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Redland Ratepayer Class Action Investigation

Shine Lawyers are investigating a class action on behalf of Redlands ratepayers against the Redland City Council.

Redland City Council (RCC) has recently advised that the canal maintenance levy that it imposed on ratepayers in Redland was invalid. While the Council has refunded part of the moneys raised, Shine Lawyers are currently investigating commencing proceedings on behalf of ratepayers to recover the remaining amount. The RCC may be liable to ratepayers for the balance of moneys raised.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to join the class action, you must be living on a canal and have been subject to the canal maintenance levy. Please note that the eligibility criteria for the class action may be amended as investigations progress. We'll keep you informed if anything changes.

On Tuesday, the 5th of June 2018, Shine Lawyers hosted a Town-hall meeting to with dozens of residents from the Redland City Council area to answer any questions they may have had regarding the potential class action.

Who is Shine Lawyers' Class Action team?

Shine Lawyers' Class Action team includes some of the firm’s most experienced partners, associates, solicitors and support staff, including
researchers, law clerks and paralegals. The team handling the Redland Ratepayers Class Action includes:

Tristan Gaven
Tristan Gaven

Common questions about Redland Ratepayer Class Action Investigation

The proposed class action (the Class Action) is against the Redland City Council.

The Class Action is to be brought on behalf of ratepayers for the invalidly charged amounts paid for the canal maintenance levy. After further investigation, if enough claimants have signed up to make the Class Action viable, Shine Lawyers intend to issue proceedings in Court as soon as possible.

Sometimes a wrongdoing can affect more than one person. A Class Action is a legal case filed by a person, known as the Applicant, on behalf of themselves and a group of people, known as Members, suffering from the same wrongdoing.

Class actions are either “funded” or “unfunded”. A funded class action means that the Members do not have any out of pocket costs during the running of the claim or if the claim is unsuccessful. “Unfunded” class actions can leave Members liable for the legal costs of both running the claim and if the claim is unsuccessful. Nearly all major class actions in Australia are now “funded” actions.

Major and complex actions such as the Class Action are extremely expensive to run.

In a funded class action, a litigation funder takes over the costs and risks associated with running the class action in return for a commercial return. The way a funded class action practically works is that the litigation funder will pay part of the law firm’s legal fees and all the outlays needed to run the class action. The litigation funder also promises to pay any costs the Court might order against the Applicant, if the class action is unsuccessful. The law firm “carries” the remainder of their charges and any costs incurred before proceedings are also part of the “no win, no fee” arrangements.

If the claim is unsuccessful, claimants will not have to pay anything.

If the claim is successful, the funder receives a commercial return on its investment and the lawyers are paid the balance of their fees out of the settlement funds, before distribution to the claimants.

The Court has to approve any settlement reached before it is binding. The Court itself determines whether a settlement is a fair and reasonable compromise of the claims of the class members. It will also consider the legal costs, the terms of the funding arrangement and the overall outcome. The Court can decide to alter any of those arrangements.

No. If the claim is unsuccessful, the litigation funder will become liable to pay any adverse costs on behalf of all claimants and any costs the litigation funder has paid up until that point will not have to be repaid. Regardless of the outcome, the litigation funder and Shine Lawyers will only be repaid from any settlement proceeds, not out of the claimants’ pockets.

At present, to be eligible to participate in the Class Action, your property must be located in the Redland City Council region, and you must have paid a canal maintenance levy at any point between 2011 and 2017.

It may be that the eligibility criteria for the Class Action will change, depending on legal advice. If the criteria changes, we will let you know.

Shine Lawyers will continue to investigate the Class Action against the Redland City Council. If you are interested in participating in this potential Class Action, please register your interest with Shine Lawyers on the page above.

If you would like any further information at any stage, please contact Shine Lawyers at redlands.rates@shine.com.au

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