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files/Long_Form_Notice_Final_8-22-17.pdf

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
This notice is given pursuant to Rule 23 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and pursuant
to an Order of the Circuit Court of Faulkner County, Arkansas. A lawsuit entitled Richard
Shumate, Jr. and Damon Reed, on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated persons and
entities v. City of Conway, an Arkansas municipality is now pending in the Circuit Court of
Faulkner County, Arkansas, Case Number 23CV-12-855.
Plaintiffs contend that Defendant, the City of Conway, entered into contracts with all persons
employed or hired as Policemen or Firemen from December 1, 2001 through December 31,
2012, which obligated the city to pay those employees pursuant to Police and Fire Pay Grids
approved by the City Council. Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant breached those contracts
when it ceased making periodic salary “step” increases required by the Pay Grids.
Plaintiffs Richard Shumate, Jr. and Damon Reed have undertaken to represent similarly situated
Policemen and Firemen employed by Defendant City of Conway at any time between December
1, 2001 and December 31, 2012. Plaintiffs seek to recover all monetary damages caused by the
breaches of these contracts, and they have also asked the Court to enter an injunction prohibiting
Defendant from in the future committing similar breaches of the employment contracts with its
Policemen and Firemen.
Defendant denies that it has breached the employment contracts with its Policemen and Firemen
as maintained by Plaintiffs.
The Court has not ruled on any of the above claims, but will permit all parties to offer proof on
these issues. The Court will then decide the merits of all of these issues at the close of the case.
On December 7, 2015, the Circuit Court of Faulkner County, Arkansas directed and certified that
this cause proceed as a class action under the provisions of Rule 23 of the Arkansas Rules of
Civil Procedure. The class which the Court certified is defined as
All City of Conway Policemen1 and Firemen2 (excluding department heads and
elected officials) who were employed by the City of Conway during the period
commencing December 1, 2001, through December 31, 2012 (the “Class
Period”).
Notice is hereby given pursuant to the provisions of Rule 23(c) of the Arkansas Rules of Civil
Procedure that:
1
Code Enforcement Officer, Officer I-IV, Master Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Major, and
Chief.
2
Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Division/District Chief, and Chief.
(1) Richard Shumate, Jr. and Damon Reed have been appointed by the Court to
function as representatives of the Plaintiff Class; and
(2) Class Counsel have been appointed by the Court to represent the interests of the
Class. Class Counsel include: Thomas P. Thrash and Marcus Neil Bozeman of
the Thrash Law Firm, P.A., 1101 Garland Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 –
(501) 374-1058; Russell A. Wood, Wood Law Firm, P.A., 501 East 4th Street, Ste.
#4, Russellville, Arkansas 72801 – (479) 967-9663.
You will not be charged for Class Counsel’s services, nor for any costs or expenses incurred by
Class Counsel or the Class Representatives. If there is a recovery of monetary value for the
Class, Class Counsel may ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and costs, which would be deducted
from any money obtained, or paid separately by the City of Conway. You have the right to hire
your own attorney. If you hire your own attorney, you will be responsible for paying that
attorney’s fees and expenses.
IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN A MEMBER OF THE CLASS, YOU NEED NOT DO
ANYTHING AT THIS TIME. As a Class Member, you will be bound by all orders and
judgments of the Court, whether favorable or not.
If you do not wish to participate in the Class, the Court will exclude you from the Class if you
request exclusion in writing in a letter postmarked on or before December 1, 2017. Requests for
exclusion should be sent to Russell A Wood, Wood Law Firm, P.A., 501 East 4th Street, Ste. #4,
Russellville, Arkansas 72801, and must be personally signed by the Class Member requesting
exclusion.
If you do not request exclusion, you may, if you desire, enter an appearance with the Court in
person or through counsel of your own choosing and participate in the litigation. If you do not
request exclusion, and you do not enter an appearance with the Court, the above-named attorneys
for the Plaintiffs will represent your interest in the case.
Trial of this cause of action may be set by Court Order and notice given to anyone who has
entered an appearance. The final judgment entered in this case will include and be binding upon
all members of the Class who do not request exclusion.
Pursuant to Rule 23(b) of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Class Certification Order
signed and filed of record on December 7, 2015 may be altered or amended before a final
judgment by the Court on the merits.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS LITIGATION, YOU MAY WRITE
TO CLASS COUNSEL IDENTIFIED ABOVE. PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE
COURT.
Dated: August 25, 2017.
/s/ Honorable Troy B. Braswell, Jr.
Honorable Troy B. Braswell, Jr.
Faulkner County Circuit Judge

 
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