Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is this a class action?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
- I’m still not sure if I am included
- What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?
- Has Children’s Place agreed to make changes to its practices?
- How do I opt-out of future marketing communications from Children’s Place?
- How can I get a Merchandise Certificate?
- When will I get a Merchandise Certificate?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- Will the Named Plaintiffs receive any compensation for their efforts in bringing this Action?
- What am I giving up to obtain relief under the Settlement?
- How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
- What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?
- What is the Fairness Hearing?
- When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- How do I get more information?
- What if my address or other information has changed or changes after I submit a Claim Form?
- What if I received an email regarding a Merchandise Certificate, but the certificate was not attached?
The Action alleges that Children’s Place violated California Civil Code Section 1747.08 by requesting and recording Personal Identification Information, including, but not limited to, telephone numbers and email addresses, of California Children’s Place Store customers who paid for merchandise using a credit card, and seeks civil penalties and attorneys’ fees. Children’s Place denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever.
The issuance of the Notice is not an expression of the Court’s opinion on the merits or the lack of merits of any of the Named Plaintiffs’ claims in the Action.
For information about how to learn about what has happened in the Action to date, please see Question 21 below.
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Named Plaintiffs” (in this Action, Galina Seebrook, Maria Isabel Beltran, Nicolle DiSimone, Kristen Hartman, and Mario Arellano) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. For purposes of this proposed Settlement, one court will resolve the issues for all Class Members, except for those people who properly excluded themselves from the Class, as explained in Section 16 below. The company sued in this case, Children’s Place, is called the Defendant.
The Named Plaintiffs have made claims against the Children’s Place. Children’s Place denies that it has done anything wrong or illegal and admits no liability. The Court has not decided that the Named Plaintiffs or Children’s Place should win this Action. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the Class Members will receive relief now rather than years from now, if at all.
The Court has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member for purposes of the proposed Settlement: “All persons who between February 17, 2010 and June 19, 2013 purchased merchandise from any Children’s Place store in the State of California, used a credit card to make the purchase(s), and whose Personal Identification Information, including, but not limited to, any telephone number or email address, was requested and recorded by Children’s Place.” Excluded from the Settlement Class are The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates, and the officers, directors, employees, legal representatives, successors, or assigns of any such excluded persons or entities.
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can write the Claims Administrator for free help. The address of the Claims Administrator is: Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., Claims Administrator, c/o GCG, PO Box 35034, Seattle, WA 98124-3508.
As part of the proposed Settlement, Class Members who timely filed a valid Claim Form are eligible to receive their choice of a Merchandise Certificate for either $10 off of any merchandise purchase (no minimum purchase required) at any California Children’s Place retail or outlet store or 35% off of any merchandise purchase at any California Children’s Place retail or outlet store. Class Members that receive an email providing them with notice of this lawsuit do not need to submit a Claim Form to receive a Merchandise Certificate and will automatically receive a Merchandise Certificate for 35% off any merchandise purchase. However, Class Members that receive an email providing them with notice of this lawsuit may have submitted a Claim Form electing to receive $10 off of any merchandise purchase (no minimum purchase required).
Children’s Place has agreed to comply with Section 1747.08 and to, as soon as practicable after entry of the Preliminary Approval Order, but no later than sixty (60) days after the execution of this Settlement Agreement, cease the specific after-the-transaction procedure used to collect telephone numbers and email addresses from customers that was in place in its California Children’s Place Stores on February 17, 2011. The full description of the non-monetary relief provided by the Settlement can be found in Paragraph 2.1 of Settlement Agreement available here.
If you do not want to receive any future communications regarding information about products, services and offers from Children’s Place, you may request to stop receiving marketing communications from Children’s Place by calling 1-877-PLACE-USA or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class Members who timely filed a valid Claim Form are eligible to receive their choice of a Merchandise Certificate for either $10 off of any merchandise purchase (no minimum purchase required) at any California Children’s Place retail or outlet store or 35% off of any merchandise purchase at any California Children’s Place retail or outlet store. Class Members that received an email providing them with notice of this lawsuit did not need to submit a Claim Form to receive a Merchandise Certificate and will automatically receive a Merchandise Certificate for 35% off any merchandise purchase. However, Class Members that received an email providing them with notice of this lawsuit may have submitted a Claim Form electing to receive $10 off of any merchandise purchase (no minimum purchase required).
Class Members that did not receive an Email Notice of this lawsuit had to submit a timely and valid Claim Form to receive a Merchandise Certificate.
The Claim Form may have been submitted electronically or by postal mail before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 7, 2013.
Children’s Place may verify the accuracy of information set forth in any submitted Claim Form. Regardless of the number of credit card purchases you may have made during the Class Period, you are only eligible to receive one Merchandise Certificate. Once a Merchandise Certificate is used, it will be deactivated and cannot be used again. The Merchandise Certificate’s terms and conditions are further described in paragraph 2.3 of the Settlement Agreement.
As described in Question 19, the Court held a hearing on November 7, 2013, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. You can check on the progress of the case on this website. Please be patient.
The Court has ordered that Hoffman, Libenson, Saunders & Barba; Patterson Law Group, APC; Ridout & Lyon, LLP; Qualls & Workman LLP; Stonebarger Law, APC; and the Law Office of Sunil A. Brahmbhatt, PLC (“Class Counsel”) will represent the interests of all Class Members. You will not be separately charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel requested up to $335,000 for their attorneys’ fees and costs (total). The Court made the final decision as to the amounts to be paid to Class Counsel. Class Counsel filed an application for attorneys’ fees and costs on August 27, 2013. Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs will be made available here by August 29, 2013.
The Named Plaintiffs will request a service award (also known as “incentive” awards) of up to $2,750 each for their services as a class representatives and their efforts in bringing the Action. The Court will make the final decision as to the amount to be paid to the class representatives.
If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you released your claims against Children’s Place. This generally means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit, continue prosecuting a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit regarding the allegations in the Action. Paragraph 4.3 of the Settlement Agreement, available here, contains the full terms of the release.
You may have excluded yourself from the Class and the Settlement. If you wanted to be excluded, you must have sent a letter or postcard including: (a) the name and case number of the Action, “Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., N.D. Cal. Consolidated Case No. 11-cv-00837-CW”; (b) the full name, address, and telephone number of the person requesting exclusion; and (c) a statement that the person is a Class Member and wished to be excluded from the Class, postmarked no later than September 17, 2013 to the Claims Administrator at:
Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
PO Box 35034
Seattle, WA 98124-3508
If you timely requested exclusion from the Class, you were excluded from the Class, you are not bound by the judgment entered in the Action, and you are not precluded from prosecuting any timely, individual claim against Children’s Place based on the conduct complained of in the Action.
At the date, time, and location stated in Section 20 below, the Court held a Fairness Hearing to determine if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to also consider Class Counsel’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, and a service award to the Named Plaintiffs.
If you did not submit a timely request for exclusion and wished to object to the fairness, reasonableness or adequacy of the Settlement Agreement or the proposed Settlement, or to the award of attorneys’ fees and costs or the service awards, you must have filed a written objection with the Court and served such objection on Class Counsel and Children’s Place’s Counsel at the addresses set forth below no later than September 17, 2013.
|CLASS COUNSEL||CHILDREN’S PLACE’S COUNSEL|
GENE J. STONEBARGER
STONEBARGER LAW, APC
75 IRON POINT CIRCLE, SUITE 145
FOLSOM, CA 95630
MICHELLE C. DOOLIN
4401 EASTGATE MALL
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121-1909
Any written objection must have been verified by a declaration under the penalty of perjury or a sworn affidavit and must have included: (a) the name of the Action, “Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., N.D. Cal. Consolidated Case No. 11-cv-00837-CW”; (b) the full name, address, and telephone number of the person objecting; (c) a statement that the person is a Class Member; (d) the words “Notice of Objection” or “Formal Objection”; (e) in clear and concise terms, the legal and factual arguments supporting the objection; and (f) whether the person intended to appear to speak at the Fairness Hearing.
You may have, but need not have, filed and served your objection through an attorney of your choice. If the objection was presented through an attorney, the written objection must have also included: (a) the identity and number of Class Members represented by objector’s attorney; (b) the number of such represented Class Members who had opted out of the Settlement; and (c) the number of such represented Class Members who had remained in the Settlement and had not objected. If you did make your objection through an attorney, you are responsible for your personal attorney’s fees and costs.
IF YOU DID NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU ARE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS.
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You could object only if you stayed in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you excluded yourself, you had no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.
The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and held a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing was for the Court to determine whether the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class; to consider the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel; and to consider the request for a service award to the Named Plaintiffs. On October 17, 2013, Class Counsel filed a motion for final approval of the Settlement.
On November 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., a hearing was held on the fairness of the proposed Settlement. At the hearing, the Court was available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the proposed Settlement’s fairness. The hearing took place before Judge Claudia Wilken in Courtroom No. 2 of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, located at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612.
At that hearing, the Court was available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.
You may have attended, but you did not have to. As described above in Section 17, you may have spoken at the Fairness Hearing only if (a) you timely served and filed an objection, and (b) you timely served and filed a Notice of Intention to Appear.
If you requested exclusion from the Settlement, however, you may not have spoken at the Fairness Hearing.
To see a copy of the Settlement Agreement, the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, Class Counsel’s motion for final approval of the Settlement, and the operative complaint filed in the Action, please visit the Court Documents page. Alternatively, you may contact the Claims Administrator at the postal mailing address: Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., Claims Administrator, c/o GCG, PO Box 35034, Seattle, WA 98124-3508.
This description of the Action is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file, including the actual Settlement Agreement, you should visit the website of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, PACER Service Center, located at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov. You may also visit or call the Clerk’s office at the Oakland U.S. Courthouse located at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 637-3530. The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.
It is your responsibility to inform the Claims Administrator of your updated information. You may do so at the address below:
Seebrook v. The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc.
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
PO Box 35034
Seattle, WA 98124-3508
Some Internet Service Providers block attachments such as the Merchandise Certificate that was attached to your email. If you did not receive an attached Merchandise Certificate, please email the following information to email@example.com:
- first and last name
- mailing address
- email address at which the email was received
We will mail your Merchandise Certificate to the address provided. There are unique coupon codes on each Merchandise Certificate and they can only be used once.