Welcome To The Staats v. City of Palo Alto Class Action Website
If you paid a Utility Users Tax to the City of Palo Alto as part of your monthly phone bill, your rights may be affected by a class action lawsuit.
- The City imposes a Utility Users Tax (“UUT”) on persons who use telephone service in Palo Alto. The UUT is collected by telephone service providers on behalf of the City, and included in your monthly telephone bill. Eileen Staats (the “Plaintiff”), a former Palo Alto resident, has sued the City of Palo Alto (the “City”) on behalf of herself and other Palo Alto taxpayers, claiming that between August 1, 2006 and December 18, 2014, the City’s UUT was unlawfully collected on certain tax-exempt telephone services. The City denies that any UUT was unlawfully collected.
- Judge Brian C. Walsh of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara is overseeing this case, which is known as Staats v. City of Palo Alto, Case No. 2015-1-CV-284956. The case has been “certified” as a class action.
- You may be part of the certified class if, between August 1, 2006 and December 18, 2014, you paid the City’s UUT on: (1) “flat-rate” mobile telephone service that entitles the subscriber, upon payment of a periodic charge determined as a flat amount or upon the basis of total minutes, to an unlimited number of calls in an identified region; (2) “flat-rate,” separately billed long distance landline telephone service that entitles the subscriber, upon payment of a periodic charge determined as a flat amount or upon the basis of total minutes, to an unlimited number of calls in an identified region; (3) per-minute mobile telephone service; and/or (4) per-minute long distance landline telephone service.
- The case has not yet gone to trial, and there have been no discussions regarding settlement. There is no money available now, and no guarantee that any money will be available in the future. However, your rights will be affected by the case, whether or not the Plaintiff’s claims are determined by the Court to be correct. Those rights are explained in this notice.
- You must now choose whether you want to participate in the lawsuit or not. To ask to be excluded, you must act by January 19, 2019.
- An Exclusion Form can be found here.
- A copy of the Notice can be found here.