The opinion of the court was delivered by: David R. Herndon United States Chief District Judge
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER
This matter coming before the Court on the Parties' Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Class Settlement Agreement ("Agreement"), the Court being fully advised in the premises, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. The Court finds that the proposed settlement is within the range of fairness and reasonableness and grants preliminary approval to it.
2. For the purposes of settlement, the parties stipulate to the certification of a class defined as:
All natural persons living outside Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties against whom a lawsuit was filed in Cook County by the Law Offices of Deborah S. Ashen, Ltd. on behalf of Persolve LLC between September 4, 2006 and September 24, 2007.
The class described above includes approximately 72 persons. Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC is appointed as class counsel.
3. A hearing on the fairness and reasonableness of the Agreement and whether final approval shall be given to it and the requests for fees and expenses by counsel for the class will be held before this Court on January 16, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.
4. The Court approves the proposed form of notice to the class, to be directed to the last known address of the class members as shown on Defendants' records. As set forth in the Agreement, Defendants will mail, or cause to be mailed notice to class members on or before November 12, 2008. Defendants will have the notice sent by any form of bulk mail that provides address forwarding mail to each address. Defendants will re-mail any notice that is returned with a forwarding address.
5. The Court finds that mailing of the class notice and the other measures specified above to locate and notify members of the class is the only notice required and that such notice satisfies the requirements of due process and Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(2)(B).
6. Class members shall have until December 29, 2008 to opt out or object to the proposed settlement. Any class member who desires to exclude him or herself from the action must mail a request for exclusion to Class Counsel by that date. Class Counsel shall forward all opt out requests to Counsel for Defendant. Any class members who wish to object to the settlement must submit an objection in writing to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis, and serve copies of the objection on counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendant by that date. Any objection must include the name and number of the case and a statement of the reasons why the objector believes that the Court should find that the proposed settlement is not in the best interests of the class. Objectors who have filed written objections to the settlement must also appear at the hearing and be heard on the fairness of the settlement.
7. Class members shall have until December 29, 2008 to request vacation of any judgments entered against them and/or the refund of any money collected from them in connection with the lawsuits filed by Defendants that were claimed by Plaintiff in this lawsuit to be unlawful.
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