FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why did I receive a Notice?

The Court ordered this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit of which you may be a member, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

If the Court approves it and after any objections and appeals are resolved, each eligible Class Member will receive a Settlement Certificate that will be good for use at www.coffeebean.com. The amount of the Settlement Certificate will be 75% of the total amount of each Class Member’s online subscriptions during the Class Period excluding the class member’s initial purchase. This notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, the benefits available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Court in charge of the case is the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange, and the case is entitled Malik v. International Coffee & Tea, LLC, et al., Case No. 30-2017-00900728-CU-BT-CXC. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the company he sued, International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, is called the Defendant.

What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claims that Coffee Bean violated the Automatic Renewal Law (hereinafter “ARL”) codified at Business & Professions Code §17600, by automatically charging class member’s credit or debit cards on a recurring basis without first providing class members with legally compliant notices and disclosures. Coffee Bean denies any wrongdoing.

Why is this a class action?

In a class action the Class Representative (in this case Abdul Malik), sues on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who ask to be excluded from the Class. California Superior Court Judge William D. Claster is in charge of this class action.

Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will benefit. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class.

Who is in the Settlement?

You are part of the Settlement if you lived in California and purchased a coffee/tea “Subscription” through Coffee Bean’s website, www.coffeebean.com, and your credit or debit card was automatically charged on a recurring basis for such subscription from May 6, 2012 through July 15, 2017 (“the Class Period”).

The Settlement Benefits—What You Get

What does the Settlement provide?

Coffee Bean will provide a Settlement Certificate to all members of the Settlement Class. Specifically, each Class Member shall receive a Settlement Certificate good for use at www.coffeebean.com in an amount equaling 75% of the total amount of the class member’s online subscriptions during the Class Period, excluding the class member’s initial purchase.

Take the following example:

Class Member Betty purchased a monthly subscription in June 2012 for two packages of ground coffee and paid $24 to join. Betty’s credit card was thereafter charged $24 every month for three months until she canceled her subscription. Betty will receive a Settlement Certificate credited with $54, good for use at www.coffeebean.com, calculated as follows: (Betty’s original purchase: $24. Betty’s subsequent purchases = $72 ($24 x 3). 75% of $72 = $54. Under the Settlement, you will receive a Settlement Certificate good for use at www.coffeebean.com in the following amount: $[Insert]

Your Settlement Certificate amount was calculated based on your purchase history as follows:

Total Purchases ($[XXXX]) – Initial Purchase ($[XXXX]) x .75 = [$XXXX]

If you believe that this calculation—or any of the amounts it is based on—is incorrect, and if you wish to contest the amount of your Settlement Certificate under this Settlement, you must write to the Settlement Administrator at:

Settlement Services, Inc. (SSI), PO Box 10808, Tallahassee, FL 32302-2808

postmarked no later than December 12, 2019, or call (844) 344-0531 no later than October 20, 2019, and you must provide information regarding the reasons you contest the amount of your Settlement Certificate. You may be asked to provide documentation to support the reasons you contest the amount of the Settlement Certificate.

How can I participate in the Settlement?

If you received notice of this Settlement, records show that you are a member of the Settlement Class and you will receive the Settlement Certificate and you need not do anything.

When would I receive my Settlement benefits?

The Court will hold a hearing on January 10, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange, Central Justice Center, Complex Division, Dept CX 104 located at 751 West Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701, to decide whether to approve this Settlement.

If the Court approves the Settlement after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps even more than a year. You may continue to check on the progress of the Settlement by checking this website.

What am I giving up to stay in the Class and receive a benefit?

Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can't sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf about the legal issues in this case if the Settlement is approved. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

As part of the Settlement, the Class Representative has agreed to dismiss all claims of the members of Settlement Class relating to any and all claims that International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf violated the ARL. This means that all persons who do not opt-out of the Settlement will be barred from bringing any claims on their own for the conduct that Plaintiff claims violates the ARL.

Excluding Yourself From the Settlement

If you don’t want to participate in this Settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out. This is called excluding yourself, and is sometimes referred to as opting out of the Class.

How do I get out of the Settlement?

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must fill out the “Opt Out Form” attached at the end of this Notice and mail it to Settlement Services, Inc. (SSI), PO Box 10808, Tallahassee, FL 32302-2808 postmarked no later than December 12, 2019.

You cannot exclude yourself by telephone or by e-mail. If you ask to be excluded, you will not get a Settlement Credit, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will also not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the future.

If I don't exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for the claim that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You must exclude yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, the exclusion deadline is December 12, 2019.

If I exclude myself, can I get benefits from this Settlement?

No. If you exclude yourself, you cannot receive benefits under the Settlement. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Do I have a lawyer in the case?

The Court has appointed Stonebarger Law, APC and Saghera Law Group to represent you and the Class. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How will the lawyers be paid?

The attorneys who brought the cases on your behalf are requesting attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $75,000.00 which must be approved by the Court. The Class Representative will also seek compensation for her efforts in the amount of $1,700.00, which must be approved by the Court. The Court may award less than these amounts. The Defendant will pay the fees and expenses that the Court awards, and the Defendant has agreed not to oppose these requests for fees and expenses. Defendant will also administer the Settlement and pay any costs associated with administration.

Plaintiff will file with the Court, and Defendant will post on www.coffeebeansettlement.com, Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Counsel Fees, Litigation Expenses, and Class Representative Payments by September 20, 2019, which is fourteen (14) days prior to the deadline for Class Members to Object to the Settlement.

Objecting to the Settlement

You can tell the Court that you don't agree with the settlement or some part of it.

How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?

If you stay in the Class, you can object to the Settlement if you don't like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Malik v. International Coffee & Tea, LLC, et al., Case No. 30-2017-00900728-CU-BT-CXC. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature, and the reasons you object to the Settlement. Mail the objection to these two different places postmarked no later than December 12, 2019.

To Class Counsel:

Gene J. Stonebarger
Crystal L. Matter
STONEBARGER LAW, APC
101 Parkshore Dr., Suite 100
Folsom, CA 95630

To Defense Counsel:

Michael Garfinkel
DLA Piper
2000 Avenue of the Stars Suite 400
North Tower Los Angeles, California 90067-4704

What's the difference between objecting and excluding?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the case no longer affects you.

The Court's Fairness Hearing

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don't have to.

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

The Court will hold a hearing on January 10, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange, Central Justice Center, Complex Division, Dept CX 104 751 West Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701, to consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take. The hearing may be continued without further notice.

Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send a written objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend.

If You Do Nothing

What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing at all, you will remain in the Class and will receive a Settlement Certificate and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against International Coffee & Tea, LLC dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

Getting More Information

Are there more details about the Settlement?

This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by writing to Class Counsel at the address [HERE] or you can download a copy [HERE].

How do I get more information?

You can write to the Settlement Services, Inc,. (SSI), ), PO Box 10808, Tallahassee, FL 32302-2808, or call 844-344-0531 to ask questions about the Settlement, be able to sign up to be notified if the Settlement is approved, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment. You may also e-mail the Settlement Administrator at staff@settlementservicesinc.com or contact Class Counsel [Here].

Additionally, you can access case information by going to the website for The Superior Court of California, County of Orange website at: www.occourts.org. Click on the “Online Case Access” tab and then click on “Civil Case & Document Access.” Click “Accept” to accept the website’s terms, and then enter the case number for this case, which is 30-2017-00900728.

Please do not contact the Clerk of the Court or the Judge with questions