I am proud to announce that today, Wyoming County President Judge Russell D. Shurtleff, specially presiding, signed a Final Order approving a settlement that was reached with Monroe County in the matter of John Doe, et al., v. Monroe County, et al, Monroe Court of Common Pleas docket no. 6384 cv 2015, stemming from the County’s disclosure of confidential license to carry firearms (“LTCF”) applicant information through the use of un-enveloped postcards. As our viewers may remember, I was previously successful in having a preliminary injunction granted against former Monroe County Sheriff Todd Martin in relation to him requiring documentation and information beyond the LTCF application and thereafter, certifying the case as a class action and obtaining preliminary approval of the settlement. (It must be noted that once assuming Office in January of 2020, current Monroe County Sheriff Ken Morris – who knew nothing of this litigation – and his Office have been instrumental in tirelessly addressing these issues and looking to resolve the matter in a manner fair and equitable to everyone involved, including protecting the taxpayers of Monroe County). A copy of the Final Approval Order will be made available shortly on the Class Administrator’s website – www.MonroeLTCFClassAction.com.
As a result of the Settlement, the County’s insurance will pay $4,000,000.00 to the 11,493 class members, who were sent un-enveloped postcards. Further, and of similar importance, the County has agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction, among other things:
- Prohibiting them from sending out un-enveloped postcards containing LTCF applicant information, including, but not limited to, LTCF applications, renewals, denials, and approvals.
- Prohibiting them from requiring any information or documentation not required by the LTCF application form (SP 4-127) promulgated by the Pennsylvania State Police, including, but not limited to:
- Township in which the applicant resides;
- Local 1% Eared Income Tax Form, Federal Income Tax Return, Pa. State Tax Return, and Real Estate Tax Bills;
- Written documentation, in any form, from the LTCF applicant or holder’s doctor, including, but not limited to, the nature, if any, of the applicant or holder’s disability and any medications that the applicant or holder may be taking;
- Social Security statements, determinations, or other documents; and,
- Military discharge paperwork, including, but not limited to, DD-214s.
- Requiring them to train, on at least an annual basis, all employees involved with LTCF applications, renewals, denials, and approvals regarding the confidentiality of LTCF Information pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.
- Prohibiting them from revoking or denying any LTCF on the basis of character and reputation without including the factual basis for the revocation or denial, as required by Caba v. Weaknecht, 64 A.3d 39, 65 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013).
Provide no appeal is taken to the final approval, checks will start being sent out to all class members around November 12, 2020. Based on the settlement reached, unlike in most class actions, class members do NOT need to submit any forms or requests for payment. Those aggrieved (who did not exclude themselves) will simply receive checks in the mail without any action on their part. Any checks that are not cashed within 90 days will be voided and any such unclaimed money will be distributed equally, in one third shares between the PA Sheriff Association (solely to be utilized to provide training and equipment to sheriff departments across Pennsylvania); Hold My Guns; and Firearms Policy Foundation.
If your confidential license to carry firearms information has been disclosed, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.
Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.