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Published: Tuesday, 6/3/2008

Toledo trash fee foe wants class action

Attorneys handling a former city council candidate's legal challenge of Toledo's garbage-collection fee yesterday filed a motion seeking class-action status on behalf of city property owners from whom the fee has been collected.

Karen Shanahan sued the city Feb. 28 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, claiming that the $5.50 monthly fee the Finkbeiner administration imposed last year was improper since neither city council nor Toledo voters approved it.

The motion Ms. Shanahan's lawyers filed yesterday states there are approximately 100,000 potential plaintiffs in the case, "so that joinder of all members of the class in the action is impracticable."

Furthermore, the motion states, the trash fee affects all who pay it in similar fashion, so class-action is appropriate for adjudicating the matter.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the fee and reimbursement of all payments associated with it.

The case is pending before Judge Charles J. Doneghy.

Council voted in March to perpetuate the fee and raise the monthly rate, effective May 5, to $7 per month for those who don't sign a recycling pledge and $2 per month for those who do.

The fees are scheduled to change to $8.50 and $1 for non-recyclers and recyclers, respectively, next May and to $10 and zero on May 1, 2010.

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