The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge: Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr.
DATE: March 15, 2012 TIME: 10:00 a.m.
STIPULATION TO RESOLVE DAMAGES PORTION OF TRIAL
The Complaint in this matter was filed on August 2, 2007, against the County of Sacramento and certain of its agents and employees and the City of Sacramento and certain of its agents and employees and alleged that Defendants seized and destroyed property of homeless persons without providing notice of how the property could be recovered if, in fact, it was not destroyed, in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
The matter was certified to proceed as a class action on August 21, 2009. Plaintiffs and the Sacramento County defendants negotiated a settlement of plaintiffs' claims against the County and the Court gave its preliminary approval of a provisional Settlement Class and Settlement of the Class Action on November 12, 2009, and its final approval on March 29, 2010, at which time judgment of dismissal was entered as to the County of Sacramento Defendants.
The remaining parties continued to litigate the matter through a jury trial on the question of liability and on May 24, 2011, the jury returned a special verdict in favor of Plaintiffs. After the City's appeal of the verdict was dismissed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the matter was placed on the District Court's calendar for a Case Management Conference to address how the damages portion of the trial would be resolved.
Prior to appearing at the Case Management Conference counsel for the respective parties met and negotiated the outlines of a method to resolve the damages claims and this Stipulation encapsulates that agreement.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS STIPULATED AND AGREED, AS FOLLOWS:
1. "Administrator" means Gilardi & Co., LLC, P.O. Box 8060, San Rafael, CA 94912-8060, which company will provide notice to the members of the class and make claim forms available to be completed and returned to the Administrator which shall thereupon process the claim forms in accordance with the terms of this Stipulation. Upon certification of the Claims as provided herein, the Administrator will distribute payments to Class members whose claims were approved for payment.
2. The "Bar Date" is June 8, 2012. That is the date by which class members who wish to submit a claim and receive payment pursuant to the terms of this Stipulation must mail or deliver his/her Claim form. Claims not post marked or received by the Claims Administrator by the Bar Date will be declared "untimely" and be entitled to no payment and claims by such persons will be forever barred.
3. "Claim Form" is the form required to be used to make a claim for payment under this Stipulation for loss. A copy of the proposed Claim Form is attached hereto as Exhibit 2.
4. "Class Counsel" means the Law Office of Mark E. Merin, 1010 F Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814.
5. "Class Notice" means the notice in the form attached hereto as Exhibit 3 to be distributed, posted, published in newspapers serving Sacramento County and disseminated in ways designed to reach the class members.
6. The "Class Period" is August 2, 2005, through and including the Bar Date. 7. The "Claimants" means all of those persons who, while homeless during the Class Period, suffered the loss of personal property as a result of it being taken by Sacramento City Police, and/or Sacramento City agents or employees, and who did not recover such property.
8. "Special Master" means Retired U.S. District Court Judge, Raul Ramirez who shall have power to make all decisions in all matters relating to the administration and enforcement of this Stipulation, and to resolve all disputes between the Parties pertaining to the Stipulation of Settlement. The Special Master's decision concerning any aspect of all claims submitted, including whether such claim is "standard" or "significant," shall be final.
Notwithstanding this Stipulation, the City of Sacramento and its agents and employees deny all allegations of wrong doing and deny any liability to claimants. The parties have stipulated to the procedures by which claimants may file their claims and receive payments in stipulated amounts to avoid long and costly litigation of the damages portion of this trial and to avoid incurring additional legal fees and expenses incident to the trial of such claims. The parties expressly agree that, despite stipulation to the payment of the claims timely submitted, ...