Detroit Per-Acre Drainage Charges Settlement

Settlement Structure: Claims Made

Active: Closed

Closed Settlement Statement:

According to court documents, the claim submission deadline has passed. Please contact the claims administrator if you have any questions.

Case Summary:

The city of Detroit, Michigan has agreed to set aside nearly $30 million to settle a class action alleging that its Water and Sewerage Department imposed disproportionate drainage charges on a particular subset of the city’s property owners. The complaint in the case claimed that the charges were made to raise revenue and did not reflect the actual cost of providing drainage. It contend that they are unlawful under the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, that they violate equal protection guarantees, and that the city should make refunds.

Docket Number:


Company: City of Detroit

Filing Deadline: December 6, 2017

Class Period: July 18, 2013 to June 30, 2017

Objection Deadline: December 6, 2017

Exclusion Deadline: December 6, 2017

Final Approval Hearing: January 5, 2018

Proof of Purchase:

No, city records will be used to verify eligibility.


You may be eligible if you owned or occupied non-residential, parcel-based property and were billed for per-acre drainage charges between July 18, 2013 and June 30, 2017.

You are not eligible if you were first billed such charges on or after October 1, 2016 and did not previously pay such charges, or if you previously waived or released your claims for the class period.

If you want a cash refund, you must submit a claim form; those who do not will receive their award in the form of a sewer credit. Those receiving credits will be divided into three groups:

  • Group 1: Credits are smaller than amount owed. Awards will be used to pay past-due amounts and remaining amounts are still owed.
  • Group 2: Credits are larger than amounts owed. Awards will be used to pay past-due amounts and the remainder will be given as a credit to the account or refunded in cash.
  • Group 3: No amount is owed. Awards can be taken in the form of a cash refund or an account credit toward future charges. 
Typical Settlement Amount:

Varies, based on pro-rata amounts paid according to a formula. Cash payment or sewer account credit. For a twelve-month period beginning August 1, 2017, the city will impose on class members reduced per-acre charges.

Total Settlement Amount: $29,500,000

Class Representative Proposed Incentive Fee:


Law Firm:
Kickham Hanley PLLC

Claim Form: Michigan Warehousing Group v Detroit Claim Form

Case Name: Michigan Warehousing Group LLC v. Detroit

Settlement Website: Michigan Warehousing Group v Detroit Website

Claims Administrator:
Kickham Hanley PLLC

Claims Administrator Contact Information:

Kickham Hanley PLLC
32121 Woodward Avenue, Suite 300

Royal Oak, Michigan 48073

(248) 544-1500

Tags: Municipal Service Overcharges, Municipalities