D.P. MARSHALL, Jr., District Judge.
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Status reports addressed. Any objection to CAA expenses due by 28 April 2015. Revised proposed notice due by 1 May 2015. Joint motion, No. 191, granted.
NOTICE TO COVINGTON CLASS MEMBERS
You may be eligible for compensation. A tentative settlement has been reached. The City of Helena-West Helena and Phillips County will contribute to a settlement pool in the amount of $275,000, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs. This agreement caps the City and County liability at $275,000, plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. All Class members' fines and costs within control of the City and County will be forgiven as of the date of Judgment. Court costs are controlled by the State of Arkansas and cannot be bound by this agreement. The County and City will make best efforts to see that court costs will also be alleviated for all members of the class.
1. Class Action Claims
Your rights may be affected by this Class Action. Gary Covington has brought this lawsuit against Phillips County and the City of Helena-West Helena. He alleges that the County and the City failed to provide a prompt first appearance in court (within 72 hours of arrest) to pretrial detainees at the County jail. Covington claims the City and the County violated the U.S. Constitution. He seeks damages for himself and others who were allegedly denied a prompt first appearance. The Court has held Phillips County liable for its violation of the Constitution. The City denies that it violated the Constitution and denies any liability to Covington and other pretrial detainees. A trial was scheduled to resolve the City's potential liability. However, all the parties have negotiated a settlement, subject to the Court's approval and any objections Class Members may have.
2. Location of Lawsuit
This Class Action is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The purpose of this Notice is to tell you about the Class claim described in paragraph 1. This Notice is sent for the sole purpose of informing you that this case is pending and a tentative settlement has been reached— so you can decide whether to participate in this case or not. If you wish to participate in this settlement, you must file a claim by August 1, 2015.
3. Attorney Fees & Costs
Under the settlement, the County and the City have agreed to pay Class Counsel reasonable attorney's fees and costs, as approved by the Court. No other fees or costs will be charged to Class members.
4. Class Representatives & Class Attorney
The Court has approved Gary Covington as Class Representative. Under the Settlement, the parties propose to pay him a Class Incentive of $35,000.00. Mr. Covington has also agreed to release all claims he may have against the County and the City. The Court has also approved a Class Attorney. He is:
If you decide to remain a member of the Class and wish to communicate with the Class Attorney, you may do so by writing to him.
5. Proposed Settlement
6. Rights and Obligations of Class Members
7. Further Proceedings
If you fail to file a claim postmarked or received by August 1, 2015, you will receive nothing. Once a claim is filed, all claims will be verified. YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM BY AUGUST 1, 2015 TO RECEIVE ANY MONEY FROM THE CLASS FUND. IN ORDER TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT, YOU MUST FILE AN OBJECTION with the court BY AUGUST 1, 2015. Under the terms of the settlement, Plaintiff is entitled to a refuse to settle, should the pool be insufficient to fund the verified claims or Plaintiff can ask Judge Marshall to prorate the claims. If the Plaintiff does not ask for proration or Judge Marshall refuses to prorate the claims, then the City or County can walk away, if the claims exceed the fund. The Court will hold a hearing to evaluate the fairness of the proposed settlement. You have every right to be heard at this Hearing. This hearing is scheduled for _________.
8. Contact Information
Any questions you have concerning the matters contained in this Notice should not be directed to the Court. They should be directed in writing to ___________. You may write to the Claims Administrator at __________. Additionally, you may learn more about the Class Action online at _______________ or by calling 1-888-287-1637. The pleadings and other records in this case may be examined and copied at any time during regular office hours at the office of the Clerk of the United States District Court, 600 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas.
9. Reminder at to Time Limit
If you wish to receive any money from the Covington Class fund described in paragraph 1, return the completed Claim Form to ________________, by mail postmarked on or before __________________. [Form Missing]
YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM BY AUGUST 1, 2015 TO RECEIVE ANY MONEY FROM THE CLASS FUND. IN ORDER TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT, YOU MUST FILE AN OBJECTION BY BY AUGUST 1, 2015.