Stern v Leaning Tree Chute LLC & Reside Living LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. What is this class action lawsuit about?

Answer:

On December 28, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiffs’ class action complaint alleged that Defendants violated the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”) by failing to attach to leases and renewals the required RLTO Summary and/or Separate Summary containing the security deposit interest rates pursuant to RLTO Section 5-12-170. Defendants did not collect security deposits. The Plaintiffs and Defendants have reached a proposed settlement of the Lawsuit. The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement, has appointed Aaron Krolik Law Office, P.A., and Mark Silverman Law Office Ltd. as counsel for the class (“Class Counsel”), and has approved the Notice and Claim Form. This website explains the nature of the Lawsuit and the terms of the Settlement, and informs you of your legal rights and obligations.

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2. When and where is the final fairness and approval hearing?

Answer:

A hearing will be held by the Court to consider the fairness of the proposed Settlement and to decide whether to issue a final approval of the Settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including the amount of the Attorneys’ Fees and Costs awarded. The hearing will take place before the Honorable Judge Sophia Hall on MAY 31, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 2301 of the Richard J Daley Center, Chicago, IL 60602. 

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3. What are the benefits under the settlement?

Answer:

1.  You will receive $70 per lease or renewal paid to each person who was initially offered a rental agreement and/or renewal at any affected property under a Defendant’s management within the two (2) year time period before the case was filed. The payment is in the form of a check mailed to the last known address of that person (i.e. you), as updated by that person in response to the class notice, or, as found in the records of Defendants. Each lease or renewal shall be the source of a total recovery of $70, such that multiple individuals under the same lease or renewal shall be treated as one Class Member, and entitled jointly to one total payment of $70 to be divided equally between all of the claimants who submit claims and who have claims under the same lease or renewal. Further, each Class Member will be entitled to a total recovery of $70 for any and all leases and renewals at any affected property.

2.  The Claim Form available in the important Documents section of this website is required for Class Members to file a claim and the Class Notice that advises them that they should update their address to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel.  Class Members must file a claim within the Notice Period, or, submit a written exclusion or objection to both counsel within that same period of time.  Any non-response will be deemed a waiver of your claim.

3.  If a Class Member submits a timely signed claim form and provides an address, then Defendants shall, after 30 days after entry of an order granting Final Approval, mail a check in the amount of $70 per rental agreement or renewal to each Class Member’s address on his/her claim form.

4.  Checks shall all indicate on their face that they shall be void after 90 days.  After checks become void the funds included in any such checks shall become deemed “unclaimed” funds.

5.  Any funds that would have been payable to any Class Members that submit timely exclusions shall also become deemed “unclaimed” funds.

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4. How will Plaintiffs and class counsel be paid?

Answer:

Recovery to Plaintiffs: Subject to Court approval, Plaintiffs shall receive a mutual release of any and all claims against them. This agreement reflects both the sums that Plaintiffs claimed as a member of the Class as well as an incentive award in connection with Plaintiffs’ services as representatives of the Class during the pendency of this Litigation.

Attorney’s Fees and Costs: Class Counsel Aaron Krolik Law Office P.A. and Mark Silverman Law Office Ltd. have requested that the Court award attorneys’ fees and costs payable by Defendants in the amount of $66,000 subject to the Court’s approval. This request is based on the litigation costs incurred and the amount of hours worked by Class Counsel at their normal hourly rate. The costs of administering the Settlement Agreement are to be reimbursed or paid by the Defendants.

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5. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue the defendant for the same thing later?

Answer:

No. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will be part of the Class and bound by the Settlement. Regardless of whether you submit a Claim Form, if you stay in the Class you will release the Defendant for all claims that you may have had, as of the date of Final Approval of this Settlement, which is anticipated to be MAY 31, 2019, arising out of your relationship with Defendant (except for claims of bodily injury).

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6. What to do if you wish to receive money from the settlement?

Answer:

If you wish to obtain the benefits of the Settlement, and you are a Class Member, then you must submit a completed Claim Form, by U.S. mail, or email, to the Third Party Administrator (“TPA”) for the notice, claims, and payment of the Settlement in this Litigation. You can submit by mail to: Stern v. Reside Settlement, c/o Third Party Administrator, PO Box 58201, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8201, or by email to info@sternsettlement.com.  If you submit the Claim Form by email, it must be received by the Third Party Administrator no later than APRIL 29, 2019; if you submit the Claim Form by mail it must be postmarked no later than APRIL 29, 2019.

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7. Do I have a Lawyer in this case?

Answer:

REPRESENTATION BY CLASS COUNSEL – OR YOUR OWN ATTORNEY: As a member of the Class, your interests will be represented by the attorneys for Plaintiffs without any additional charge to you. If you wish to participate on your own or through your attorney, an appearance must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Chancery Division, by APRIL 29, 2019. If you participate through your own attorney, it will be at your expense.

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8. What to do if I wish to object to the settlement?

Answer:

If you object to the Settlement and do not wish to exclude yourself from the Class Action, you must submit your objection in writing to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Richard J Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602. The objection must be mailed to the Clerk of the Circuit Court postmarked on or before APRIL 29, 2019. Your objection must include the name and case number and the reasons for your objection. On the same date that you mail your objections to the Clerk of the Court, you must also mail copies of that objection to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel, as follows:

Class Counsel:

Mark Silverman Law Office, Ltd. 
225 W. Washington St.   
Suite 2200     
Chicago, IL 60606

Aaron Krolik Law Office, P.A.
225 W. Washington St.   
Suite 2200     
Chicago, IL 60606 

Defense Counsel:

Ms. Margaret Fitzsimmons and Mr. Josh Kantrow
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
550 West Adams Street
Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60661

Your written objections must include detailed reasons explaining why you contend that the Settlement should not be approved. It is not sufficient to simply state that you object. Provided that you have submitted a written objection, you may also appear at the Final Fairness and Approval Hearing.

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9. What to do if you wish to be excluded from the settlement?

Answer:

You have the right to exclude yourself from both the Class and the Settlement by submitting a written request for exclusion by US mail to Stern v. Reside Settlement, c/o Third Party Administrator, PO Box 58201, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8201 so that it is postmarked on or before April 29, 2019, or by email to info@sternsettlement.com so that it is received on or before APRIL 29, 2019. Your request for exclusion must state your name, address, and the name and number of the case, and a statement stating you wish to be excluded.

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10. What if the settlement is not approved?

Answer:

If the Settlement is not approved, the case will proceed as if no settlement had been reached. There can be no assurance that, if the Settlement is not approved, the Class will recover more than what is provided in the Settlement or, indeed, anything at all.

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11. How do I get more information?

Answer:

The description of the case on this website is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings thus far. In order to see the complete file, including a copy of the Settlement Agreement, you may visit the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Richard J Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602, Room 802, where you may inspect and/or copy the court file for this case at your own expense.


PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE JUDGE'S CHAMBERS

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by the Third Party Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please email: info@sternsettlement.com.

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline.

    Monday, April 29, 2019 You must complete and mail your request for exclusion form so that it is postmarked no later than Monday, April 29, 2019.
  • Objection Deadline.

    Monday, April 29, 2019 You must mail your objection(s) and/or notice of intent to appear at the Final Fairness and Approval Hearing so that it/they are postmarked no later than Monday, April 29, 2019.
  • Claim Form Deadline.

    Monday, April 29, 2019

    You must submit your Claim Form by US Mail so it is postmarked on or before Monday, April 29, 2019, or submit the completed Claim Form by email so it is received on or before Monday, April 29, 2019.

  • Final Fairness and Approval Hearing Date.

    Friday, May 31, 2019 The Final Fairness and Approval Hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:00 am . Please check this website for updates.

Important Documents

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