Maybe taking a cue from the students who won a lawsuit against the University of California for hiking fees without giving enough notice, California State University students are now asking SF Superior Court Judge Peter Busch to stop a fee hike implemented at their schools.
The plaintiffs’ firm, Altshuler Berzon, also represented students in the University of California lawsuit. In a hearing today, Altshuler Berzon associate Danielle Leonard argued that when students were billed online before the fee hike, the university should have given them individualized notice that the price might go up.
She leaned heavily on Kashmiri v. Regents, the 2003 UC case in which San Francisco Judge James Warren granted a preliminary injunction preventing additional fees from being collected and ultimately ordered the UC system to repay fees to class members. An appeal court upheld that decision. Lead plaintiff Mohammad Kashmiri in that class action was a Boalt student who had to take a semester off for odd jobs before he could finish his degree.
CSU’s counsel, Daralyn Durie of Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent, argued in today’s hearing that the university would have to cut services if forced to stop the fee increases, and that the students have access to loans to help them pay the higher fees.
After taking a recess to think about it, Busch ruled against the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. “This is a difficult and close issue and I’ve been struggling with it for several days now,” he said.
— Kate Moser