Court-approved legal notice of class action lawsuit in Canada

TO ALL PERSONS WHO PAID A FEE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA BETWEEN APRIL 1, 1994 AND MARCH 31, 2004 FOR AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO IMMIGRATION CANADA (CIC) AND WHO WERE INFORMED OF A DECISION REGARDING THAT APPLICATION ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 12, 2000, TAKE NOTICE THAT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED BY THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT IN CANADA DESCRIBED BELOW.

1. Overview of this lawsuit: HINTON v. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

In 2008, the Federal Court of Canada certified a class action lawsuit in the case of Hinton v. Her Majesty the Queen, Court File No. IMM-5015-06. This lawsuit alleges that the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC”) collected more money through charging service fees to certain applicants, than the Government of Canada spent to process and make decisions on the applications for which the fees were paid. The lawsuit alleges that an illegal profit of more than $700 million was made by the Government of Canada during the 10 years of 1994 – 2004 and asks as relief, that a partial financial refund of the fees paid, be given to the people who paid the service fees.

Alan and Irina Hinton have been recognized by the Court as the “Representative Plaintiffs” for the class of people who paid the CIC service fees at issue in this lawsuit.

The Federal Government of Canada has defended this lawsuit, stating that, as a general matter, it has cost the Canadian government more to process and make decisions upon applications made by class members, than CIC has collected in service fees from class members.

This class action was commenced pursuant to the procedures set out in the Federal Courts Rules and the Federal Courts Immigration and Refugee Protection Rules. The specific rules governing class proceedings are set out in Part 5.1 of the Federal Courts Rules 334.1 and following. All of these Rules are posted on the Federal Court of Canada website.

This case has not yet gone to trial before the Federal Court in Canada and there has been no judicial decision made on the merits of this lawsuit. More details of the legal issues raised in this lawsuit appear in the Federal Court’s Order of December 2, 2008, attached as PART A to this Notice.

2. Class Definition: Are you a class member?:

This lawsuit affects a large group of people defined by the Court, known as “the class”. Your legal rights may be affected by this lawsuit if you are a member of the class.

CLASS MEMBERS ARE, in general terms and subject to some exceptions, people who paid one or more service fees to CIC at the time they submitted any of the applications listed below (a) through (i), between April 1, 1994 and March 31, 2004 AND were told of decisions on their applications on or after September 12, 2000, or are still awaiting a decision on their application. To decide if you are a class member in this case, you should read the exact definition of the class in the Order of the Court attached as PART A to this Notice. If you are not sure if you are a member of the class in this lawsuit, you should seek advice from one of the two lawyers in Canada who represent the class in this case (“Class Counsel”); these lawyers’ names and contact information appear at the end of this Notice. You may be included in the lawsuit if you made:

  1. an application to sponsor a relative (June 28, 2002 to March 31, 2004);
  2. an application for a visa to visit Canada, study in Canada or work in Canada;
  3. an application to extend visitor/temporary resident status in Canada;
  4. an application for a study permit, a work permit, or any application for an extension in Canada;
  5. an application to come to Canada as a business immigrant (April 1, 1994 to June 27, 2002);
  6. an application to come to Canada as an unmarried dependent immigrant under age 19 (June 1, 1994 to June 28, 2002);
  7. an application for a Ministerial exemption from a requirement of the Immigration Regulations, 1978, by an applicant under age 19 (January 2, 1997 to June 28, 2002);
  8. an application for a visa to come to Canada as an immigrant in any class (June 28, 2002 to March 31, 2004);
  9. an in-Canada application for permanent residence (June 28, 2002 to March 31, 2004), except applications under section 25 of the Act (commonly known as humanitarian and compassionate applications) and applications in the permit holders class.

However, the Federal Court has decided that certain people who meet the general criteria above, do not form part of the class in this case. You are not a class member, for example, if you were a class member in a previous class action lawsuit in Canada (Rasolzadeh v. Her Majesty the Queen et al., Court File No. IMM-2286-03) or if you previously launched your own similar lawsuit.

3. What being a class member means for you:

As a class member, you do not need to do anything to remain part of this lawsuit. If you are part of the class in this case and do not actively participate in the litigation, there is no risk that you will be required to pay anything in respect of this case. However, your legal rights concerning the claims made in this case will be affected if it proceeds to trial and a final decision is made by a judge of the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada, or if this lawsuit is settled. As a class member, your legal rights concerning this case will be affected by the final outcome of this case, whether the class wins any relief and benefits, or loses and gets nothing.

4. How to “Opt-Out” of this lawsuit:

If you do not wish your legal rights to be affected by this case, you must remove yourself from this lawsuit, through a time-limited process called “opting-out”. The details on how to exercise your right to “opt-out” of this lawsuit appear below.

If you opt-out of this lawsuit, your legal rights will not be directly affected by the outcome of this case and you have the right to bring your own lawsuit with your own lawyer at your own expense. However, there is a risk that the time limit for you to commence your own lawsuit may have passed and it is uncertain whether you may take advantage of any of the Orders that have been made in this case, including Orders that have granted “leave” (permission) to commence a procedure known as a “judicial review” and that have granted extensions of time within which to commence this procedure. Further, if you bring your own lawsuit, you may be required to post security for the Federal Government of Canada’s legal costs and you may, in certain circumstances, also be responsible to pay the Federal Government of Canada’s legal costs if your case is dismissed.

If you do not wish to remain part of this lawsuit, you must clearly, legibly and accurately complete the “Opt-Out Form”, which is attached as PART B to this Notice. All the requested information must be provided by you and your completed Form must be received by Class Counsel in Canada not later than March 1, 2010. Opt-Out Forms received by Class Counsel after March 1, 2010, will not be valid and will not result in you removing yourself from this lawsuit. You must mail, e-mail or provide your completed “Opt-Out Form” by facsimile transmission, to Class Counsel in Canada; see the end of this Notice.

If you require more information about what “opting-out” means for you or how to do so, you should contact Class Counsel in Canada.

5. Possible financial consequences to You and Summary of Agreement on Legal Fees and Disbursements:

If this lawsuit is successful or if a settlement favourable to the class is reached, the Court will determine or approve the relief to which class members may be entitled and how such relief should be distributed to or for the benefit of the class members. If this lawsuit does not succeed, there will be no financial benefit available to class members.

Class Counsel have entered into a retainer agreement with the Representative Plaintiffs respecting legal fees and disbursements. Such fees are subject to Court approval and cannot exceed 33% of any monetary amount the class may be awarded. Class Counsel will not receive payment for fees and disbursements if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Class Counsel will pay for all disbursements and will seek to recover those costs in the event of success and will apply to the Court for payment of fees and disbursements out of the proceeds of any settlement or judgment in favour of the class (to the extent that such fees and disbursements are not otherwise payable by the Defendant). Other than the Court-approved contingency fees, which will be deducted from any judgment or settlement amount, class members will not have to pay any legal fees or disbursements of any kind.

6. How to get more Information about this class action lawsuit in Canada:

To obtain more information about this class action lawsuit, including this Notice and the “Opting-Out” process, you should contact Class Counsel in Canada listed at the end of this Notice. You can submit your written questions to them by mail, e-mail or facsimile transmission. You can also telephone Class Counsel.

Additional information and updates on the current status of this lawsuit (including details of the claim made on behalf of the class and the defence of the Federal Government of Canada) are available on the following websites:

7. Who WILL NOT answer your questions about this class action lawsuit:

The Federal Court of Canada and its employees in Canada WILL NOT respond to your questions about this lawsuit.

The Federal Government of Canada, including CIC and its employees in Canada and abroad and its lawyers, WILL NOT respond to your questions about this lawsuit.

8. Contacting Class Counsel in Canada:

All your questions and all correspondence from you relating to this lawsuit must be directed only to the Class Counsel lawyers in Canada, whose role and obligation it is to represent the class members and answer your questions about this case; contact Class Counsel as indicated below.

CLASS COUNSEL can be contacted by regular mail, e-mail, fax or telephone as follows:

Mr. Lorne Waldman and Mr. Gerry Cuttler
Barristers and Solicitors
c/o Visa Litigation
281 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario  M4P 1L3
CANADA
E-mail: info@visalitigation.com

Telephone Number: 1-877-274-2971
Facsimile Transmission Number: 1-877-274-2971


PART A

Date: 20081202

Montréal, Quebec, December 2, 2008

PRESENT: The Honourable Mr. Justice Harrington

Dockets:

  • IMM-5015-06
  • IMM-3195-08
  • IMM-3197-08

BETWEEN:

ALAN HINTON
IRINA HINTON

Applicants

and

THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP
AND IMMIGRATION

Respondent

Docket: IMM-3196-08

AND BETWEEN:

SVETLANA POTAPOVA AND
NIKOLAY POTAPOV

Applicants

and

THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP
AND IMMIGRATION

Respondent

ORDER

UPON MOTION that the applicants and the persons on behalf of whom the applicants were granted leave to commence judicial reviews, pursuant to the orders in IMM‑3195‑08, IMM-3196-08 and IMM-3197-08 dated 9 September 2008 (2008 FC 1007) (the “Leave Orders”), be allowed to join, and/or be added into, the class already certified in IMM-5015-06 by the order of this court dated 4 January 2008 (2008 FC 7) (the “Certification Order”), as modified by the reasons of the Court of Appeal on 13 June 2008 (2008 FCA 215) (the “Appeal Judgment”), that IMM-3198-08, IMM-3196-08 and IMM-3197-08 and IMM-5015-06 be consolidated and that the Certification Order be amended accordingly;

UPON considering Rule 334.19 of the Federal Courts Rules, and the written and oral submissions of counsel;

THIS COURT ORDERS that:

  1. The motion is granted.
  2. The plaintiff class consists of those persons who, at any time during the period 1 April 1994 to 31 March 2004, paid a fee or charge to Her Majesty for a determination of any of the applications made pursuant to any one or more of the regulations listed in Schedule A of this Order, and who were informed of determination decisions in respect of such applications on or after 12 September 2000, and includes all such persons regardless of the outcome of their application, as well as all such applications that are currently in progress, save those excluded by the order of 4 January 2008.

“Sean Harrington”
Judge

SCHEDULE A

Immigration Act, 1976. Fees Regulations,
SOR-186‑64, PC. 1985‑3767, Effective February 3, 1986
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
1 Extension of Visitor Status $50‑individual, $50‑family s. 5(1)(2)(3)
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
SOR-90‑203, P.C. 1990‑579, Effective April 1, 1990
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
2 Permanent Resident Application – Business Class $500 s. 3(3)
3 Employment Authorizations $75‑individual, $150‑group s. 4(1) & (2).
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
SOR-91‑244, P.C. 1991‑621, Effective April 1, 1991
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
4 Permanent Resident Application – Dependants (‹19, not a spouse) $50 s. 3(4)(a), Schedule 1.(c); s. 3.(9)(a), Sch. 2(b); s. 3(6)
5 Employment Authorizations $150 family s. 4(3), Sch. 3(c)
6 Visitor Visa $50‑individual, $100‑family s. 6.(2)&(3), Sch. 5(b) and (c)
7 Student Authorization $75‑individual, $150‑family s. 9(2)&(3),
Sch. 8(b) &(c)
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
SOR-92‑185, P.C. 1992‑557, Effective April 1, 1992
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
8 Extension of Visitor Status $50‑individual, $100‑family s. 4(c)
9 Maximum Rate – Combination of Documents $225 s. 22; Sch. 21
Immigration Act, 1976. Fees Regulations,
SOR-92‑499, P.C. 1992‑1832, Effective September 1, 1992
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
10 Permanent Resident Application – Business Class $750 Sch. 2(a)
11 Employment Authorizations $100‑individual, $200‑family, $200‑group Sch. 3. (b)(c)(d)
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
SOR-93‑144, P.C. 1993‑534, Effective April 1, 1993
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
12 Extension of Visitor Status $60‑individual s. 5(2), Sched. 4(b)
13 Visitor Visa $50‑single entry, $75 multiple entry s. 6(2); Sch. 5(b); s. 6 (3); Sch. 5(c)
14 Student Visa $100 s. 9(2); Sch. 8(b)
15 Maximum Rate – Combination of Documents $300 s.22; Sch. 21
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
SOR-94‑389, P.C. 1994‑860, Effective June 1, 1994
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
16 Permanent Resident Application – Business Class $825 Sch. 2(a)
17 Dependants (<19, not a spouse) $100 s. 3(3)(a); Sch. 1(c)
18 Employment Authorizations $125‑individual, $250‑group Sch. 3(b), 3(c)
19 Extension of Visitor Status $65‑individual Sch. 4(b)
20 Visitor Visa $55‑single entry; $85‑multiple entry s. 6(2), s. 6(3); Sch. 5(b)(c)
21 Student Authorization $125‑individual Sch. 8(b)
22 Maximum Rate – Combination of Documents $350 Sch. 21
Immigration Act Fees. Regulations,
S0R/97‑22, P.C. 1996‑2003, Coming into Force January 2, 1997
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
23 Permanent Resident Application – Business Class $1000 Sch. (Section 3) item 2(4)(a) Column III
24 Dependants (<19, not a. spouse) $100 Sch. (Section 3) item 1(2) Column III; Item 2(2), Column III; Item 2(5), Column III; Item 2(7) Column III
25 Employment Authorizations $150‑individual; $450‑group Sch. (Section 3) item 5(1) Column III; Item 6 Column III
26 Extension of Visitor Status $75 Sch. (Section 3) Item 3(1)(a)(b) Column II, Column M
27 Visitor Visa $75‑single; $150 multiple; $400 family Sch. (section 3) item 3, (1)(a)(b), Column III; and Sch. Item 4(a)(b), Column III
28 Student Authorization $125 Sch. (Section 3) Item 7(1), Column III
Immigration and Refugee. Protection Regulations,
S0R/2002‑227, June 11, 2002
# Application Type Fee Regulation Section
29 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the investor class – principal applicant $1050 s. 295(1)(b)(i)
30 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the investor class – a family, member of the principal applicant who is 22 yrs  of age or older or is less than 22 yrs  of age and is a spouse or common‑law partner $550 s. 295(1)(b)(ii)
31 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the investor class – a family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 yrs  old and is not a spouse or common‑law partner $150 s. 295(1)(b)(iii)
32 Permanent Resident Visa – member of any other class or by a person referred to in s. 71 – principal applicant $550 s. 295(1)(c)(i)
33 Permanent Resident Visa – member of any other class or by a person referred to in s. 71 – a family member of the principal applicant who is 22  yrs  of age or older or is less than 22 yrs  of age and is a spouse or common‑law partner $550 s. 295(1)(c)(ii)
34 Permanent Resident Visa – member of any other class or by a person referred to in s. 71 – a family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 yrs  old and is not a spouse or common‑law partner $150 s. 295(1)(c)(iii)
35 Payment by sponsor in respect of an application as a member of a family class or their family members $475 + $75 s. 295(3)(a) & s. 304(1)
36 Temporary Resident Visa $75‑single entry; $150‑multiple entry s. 296(1); s. 297(1)
37 Temporary Resident Visa $400 family maximum s. 296(3), 297(2)
65 Work permits $150‑single; $450‑maximum group s. 299(1); s. 299(3)
38 Study Permits $125 s. 300(1)
39 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the live‑in caregiver class or as a protected person under 175(1) in respect of a principal applicant $550 s. 301(1)(b)(i)
40 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the live‑in caregiver class or as a protected person under 175(1) in respect of a family member of the principal applicant who is 22 yrs  of age or older or is less than 22 yrs  of age and is a spouse or common‑law partner $550 s. 301(1)(b)(ii)
41 Permanent Resident Visa – member of the live‑in caregiver class or as a protected person under 175(1) in respect of a family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 yrs  old and is not a spouse or common‑law partner $150 s. 301(1)(b)(iii)
42 Payment by sponsor in respect of an application as a member of the spouse or common‑law partner in Canada class or their family members $475 + $75 s. 301(2)(a) & s. 304(1)
43 Extension of Authority to remain in Canada as a temporary resident $75 s. 305(1)


PART B

Hinton v. Her Majesty the Queen, Federal Court File No. IMM-5015-06

CLASS MEMBER “OPT-OUT” FORM
(Request for Exclusion from Class Action Lawsuit)

You may opt-out of the Class Action Lawsuit by completing this form and mailing it, e-mailing it or faxing it, to Class Counsel in Canada

I have read and understood the Court-Approved Legal Notice titled: “COURT-APPROVED LEGAL NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT IN CANADA”, and I believe that I am a member of the class in this lawsuit.

I do not wish to be included as a member of the class in this case. I want to Opt-Out (be excluded) from the class and realize that by doing so, I cannot receive any possible benefits which members of the class may obtain as a result of this class action; financial or otherwise.

I understand that by completing and submitting this “Opt-Out Form” to Class Counsel, I shall not be bound by the outcome of this case, that Class Counsel on this case cannot represent me or assist me, but that I can pursue my own legal claim if I wish at my own expense.

Type of application I submitted: Location Submitted
(country and city):
Date Submitted:
dd/mm/yy
sponsorship    
visitor / extension of visitor    
student / extension of student    
worker / extension of worker    
immigrant / permanent resident    
other (please specify)    

Application File No(s).:

Full Name (Printed Clearly):

Current Address:

Signature:

Date:

 
 
 
Date Modified: