Kang Haggerty LLC, a law firm based in Philadelphia, PA and Marlton, NJ, recently secured a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against the City of Bridgeton, New Jersey, and Borgers, Saunders, Taylor and Associates LLC, which provided New Jersey towns and cities with vacant and abandoned property program services.
The complaint filed on behalf of certain City of Bridgeton property owners alleged New Jersey State civil rights violations stemming from the misuse of the municipal code as a source of illegal revenue generation by charging excessive fines and fees for code violations involving vacant and abandoned properties.
The complaint alleged New Jersey State civil rights violations stemming from the illegal delegation of municipal code enforcement to a third party who received a thirty percent commission of the fines and fees collected under the offending municipal ordinance.
“We are pleased to have successfully settled this class action lawsuit on behalf of these property owners in the City of Bridgeton,” said Kang Haggerty member Daniel D. Haggerty. “This was a blatant misuse of the municipal court system that violated these property owners’ civil rights.”
On November 10, 2022, the Honorable James Swift of the Superior Court of New Jersey approved the class-wide settlement in the matter of PCIII REO LLC, et al. vs. City of Bridgeton, et al., Superior Court of New Jersey, Cumberland County, Docket No. CUM-L-584-19.
During the litigation of this class action, the City of Bridgeton repealed the offending ordinance and has ceased relying on third-party actors to enforce its municipal code. The settlement agreement further provides for approximately forty percent of the alleged illegally collected fines and fees to be returned to plaintiff class members on a pro-rata basis.