Basic Information

1. Why is there a Notice?

The Notice describes what the Lawsuit is about, explains the terms of the proposed settlement, tells you who would be covered and what legal claims would be resolved by the settlement if the Court approves it, and explains how individuals can obtain benefits under the settlement.

2. What is the Notice about?

Class action lawsuits captioned Nobles, et al. v. Anderson, et al., Docket No. HNT-145-19 (formerly MER-L-2644-17) and Brown, et al. v. State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, Docket No. HNT-76-19 (formerly MER-503-18) (collectively, the “Lawsuit”) were filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hunterdon County on behalf of all women inmates who are or were, at any time since January 1, 2014, incarcerated at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (“EMCFW”), a prison for women operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“NJDOC”) in Union Township, New Jersey (the “Class”). The plaintiffs in the Lawsuit allege that all female prisoners at EMCFW were subjected to a pattern and practice of sexual abuse and harassment by NJDOC staff since 2014 and that NJDOC administrators failed to prevent, halt or remedy such conduct. NJDOC and its representatives deny any wrongdoing and deny the claims and allegations asserted in the Lawsuit. The court has not ruled on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims and has made no determination of violations or liability against the defendants. The parties nevertheless have agreed to settle the Lawsuit.

Settlement Members

3. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

You are a member of the Class if you are or were, at any time since January 1, 2014, a woman inmate in the custody of NJDOC who was assigned to EMCFW in Union Township, New Jersey.

4. What if I am still not sure if I am included in the Settlement?

If you are not sure whether you are a Class Member, or have any other questions about the Settlement, you should review the Settlement Agreement or call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-844-810-1507.

The Proposed Settlement

5. What benefits will I receive as a Settlement Class Member?

Tier 1 – The parties have agreed that each Class member who submits a claim will receive compensation of at least $1,000 plus $20 per month (or partial month) that she was assigned to EMCFW since January 1, 2014, regardless of whether she directly experienced sexual abuse or sexual harassment. Class members who were the direct victims of sexual abuse or sexual harassment at any time since 2014 can submit claims for increased compensation that will be decided by a special master as set forth below in Tier 2 and 3. Payment would be issued within 90 days of the Claims Deadline.

Tier 2 – A Class member who claims to have been the victim of sexual harassment must submit a sworn affidavit or certification about her claim, has the option to submit supporting documentation and request a hearing before the special master, and may receive total compensation up to $4,500. 

Tier 3 – A Class member who claims to have been the victim of sexual abuse must submit a sworn affidavit or certification about her claim with supporting documentation, must participate in a hearing before the special master, and may receive total compensation up to $250,000.

Level Qualifications Minimum Compensation Maximum
Compensation
Paid By
Tier 1 Any Class Member who timely submits a Tier 1 claim pursuant to and in full compliance with the requirements of the Settlement Agreement shall receive $1,000 base compensation plus $20 for each month or partial month in which a Class Member was assigned to EMCFW during the Class Period $1,020 $2,920 Expected by
1/27/2022
Tier 2 Any Class Member who (i) directly experienced Sexual Harassment and (ii) timely submits a Tier 2 claim shall receive compensation to be determined by the special master up to $4,500 Tier 1 eligible amount $4,500 Undetermined, 90 days after all awards are heard and decided
Tier 3 Any Class Member who (i) directly experienced Sexual Abuse and (ii) timely submits a Tier 3 claim shall receive compensation to be determined by the special master up to $250,000 Tier 1 eligible amount $250,000 Undetermined, 90 days after all awards are heard and decided
6. What types of relief does the Settlement provide?

The Settlement provides both monetary damages and injunctive relief to all Class Members. After the Court grants final approval of the Settlement, each Settlement Class Member who timely submits a valid Claim Form and a personal affidavit or certification as described above will be entitled to monetary compensation depending on the selected Tier. In addition to financial compensation, Defendant has agreed to implement a system of body cameras to be worn by all NJDOC staff who regularly come in contact with inmates assigned to EMCFW. 

7. How do I submit a Claim?

Class Members wishing to submit a claim must mail the claim form to the Settlement Administrator at the following address by October 29, 2021:

EMCFW Settlement Administrator
PO Box 3595
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Your Rights and Options 

8. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, you will not get a payment from the Settlement but you will still be bound by the release.

9. Can I intervene in the Lawsuit?

You may file a motion with the court for permission to intervene in this Lawsuit if you wish. You do not have to intervene. If you do not intervene in this case, your interests will be represented by Class counsel.  

10. How do I get out of the Settlement?

If you do not want to be bound by the Settlement, you must request to be excluded (opt out) from the Settlement. If you request to be excluded, you will retain any individual rights you have against NJDOC and will not be deemed to have individually “released” NJDOC from any of the released claims. However, you will not be eligible to receive compensation under the Settlement, as described above. You also may not object to the Settlement if you request to be excluded.

To exclude yourself (or “opt-out”) from the Settlement, you must mail a written request to be excluded to all addresses below. Your written request must contain: (a) the name of this Lawsuit; (b) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (c) your signature; (d) the request to be excluded from the Settlement. To be timely, an Opt-Out letter must be postmarked no later than September 14, 2021. 

Clerk, Civil Division
Hunterdon County Justice Center
65 Park Avenue
Flemington, New Jersey 08822
Matthew E. Beck, Esq.
Chiesa Shahinian Giantomasi PC
1 Boland Drive
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
Oliver Barry, Esq.
Barry Corrado & Grassi, PC
2700 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, New Jersey 08260
Mark Frost, Esq.
Mark B. Frost & Associates
1515 Market Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Martin Schrama, Esq.
Stark & Stark
993 Lenox Drive, Building 2
Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648
David Cedar, Esq.
Williams Cedar, LLC
8 Kings Highway West
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033
EMCFW Settlement Administrator – 
Exclusions and Objections
PO Box 3595
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
 

 

11. Can I object to the Settlement?

Yes, but not if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. If you are a Class member, you can object to any part of the Settlement if you do not think it is fair, reasonable, or adequate. To object to the Settlement, you must submit a written objection to all addresses below. Your written objection must contain: (a) the name of this Lawsuit; (b) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (c) your signature; (d) the specific reason(s) for your objection. To be timely, a written objection must be postmarked no later than September 14, 2021.

If you want to be heard orally in opposition to the settlement, either personally or through counsel, you must indicate your intention to appear at the hearing in your written objection.

Clerk, Civil Division
Hunterdon County Justice Center
65 Park Avenue
Flemington, New Jersey 08822
Matthew E. Beck, Esq.
Chiesa Shahinian Giantomasi PC
1 Boland Drive
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
Oliver Barry, Esq.
Barry Corrado & Grassi, PC
2700 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, New Jersey 08260
Mark Frost, Esq.
Mark B. Frost & Associates
1515 Market Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Martin Schrama, Esq.
Stark & Stark
993 Lenox Drive, Building 2
Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648
David Cedar, Esq.
Williams Cedar, LLC
8 Kings Highway West
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033
EMCFW Settlement Administrator –
Exclusions and Objections
PO Box 3595
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
 

Hearing on Final Approval

12. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement Agreement?

On October 15, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., the Honorable Michael F. O’Neill, J.S.C. of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hunterdon County Justice Center, 65 Park Avenue, Flemington, New Jersey 08822, will hold a public hearing to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be approved. Class members who support the proposed settlement do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval. Class members who object to the proposed settlement are not required to attend the settlement hearing. If you want to be heard orally in opposition to the settlement, either personally or through counsel, you must indicate your intention to appear at the hearing in your written objection.

More Information

13. Where can I get more information?

Visit the Court Documents page of the Settlement website to see complete copies of case-related documents, including a copy of the Settlement Agreement. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator:

By Phone: 1-844-810-1507                                    By Email: info@EMCFWsettlement.com

By Mail:

EMCFW Settlement Administrator
PO Box 3595
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Please do not write or telephone the Court, Defendants, or any of their agents for information about the proposed settlement or this lawsuit.