Poll

Do you qualify to be part of the certified class in a Class Action against the Canal Corporation?

Author Topic: Can Federal Civil Procedure Article 23 Help Erie Canal Neighbors Restore their Privacy?  (Read 27 times)

Doug K

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Many of you may be saying..."Hey, why is the ECNA bringing up Class Action, I thought you were supporting the Embankment Rehabilitation Program"

Well yes we are supporting Erie Canal SAFETY, always. But that fight was about a public safety program effort. What follows, what some Erie Canal Neighbors have had to endure in the "pursuit of safer dams" isn't about public safety, it's about personal protections under the Laws of our State & Federal Government.

Class Action is just the tool used to settle issues like this when there are multiple Plantiffs & Defendants

First, here a few websites with more information... suggest you read them if you think you may want to consider joining in a Class Action

https://www.federalrulesofcivilprocedure.org/frcp/title-iv-parties/rule-23-class-actions/

https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/class-action-cases.html

First you need to understand what Class Action is about... and how it works. Here's a little bit of information for you to review



And there are both Federal & State Laws that apply to Class Action, you can find more here:



What a Class Action really comes down to is getting your Class Certified, here's a little on that topic

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/how-is-a-class-certified-34656



So one definition of the "Class" for the litigation could be Erie Canal Neighbors if we painted with a broad brush stroke... but maybe not well defined enough as the issues facing most Erie Neighbors has become Privacy & Sense of Security since the Canal Coprportion removed the trees making their embankments unsafe.

The Class Action class definition would have to have that idea of Physical Relationship to the Erie Canal Embankment, maybe something like:

Erie Canal Neighbors living in Close Proximity to Canal Embankment Dams

And the Plaintiffs for a Class Action filing would be a bit long but could include the following folks. We have listed the reasons why they would be named as well...

New York Power Authority - These folks own the NY Canal System now, and the NY Canal Corporation is directed by this state run agency. They are writing the checks for the Embankment Rehabilitation Program as well, the catalyst for the complaints & defined losses claimed by the "Class" in a Class Action.

New York Canal Corporation - They are running the actual projects & programs around Erie Canal dam clearing. They also are the people who performed the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for Work Zones 1-40. That SEQR work SHOULD have identified the areas most affected by the embankment work which were within 50-60' of its neighboring properties. The SEQR review also has stated the possible need for FENCING as a barrier solution that the Canal Corporation has decuded to omit from their list of barrier solutions... as of the last public meeting.

The Towns of Pittsford, Brighton & Perinton - These three towns initiated a Court Injunction against the NY Canal Corp & it's Embankment Project (EERP) that effectively forced the NYCC to perform the more intensive SEQR process, which was not completed when the Embankment Project started. The actions of these Towns & Tiwn Leaders may have contributed to a hasty SEQR process, which was completed a full year AFTER the start of the tree clearing phase.

The Stop the Canal ClearCut (STCC) Group - This group's activities were the catalyst and reason behind the Court Injunction against the NYCC Embankment Program. Their refusal  to accept a public safety program and fight against it, has affected both the SEQR work and outcomes of the project today. Without their negative influence, the outcome of the Embankment Project may have been different, especially in regards to the Environmental Review,. That SEQR review may have been more comprehensive if run without pressure to complete before EERP Phase 2 work was started in November 2018. All of the SEQR work was a direct result of the STCC influence

What's Next?
Currently all of this possible Class Action is "on hold"... can't be started until the final steps of the Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP) have been completed. If Erie Canal Neighbors still have issues with the natural barrier screening in place, as described by the Canal Corporation and it's partnering company, CHA Design & Construction Solutions, then we can restart this conversation. But we can't move forward until  we all see the "final product" promised as part of the EERP work in Brockport & all points west.

And we have to have a number of EC neighbors who have unresolved issues that affect the use of their home or property.

Many Erie Canal neighboring homeowners have attended public meetings where they were told the barriers would be planted and remedy the privacy & security issues. But if you look at the problem, and consider that not all Erie Canal Neighbors are the same, the solutions being offered may fall short for many of the homeowners living less than 20 yards away from the NY Canal Corporation's walking trail... a trail that we now know is really a SERVICE ROAD for Erie Canal Embankment Dam Inspection & Repair.

Will a Natural Barrier be enough?
It does not appear that a single row of trees placed alongside the Erie Canal Trail will be an effective barrier for the noise, light & "people" pollution that have plagued some of it's neighbors, since the trees have come down. It's just a matter of barrier density...  and small shrubs being suggested will be a bit too porous for some of us who have trail traffic issues that affect our daily lives.

Maybe there is a REAL need for solid, maintenance free, privacy fencing....  fencing that was named in the original Embankment Project SEQR Review..



If you think you may want to be a part of a Class Action to settle issues created by the Embankment Safety work going on between Middleport & Brockport... please let your voice be heard in the Poll included with this post. The ECNA will be collecting data to analyze the need for follow-up on Class Action.

If you are interested in joining that Class Action please send along contact information to the author of this post. Please submit photographic evidence of your claim as well as full contact information.

We will also be posting more information as we obtain it from the Canal Corporation on the possibility of Privacy Fence as an option for some neighboring property owners who are "too close for comfort" to these safer Canal Embankments. That solution may work for some, but may take a bit of ECNA "arm twisting" on NY Canal Leadership to make it a possible solution.

Check back later, this topic will most likely grow in popularity as more canal work continues.



« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 08:20:37 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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Here's an interesting piece about getting a Class Action group certified..

* Class Action Certification Primer.pdf (393.03 kB - downloaded 0 times.)