Stack to hear motion to dismiss Netco class action

Amelia Flood Aug. 20, 2010, 7:33am


A company facing a class action suit over allegedly overcharged recording and courier charges is asking that the case be thrown out.

Defendant Netco Inc. is also asking that a move for class certification filed by lead plaintiffs Kerry and Sheila Tormino be stayed.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack is set to hear the dismissal plea Aug. 27 at 9 a.m.

The Torminos filed suit in 2004 alleging Netco is guilty of violations of the state's consumer fraud statute, breach of contract and other claims.

They claim that Netco overcharged them and other customers to record mortgages and to send loan documents and payment by courier.

They claim the defendant charged them $70 to record a mortgage, for example, when it cost the company $26 to do so.

Netco then allegedly kept the difference.

The plaintiffs filed for class certification in June.

They ask the court to approve a class of parties who went through the defendant to conduct closings on real estate transactions.

That issue is currently set for hearing in October.

The defendant, in its motion to dismiss the suit, argues that Netco complied with the disclosure requirements set down in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and that Netco did not breach its contract with the Torminos or anyone else.

It also disputes the claims by the Torminos that it did anything improper by retaining the fee difference.

The motion to dismiss was filed May 25.

Netco's motion to stay the class certification hearing is based on both a prior stay in the case and its motion to dismiss it.

The Tormino case had been stayed pending the outcome of a St. Clair County case, Frailey vs. Netco Inc. since 2004.

The stay was lifted in December of last year.

Netco argues that the court must first deal with its dismissal motion before it can determine whether a class should be certified in the case at all.

"If this Court grants Netco's motion, then neither this Court nor the parties will be required to expend any additional time and resources in addressing the plaintiff's motion for class certification," the motion reads. "This is especially important for Netco, whose resources have been severely reduced as a result of the collapse of the real estate market.

Netco asked for the stay shortly after the plaintiffs moved for class certification.

The Torminos are represented by Phillip Bock.

Netco is represented by Edward Bott.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder formerly oversaw the case.

The case is Madison case number 04-L-238.

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