Introduction to Class Actions
Class Action Settlements
Pending Class Actions
Class Action Case Proceedings
There is no way to join a class action as eligible class members are automatically included. Class members can opt out of the class and pursue their claims on an individualized basis. Unless they opt out class members are bound by the class action judgment, even if they never received notice.
In addition to cleaning up illegal leases, the Tenants' Project uses class action to establish favorable precedent. If the Iowa Supreme Court or Iowa Court of Appeals makes a ruling, for example, finding that automatic carpet cleaning clauses are prohibited under the Iowa Landlord Tenant Act, then that ruling becomes precedent for all Iowa district courts. If the Iowa Supreme Court makes a ruling in a published decision that is binding on all Iowa courts and for all citizens of Iowa.
In terms of sheer numbers and impact, the most important for the Tenants' Project is the Apts. Downtown class action settlement. This settlement, has been approved by the Court and covers tenants and subtenants with Apts. Downtown and Apts. Near Campus for the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 lease terms. This settlement is just for the use of illegal lease provisions, predominately carpet cleaning and does not cover any individualized charges for cleaning or damage. An estimated 14,000 tenants are eligible for a payment of $65 per year for each year they were a tenant during the four annual lease terms covered. For more information and to register for payment, go to the Apts Downtown Settlement Website. Here is the March 30, 2016 Iowa City Press Citizen Story and the March 31, 2016 Daily Iowan Story.
Also pending court approval is the Staley v. Barkalow Settlement . This settlement includes 2010-11 and 2011-12 tenants of Big Ten Property Management and TSB Holdings and provides for a $65 payment per year for each eligible tenant. For more information and to register go to .