiffs shall
file a request for dismissal of this action in its entirety with
prejudice, except that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over
this Consent Decree in accordance with its terms.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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