Cell Phone Fee Litigation Statewide — Municipalities

Cell Phone Fee Litigation Statewide — Municipalities

IMPORTANT

IMF LITIGATION UPDATE

The following information explains the rights,and liabilities of nearly 400 Illinois municipalities relating to the recently approved settlement in the PrimeCo. v. ICC Case. If your municipality is involved in this litigation, you will need to take action very soon including paying 70% of the wireless lMF your municipality collected. If your municipality cannot pay this amount by December 19, 2005, it must file a motion seeking an extension of time. For additional information regarding the settlement, please read the following notice.

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CHANCERY DIVISION

PrimeCo Personal Communications, et al., )
Plaintiffs )
V.
Illinois Commerce Commission and City of Chicago, )
Defendants.
___________________________________________
) No.98CH550O
Spillman, eial, ) Judge Patrick E.McGann
Plaintiffs )
V. )
Village of Skokie, et. al., )
Defendants. )

Notice of Wireless Class Action Settlement

This lawsuit relates to the Municipal Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (“Municipal IMF”) imposed on telecommunications bills from January 1, 1998 through February 7, 2002 (the “Class Period”). On July 28, 2005, the Wireless Plaintiff Class (defined below) and Wireless Defendant Municipality Class (defined below) reached a settlement, the terms of which are summarized below. This Notice of Wireless Class Action Settlement (“Notice”) contains important information regarding the Wireless Class Settlement in this litigation that affects your rights in connection with this lawsuit.

1. Who Should Read This Notice? This Notice is for municipalities that imposed the Municipal IMF on wireless telecommunications retailers, which passed the fee on to their telecommunications customers (“subscribers”) from January 1, 1998 through February 7, 2002. These municipalities comprise the Wireless Defendant Municipality Class defined as the following:

All municipalities within the State of Illinois, except the Village of Northbrook and the City of Chicago, that imposed a Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee pursuant to P.A. 90-154 on suppliers of telephone service, other than PrimeCo and US Cellular, which do not maintain any part of their telecommunication infrastructure, other than switching stations, as defined above, on or within the public way of said municipality;

Grove, East Moline, East Peoria, Elmhurst, Elmwood, Farmington, Forest Park, Forest View, Fox River Grove, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Godfrey, Grandview, Greenwood, Gumee, Harvard, Hazel Crest, Hebron, Henry, Hinsdale, Itasca, Johnsburg, Kewanee, Lake Zurich, Lake-in-the-Hills, Lakewood, Libertyville, Lily Lake, Lisle, Loami, Loves Park, Marengo, Marquette Heights, McHenry, Metamora, Minier, Minooka, Moline, Naperville, New Berlin, New Windsor, Newman, Nora, Normal, Northfield, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, O’Fallon, Olympia Fields, Oswego, Pawnee, Peoria, Pontiac, Richton Park, Riverton, Roanoke, Rock Island, Rockton, Roscoe, Roselle, Rosemont, Springfield, Vernon Hills, Villa Park, Wadsworth, Warren, Warrenville, Waukegan, Wenona, West Chicago, West Peoria, Westmont, Wheaton, Williamsville, Willowbrook, Wilmington (Will County), Windsor (Mercer County), Winfield, Wood Dale, Woodridge, Woodstock

Additionally, neither Chicago nor Northbrook are members of the Wireless Defendant Municipality Class.

3. What is this lawsuit about? This litigation arises from the Municipal Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Act (“IMF Act”). This legislation was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor of Illinois in 1997. The IMF Act authorized municipalities in
Illinois to impose a Municipal IMF on telecommunications providers and their customers. Municipalities were authorized to recoup one percent (1%) of the total charges on a telecommunications bill.

The Wireless Defendant Municipality Class includes municipalities that passed ordinances imposing a Municipal IMF on wireless telecommunications companies that provided service to subscribers whose billing addresses were within their boundaries. The Wireless Defendant Municipality Class collected the Municipal IMF through the telecommunications providers, who placed charges for the Municipal IMF on their customers’ bills. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit are telecommunications subscribers whose bills included a Municipal IMF. The Municipal IMF at issue in this lawsuit was terminated February 8, 2002, when the Governor of Illinois signed into law the Simplified Municipal Telecommunications Act. This lawsuit does not relate to any Municipal IMF or similar fee or tax imposed on or after February 8, 2002. This settlement also does not apply to litigation relating to the imposition of the Municipal IMF on landline telecommunications retailers.

4. What municipality and attorneys represent the Wireless Defendant Class? The Village of Skokie, over its objection, was appointed to represent the Wireless Defendant Municipality Class by the Court. The Court also appointed Jack M. Siegel as Defendants’ Class Counsel.
Mr. Siegel and Iain D. Johnston, both of Holland & Knight LLP, have represented the Wireless Defendant Municipality Class.

prosecuting the Class’ claims; expenses incurred in sending the Wireless Plaintiff Notice of Class Action Settlement; an incentive award for the Wireless Plaintiff Class Representative(s) (not to exceed $5,000 per representative); and the reimbursement in an amount not to exceed $60,000 for expenses the Village of Skokie has incurred, which expenses are found by the Court to have benefited the Wireless Plaintiff Class.

8. How much will Wireless Plaintiff Class Counsel Receive? Wireless Plaintiff Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees for work performed in the prosecution of this action on behalf of the Wireless Plaintiff Class in an amount not to exceed one- third (33&l/3% ) of the Settlement Fund. Wireless Plaintiff Class Counsel will also apply for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the prosecution of this action. Any award of attorneys’ fees for or reimbursement of expenses to Wireless Plaintiff Class Counsel must be approved by the Court.

9. How much will the Defendant Class Counsel receive? Defendant Class Counsel will receive no
remuneration from this Settlement. But Wireless Defendant
Municipality Class Members may be subject for payments
for defense costs pursuant to this Court’s orders of March
28, 2003 and August 5, 2003. Wireless Defendant
Municipality Class Members that have already contributed
to the defense of this litigation pursuant to the
intergovernmental agreement will not be required to pay
additional defense costs.
10. Will my municipality be giving up any rights by
participating in the Wireless Class Settlement? Yes, by
participating in this Wireless Class Settlement, your
municipality will give up its right to further litigate this case
in connection with any Municipal IMF imposed on wireless
telecommunications bills for services provided during the
period January 1, 1997 through February 7, 2002.
11. Does my municipality need to do anything after
receiving this Notice? If your municipality does not want
to object to this settlement, then it does not need to do
anything upon receipt of this Notice. If your municipality
does not object to the Wireless Class Settlement in the
manner and time specified in Section 12, then it will not be
able to thereafter object to or attempt to modify the terms of
the Class Action Settlement set forth in this Notice and will
be bound to this settlement.
12. What if my municipality wants to object to the
terms of this Wireless Class Settlement? If your
municipality wants to object to the terms of the Wireless
Class Settlement discussed in this Notice, it or its counsel
must set forth in writing the reasons why it is objecting to
this Wireless Class Settlement. The written objection must
be filed with the Court at the Clerk of the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, Room 800, Richard J. Daley Center,
Chicago, Illinois 60602, on or before September 30, 2005.
Your municipality must serve a copy of your written
objection upon the following counsel:

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