- Real Estate
In a closely watched case that potentially impacts thousands of Chula Vista residents, the law firms of Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP, and Capretz & Associates have filed a motion to certify a class of mobile phone users seeking refunds for allegedly unlawful telephone users taxes (TUTs) collected by the City of Chula Vista.
According to the motion for class certification filed yesterday in San Diego Superior Court, the proposed class action seeks to refund money collected from mobile phone users by Chula Vista – the second largest City in San Diego County. The case is set to go to trial January 18, 2013, and seeks millions of dollars in restitution for allegedly illegal TUTs levied by the City.
Thomas Penfield, a partner with San Diego-based Casey Gerry and co-lead counsel, said the class action suit stems from a tax – imposed on users of telephones, electricity and other utilities – which was introduced in 1970 and generates more than $9 million in revenue for the City each year. In recent years, the City began forcing phone service providers/carriers to collect the tax on wireless, cellular and other “mobile” telephone services – all of which are excluded from taxation under the TUT ordinance.
“Class certification is definitely appropriate here,” Penfield said. “Each of the individual claims is small, but collectively millions of dollars a year is being improperly taxed. This is a case that could impact tens of thousands of Chula Vista residents.”
The City of Chula Vista has fought the legality of the lawsuit, but efforts to dismiss the case have consistently been denied, Penfield said. “We believe The City of Chula Vista is taxing without proper authority and that Chula Vista taxpayers are entitled to a full refund of all TUTs improperly collected for the maximum period permissible,” he added. “The monies collected belong to the cell phone using residents of Chula Vista — and in all fairness, should be returned.”
About Casey Gerry
San Diego’s oldest plaintiff’s law firm, Casey Gerry was founded in 1947, and since then has worked to help recover hundreds of millions of dollars for families and individuals who have suffered serious injury or lost loved ones. The firm’s 13 attorneys practice in numerous areas, including personal injury, product liability, pharmaceutical and asbestos litigation. Located at 110 Laurel St. in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego, the firm also has a satellite office in Carlsbad, Calif. For more information, call (619) 238-1811 or visit the website at www.caseygerry.com.
About Capretz & Associates
James T. Capretz is the principal of the Newport Beach law firm of Capretz & Associates, a firm that emphasizes complex civil and multidistrict litigation in its practice. His contact number is 949-724-3000 and website is www.capretz.com. His firm is primarily involved in mass tort litigation over defective pharmaceutical drug and medical devices, consumer protection law, public law and class actions. The firm represents clients across the US and globally.