There have been a great number of calls to the Independent Assessor’s office following the publication of the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing in Canadian newspapers last week.
Here are the main questions that are being asked, and the answers:
Why did I receive the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing from the Office of the Independent Assessor?
You received the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing because you have been identified as a potential class member in this class action (see: the definition of “primary class member” in Article 1.01 of the Definitions in the Settlement Agreement).
Why has my personal address been given to the Office of the Independent Assessor?
The Federal Court ordered the RCMP to provide the Independent Assessor with the contact information of all potential class members to ensure that they were informed of the certification of the class action and the upcoming settlement approval hearing.
Will I receive any further correspondence from the Office of the Independent Assessor?
Yes, a second notice will be sent to you after the approval of the proposed Settlement Agreement by the Federal Court. This would be the last communication to you, from the Office of the Independent Assessor, unless you choose to make a claim for compensation under the Settlement Agreement. Potential class members who opt out of the class action will not receive this second notice.
Who should sign the Opt Out Form ?
Class members who wish to pursue an independent civil claim against the RCMP for gender and/or sexual orientation based discrimination, bullying and harassment in the RCMP workplace must opt out.
What should class members who do NOT intend to make a claim for compensation and who do NOT intend to pursue an independent civil action against the RCMP do?
If you do NOT wish to make a claim for compensation under the proposed Settlement Agreement and If you do NOT wish to pursue an independent civil action, there is NOTHING to do and NOTHING to sign (See article 10 of the proposed Settlement).
What is the counsel fee of 15% set out in the Notice of Certification? Who has to pay this fee?
The Federal Court has approved 15% counsel fees that will only be paid to class counsel Klein Lawyers and Kim Orr Barristers) after the Independent Assessor has completed his assessment of a claim. If you do not make a claim, you will not have to pay any fees to class counsel.
How do I opt out?
To opt out you must complete the Opt-Out Form and return it to class counsel at one of the address indicated on the form. Please do not send the opt-out form directly to the Office of the Independent Assessor.
If I have questions about opting-out who should I speak to?
The decision to opt-out or to not opt-out may have legal consequences for you. The Office of the Independent Assessor cannot provide you with legal advice. Any legal advice should be obtained, at no cost, from class counsel identified in the Notice of Certification: Klein Lawyers or Kim Orr Barristers PC
You may also consult an independent lawyer of your choice, at your own expense.