Huynh v. Sanchez et al
Order by Judge Lucy Koh Granting 139 Motion for Preliminary Approval; Denying as Moot 113 Administrative Motion; Denying as Moot 118 Motion in Limine; Denying as Moot 119 Motion in Limine; Denying as Moot 120 Motion in Limine; Denying as Moot 121 Motion in Limine. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Redline Copy of Amended Notice, # 2 Exhibit Redline Copy of Objection Form, # 3 Exhibit Clean Copy of Amended Notice, # 4 Exhibit Clean Copy of Objection Form)(lhklc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/15/2016)
NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION
Thanh Huynh, et al. v. Katherine Harasz, et al.
United States District Court, Northern District Of California
Case No. 14-CV-02367 LHK
You are receiving this notice because you are a class member in the above-captioned case
according to the following class definition:
“Santa Clara County Section 8 voucher holders who have disabilities and/or have family
members with disabilities who (1) made a reasonable accommodation request to the Housing
Authority of Santa Clara County (HACSC) for an additional bedroom between after July 1, 2013
and June 8, 2016, (2) had a documented and undisputed need for a separate bedroom, (3) were
denied a disability-related increase in the number of bedrooms by HACSC, (4) were not
previously granted a permanent reasonable accommodation request, (5) did not request the
additional bedroom for a live-in caregiver or for storage of medical equipment, and (6) have a
least one family member who is disabled.”
AS A CLASS MEMBER YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that:
The Plaintiffs in this case filed a court case against HACSC and Katherine Harasz, in her
official capacity as the Executive Director of HACSC on behalf of the class.
The Plaintiffs have reached a proposed out-of-court settlement with HACSC and its
Executive Director that will resolve all claims in this case. The attorneys for the Plaintiffs
may receive attorneys’ fees and expenses from this settlement.
This notice is to inform you about the settlement so you can make a decision about your
YOU HAVE SOME OPTIONS:
DO NOTHING If you read the notice and decide you agree with the settlement and are satisfied with
the amount of money damages listed in the chart in section 6(A), you don’t have to do
anything. If the Court decides that the settlement is fair, then you will be bound by the
If you agree with the settlement and are claiming additional money damages based on
homelessness, complete the “Claim Form” described in section 6(B).
If you read the notice and decide you do not agree with the settlement you can object.
In order to object, you will have to send a completed “Objection Form” described in
section 8 to the addresses on the form and let the Court know why you do not like the
settlement generally or any term or terms of the settlement.
GO TO A
The Court has set a date for a hearing at which you can tell her in person why you
don’t think the settlement is fair. The date, time and location of the Fairness Hearing is
described in section 9.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Why am I receiving this notice?
Federal law requires us to send you this notice because it is likely the settlement in this case will
affect your legal rights. This notice will tell you about the court case, the proposed settlement we agreed
to, and what to do if you agree or disagree with the settlement. You have a right to get this information
and give your opinion before the Court decides whether or not to approve the proposed class settlement.
The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court of the Northern District of, California.
United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh is the judge overseeing the case.
2. What is this case about?
In this case, seven (7) households (Plaintiffs) who have section 8 vouchers argued that HACSC
violated the law because it did not increase their voucher size to accommodate the Plaintiffs or their
family member’s disability. All of the Plaintiffs have persons who need a separate bedroom because of
their disabilities. All of the Plaintiffs had documented that a separate room was necessary.
3. Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called class representatives sue on behalf of all people who
have similar claims (a “class”). The Class Representatives in this case are THANH HUYNH, VENUS
BENABIDES; RUDY GARCIA; LYNDA GOMES; NICHOLAS WALLACE, a minor, by his guardian
ad litem, LYNDA GOMES; LILLIE WARE, STEPHEN JONES a minor, by his guardian ad litem,
LILLE WARE; DEHAB HAILE; and FREIHIWET TESFAMARIAM. Usually, class actions happen
when the same issue affects a lot of people and it wouldn’t make sense for everyone to file their own
4. Why is there a settlement?
The case did not get decided by the Court. Instead, the Plaintiffs and HACSC came to a settlement
agreement. This does not mean that HACSC admits that they did anything wrong. The Plaintiffs and
their attorneys think the settlement is fair and is in the best interests of everyone.
5. What are the terms of the settlement?
The settlement requires HACSC to change its policies related to disability-related reasonable
accommodation requests for an additional bedroom subsidy. Specifically, HACSC agreed that it
will no longer consider the living room as a bedroom when it is considering reasonable
accommodation requests. The settlement also requires that HACSC staff receive training on this
new policy. The settlement further provides that individuals with permanent disabilities that
require their own bedroom will not have to periodically re-certify the need for the additional
bedroom. You will be contacted by HACSC in writing with respect to your request for an
additional bedroom and should you continue to need and request an additional bedroom, a
determination will be made about whether your voucher will be changed to allow for the
additional bedroom; when you are contacted by HACSC, you will be advised about your rights
during this reasonable accommodation request process.
The settlement awards money damages to everyone on the list below. The total amount of
money damages for the class is $3,200,000.
The money damages will be split up based on many factors including: how much a household’s
rent increased without the voucher increase, when a household requested a reasonable
accommodation, and whether a household became homeless because they did not get a voucher
The attorneys who represented the Plaintiffs will be awarded $712,500 for their work on the
case. This amount is in addition to the damages mentioned above and will not come out of those
6. How much should I expect to get?
The chart below shows your minimum money damages amount by voucher number.
Voucher No. Damages
Voucher No. Damages
Voucher No. Damages
If your voucher number is not on the list contact the claims administrator KCC at the number listed in
section 14 below for more information.
B. You may also be entitled to more money damages if you were homeless between July 1, 2013, and
June 8, 2016. To make a claim for additional damages based on homelessness:
Complete the attached “Claim Form” and mail it to the address provided on the form.
Mail the “Claim Form” postmarked no later than ___________
Carefully follow the instructions on the “Claim Form.”
C. You may get more money damages if not all of the class members collect their allocated damages.
7. What if I want to stay a part of the case but I don’t agree with some parts or all of the
You have a right to tell the Court your opinion on the proposed settlement. To do this you must:
Complete the attached “Objection Form” and mail it to the addresses provided on the
Mail the “Objection Form” postmarked no later than ___________.
Carefully follow the instructions on the “Objection Form.”
8. How do I object to the settlement in person?
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on December 15, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. at the United States
District Court, Northern District of California, Courtroom 8, 4th Floor, 280 South First Street, San Jose,
California, 95112. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed settlement is fair,
reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may listen to
people who have asked to speak at the hearing. We do not know when the Court will make a decision on
the request to approve the settlement.
Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
No. You only have to come to the Fairness Hearing if you want to object to the settlement in
person. Remember, you can also submit your objection in writing by taking the steps above.
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you read the notice and decide you agree with the settlement, you don’t have to do anything.
If the Court decides that the settlement is fair, then you will be bound by the agreement and will receive
the minimum money damages discussed above. This also means that you cannot sue the Housing
Authority in the future regarding this same issue.
11. Do I have an attorney in this case?
Yes. The Court has appointed the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley to represent the Class. If
you want to be represented by your own attorney, you can hire one at your own expense.
12. How will the attorneys be paid?
Attorneys for the Class will request payment from the settlement of the case in an amount up to
$712, 500. This amount is separate from the $3.2 million in damages awarded to the class.
13. Where can I get more information?
If you have questions about this Class Settlement or this Notice, contact KCC LLC, the claims
administrator for this lawsuit. KCC’s address for this lawsuit is P.O. Box 40007, College Station,
TX, 77842-4007. The toll free telephone number is (888) 685-2279.
The complete terms of the settlement are at: www.lawfoundation.org/HACSCsettlement
You can also look the case up on the Court’s website here: https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov
14. What if I am not sure if I am a member of the class?
If you are not sure whether you are a class member, you can call the Claims Administrator KCC
LLC at P.O. Box 40007, College Station, TX, 77842-4007. The toll free telephone number is (888)
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT
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