1. Why is the Notice being provided?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. What is a class action?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlement?
  7. What does the Settlement provide?
  8. How do I get benefits from the Settlement?
  9. How will claims be decided?
  10. When will I get my payment?
  11. Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?
  12. What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?
  13. If I exclude myself, can I still get payment from the Settlement?
  14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue MSRS for the same thing later?
  15. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  16. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  17. How will Settlement Class Counsel be paid?
  18. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
  19. What is the difference between objecting to and excluding myself from the Settlement?
  20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  21. Do I have to come to the Final Fairness Hearing?
  22. May I speak at the Final Fairness Hearing?
  23. What happens if I do nothing?
  24. Are more details about the Settlement available?
  25. How do I get more information?
  1. Why is the Notice being provided?

    The Court directed that the Notice be provided because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement that has been reached in the class action lawsuits and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will distribute the payments that the Settlement allows. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what payments are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

    The Court in charge of this case is the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. The cases are known as Daven Fowler and Jerry Keller, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 1716-cv18662 (the “Fowler Lawsuit”) and Ann White, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 2116-cv12259 (the “White Lawsuit”) and together “the Lawsuits.” The persons who filed the Lawsuits are called the Plaintiffs, and the Defendant is MSRS.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The Lawsuits claim that MSRS improperly or unlawfully collected a $3.00 fee or surcharge designated for the MSRS as part of court costs imposed to resolve a municipal citation and/or costs in associate circuit or circuit courts, and asserts a claim of unjust enrichment. The Fowler Lawsuit pertains to the collection of the $3.00 fee or surcharge to resolve a municipal citation. The White Lawsuit pertains to the collection of the $3.00 fee or surcharge in a Missouri associate circuit or circuit court.

    MSRS has denied and continues to deny all of the claims made in the Lawsuits, as well as all charges of wrongdoing or liability against it.

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  3. What is a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, all these people are called a Class or Class Members. One Court and one judge—in this case, Judge Kevin Harrell—resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or MSRS. Instead, the Plaintiffs negotiated a settlement with MSRS that allows both Plaintiffs and MSRS to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Settlement Class Members to obtain payment without further delay. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members. This Settlement does not mean that MSRS did anything wrong.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    You are part of this Settlement as a Settlement Class Member if you previously paid a $3.00 fee or surcharge designated for MSRS imposed as part of court costs to resolve a municipal citation and/or costs in associate circuit or circuit court during the applicable class periods described in Section 7 below.

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  6. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlement?

    Yes. Specifically excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) MSRS and its officers and directors; (ii) all Settlement Class Members who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class; (iii) the Judge(s) assigned to evaluate the fairness of this Settlement; and (iv) other persons excluded by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

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  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims.

    The compensation will be $4.50 for each $3.00 fee paid during the applicable class periods defined as:

    • "Fowler Class Period” means the time beginning August 28, 2013 until August 1, 2021.
    • "White Class Period” means the time beginning June 7, 2016 until August 1, 2021.

    The total amount of money to be paid by MSRS for these and all other elements of the Settlement shall not exceed $18,000,000.00. In the event the total amount of money claimed exceeds the amount available for distribution (after payment of the costs of notice and settlement administration, approved fees and expenses of Settlement Class Counsel, and a named representative incentive award), each claim made under the Settlement Agreement shall be reduced on a pro rata basis.

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  8. How do I get benefits from the Settlement?

    To ask for a payment, you must Submit a valid Claim Form electronically or by mail. Claim Forms are available at www.MSRSsettlement.com. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form electronically, or mail it postmarked no later than March 7, 2022 to:

    Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 43156
    Providence, RI 02940-3156

    Each Claim Form will require you to provide your name, date of birth, and current address when submitting the claim to ensure that duplicate claims are not filed. The Claim Form will also ask you to identify the court(s) or jurisdiction(s) where you paid a $3.00 fee or surcharge designated for MSRS as an element of court costs imposed to resolve a municipal citation and/or costs imposed by associate circuit and circuit courts. Your signature on the Claim Form will attest under penalty of perjury that you believe you are a Class Member and that the information provided is true and correct, and it will authorize the Claims Administrator to collect information from the courts to verify your claim, if necessary. You may also be required to provide documentation to support your claim.

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  9. How will claims be decided?

    The Claims Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid. If the required information is not provided timely, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.

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  10. When will I get my payment?

    The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on February 24, 2022 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. It also takes time for all the Claim Forms to be processed, depending on the number of claims submitted and whether any appeals are filed. Please be patient.

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  11. Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?

    You do not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you want a payment you must submit a Claim Form electronically or postmarked by March 7, 2022.

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  12. What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?

    If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue MSRS for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against MSRS are described in Section II.1.25 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” MSRS and all related people or entities as described in Sections II.1.26 and XIII.13.3 of the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available under the Case Documents tab of this website.

    The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions, you can talk to the Settlement Class Counsel listed in Question 16 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense if you have questions about what this means.

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  13. If I exclude myself, can I still get payment from the Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be entitled to any benefits of the Settlement, but you will not be bound by any judgment in this case.

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  14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue MSRS for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you give up any right to sue MSRS for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to start your own lawsuit or to be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for a payment.

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  15. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement in Daven Fowler and Jerry Keller, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 1716-cv18662 or Ann White, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 2116-cv12259. Your letter must also include your full name, address, telephone number, and personal and original signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than February 20, 2022 to:

    Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System Settlement Exclusions
    P.O. Box 43156 
    Providence, RI 02940-3156

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  16. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes. The Court appointed Brian J. Madden and Eric D. Barton, Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP, 4740 Grand Ave., Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64112, and Gerald McGonagle, Christopher S. Gahagan, McGonagle Spencer Gahagan, P.C., 4505 Madison, Suite 230, Kansas City, MO 64111, to represent you and other Settlement Class Members. These lawyers are called Settlement Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  17. How will Settlement Class Counsel be paid?

    If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees and expenses in the total amount that will not exceed one-third (1/3) of the maximum settlement amount of $18,000,000.00. Settlement Class Counsel will also request approval of an incentive award of $10,000.00 for each of the Fowler lawsuit Class Representatives and $5,000.00 for the White lawsuit Class Representative. If approved, these amounts, as well as the costs of notice and settlement administration, will be paid separately by MSRS and will reduce the amount potentially available to Settlement Class Members, as the total of all payments due by MSRS under this Settlement is $18,000,000.00, as explained above.

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  18. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must file with the Court and mail copies to Settlement Class Counsel and MSRS’s Counsel a written notice stating that you object to the Settlements in Daven Fowler and Jerry Keller, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 1716-cv18662 and Ann White, individually and on behalf of the others similarly situated v. Missouri Sheriffs’ Retirement System, Case No. 2116-cv12259.

    Your objection must include:

    1. Your full name, address, telephone number, and email address:
    2. Information or proof showing you are a Settlement Class Member;
    3. The reasons why you object to the Settlement, including any documents supporting your objection;
    4. The name and address of your attorney, if you have retained one;
    5. The name and address of any attorneys representing you that may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing;
    6. A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Fairness Hearing in support of your objection;
    7. A statement confirming whether you intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing;
    8. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you (directly or through a lawyer) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last three years;
    9. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which your lawyer (on behalf of any person or entity) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last three years;
    10. A list, by case number, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you have been a named plaintiff in any class action or served as a lead plaintiff or class representative; and
    11. Your signature or the signature of your attorney or other duly-authorized representative (along with documentation illustrating representation).

    Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, 415 E. 12th Street, Unit 300, Kansas City, MO 64106 no later than February 20, 2022. You must also mail copies of your objection to Settlement Class Counsel and MSRS’s Counsel postmarked no later than February 20, 2022, at all of the addresses below.

    SETTLEMENT CLASS COUNSEL MSRS'S COUNSEL

    Brian J Madden
    Eric D. Barton
    WAGSTAFF & CARTMELL, LLP
    4740 Grande Avenue, Suite 300
    Kansas City, MO 64112
    bmadden@wcllp.com
    ebarton@wcllp.com

    -and-

    Gerald McGonagle
    Christopher S. Gahagan
    MCGONAGLE SPENCER GAHAGAN, P.C.
    4505 Madison, Suite 230
    Kansas City, MO 64111
    gmcgonagle@mcgonaglespencer.com
    chris@mcgonaglespencer.com

    Timothy J. Sear
    Mark A. Olthoff
    POLSINELLI PC
    900 W. 48th Place, Suite 900
    Kansas City, MO 64112
    tsear@polsinelli.com
    molthoff@polsinelli.com

    -and-

    Rodney D. Gray
    POLSINELLI PC
    221 Bolivar Street, Suite 300
    Jefferson City, MO 65101
    rgray@polsinelli.com

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  19. What is the difference between objecting to and excluding myself from the Settlement?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class in this Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object or submit a Claim Form because the Settlement no longer affects you.

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  20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on February 24, 2022, in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, 415 E. 12th Street, Unit 300, Kansas City, MO 64106. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will take into consideration any properly-filed written objections and may also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see Question 22). The Court will also decide whether to approve fees and expenses requested by Settlement Class Counsel, and the incentive awards requested for the Class Representatives.

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  21. Do I have to come to the Final Fairness Hearing?

    No. Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you file an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. You may also hire your own lawyer to attend, at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.

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  22. May I speak at the Final Fairness Hearing?

    Yes, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must follow the instructions provided in Question 18 above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

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  23. What happens if I do nothing?

    If you do nothing, you will not receive any benefits from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and the Release. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against MSRS or related parties about the issues involved in the Lawsuit, resolved by this Settlement, and released by the Settlement Agreement.

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  24. Are more details about the Settlement available?

    Yes. The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are available in the Settlement Agreement, which is available under the Case Documents tab of this website.

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  25. How do I get more information?

    You may call the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-786-1038.

    Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information. They cannot answer any questions regarding the Settlement or the Lawsuit.

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