The Iowa Court of Appeals says a lawsuit in Council Bluffs over a property registration fee should be given class action status.
Carla Limmer filed suit against the city of Council Bluffs in January of 2015, saying the property registration fee of 15 dollars for each rental unit exceeded the reasonable cost to operate the program.
Limmer asked that the suit be certified as a class action so it would include all 2,600 property owners. The city opposed the class action status, saying the result of Limmer’s suit would benefit all rental owners whether or not it was a class action. The district court ruled for the city.
The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, saying Limmer’s legal fees for pursuing the issue could be more than her individual damages. It says in cases where the cost of litigation is large in comparison to the damages that could be recovered by each individual, certifying a class action makes it more likely the action will be fully litigated.
Here is the complete ruling: Limmer ruling PDF