James Liik, et als. v. New Jersey Civil Service Commission, et als.
Docket No. MER-L-3009-09, Superior Court of New Jersey Mercer County: Law Division
Click here to Read the Final Judgment and Order Approving Settlement
Who is Included?
The Settlement Class consists of all former Corrections Officer Recruit Trainees who completed Training Classes 173 through 219 (between 1999 and 2009) of the Corrections Officer Recruit Training Pilot Program Conducted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
What is this case about?
This Action alleges that the Defendants failed to re-authorize, by way of administrative rulemaking, the Corrections Officer Recruit Training Pilot Program (“Training Program”) after the expiration of one-year, and as a result, the participants in the Training Program were misclassified as “student/trainees” holding the rank and title of “Corrections Officer Recruit Trainees” rather than “employees” holding the rank and title of “Corrections Officer Recruit.” The Action seeks to recover back pay and benefits for all members of the Plaintiff Class who completed the Training Program. The Defendants deny any liability.
On February 11, 2013, the Court preliminarily approved a proposed settlement in this Action.
On May 14, 2013, the Court granted final approval of the class settlement.
What does the Settlement Provide?
Under the proposed settlement, the Defendants will establish a Common Fund consisting of $4,930,000 to pay members of the Plaintiff Class, plus a sum, not to exceed $1,055,000, to pay attorney costs and fees. The sum of $4,930,000 will be divided equally among the total number of members of the Plaintiff Class and will be treated as taxable income to recipients, subject to applicable local, state and federal income and payroll taxes, which will be paid out of the Common Fund, including the employer’s share of payroll taxes. It is anticipated that the settlement payment, before employee payroll taxes and income withholding are deducted, will be approximately $1,170 to each individual member of the Plaintiff Class who submits a Claim Form and Release and a Form W-4.
How do you Make a Claim?
To make a claim, you must submit a Claim Form and Release, along with a Form W-4, to the Claims Administrator on or before September 17, 2013. You can obtain these documents by clicking here or by writing to the Claims Administrator at:
NJ Officer Trainee Claims
c/o The Notice Company
PO Box 455
Hingham, MA 02043
Persons who fail to submit a Claim Form and Release and Form W-4 by September 17, 2013, will not be entitled to receive any payment.
What are your Options?
If you wish to participate in the proposed settlement, you must make a claim as described above. If you don’t want to be legally bound by the settlement, you must exclude yourself in writing by sending a written request for exclusion to the Claims Administrator so that it is received no later than April 22, 2013, or you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue the Defendants about the legal claims in this case. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the settlement by filing with the Court, with copies to Class Counsel and to counsel for Defendants, a notice of intent to appear and/or object, no later than April 22, 2013. The Detailed Notice describes how to exclude yourself or to object.
The Mercer County Superior Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 9:00 a. m. on May 14, 2013, at 175 S. Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08608. At the hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed settlement should be granted final approval as fair, adequate, and reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class as a whole, and whether to approve payment of attorney fees and costs. You may attend this hearing if you wish, but you are not required to do so in order to participate in the Settlement.
Please do not contact the Court or Defendant’s Counsel about this case.