Two California State University (CSU) students filed a lawsuit last week against CSU to prevent the 20 percent fee increase that the CSU board of trustees approved on July 21.
Travis Donselman of San Bernardino State University and Samantha Adame of San Francisco State University are filing the lawsuit on behalf of all CSU students. The complaint they filed said that because the university already sent a bill for the fall, it established a legally binding contract that set a price for those classes; by increasing the amount due for classes the university is breaking that contract.
The attorneys representing Donselman and Adame represented students in a similar case in 2005. Danielle Leonard and several other attorneys filed a successful suit against the University of California (UC) that involved the double billing of students because of a fee increase. The case was decided by a summary judgment that set a precedent Leonard hopes to apply against CSU. There are no relevant differences between the two cases, she said.
“Students are being given as little as a week to come up with the money,” she said. “I’m concerned that we are going to see a lot of students dropped from classes because of this.”
The chancellor’s office issued a statement with information on the status of the suit and said that students will still be able to register for classes.
The fee increase was one of the ways the CSU board of trustees solved the $564 million deficit the CSU system faced after a state budget crisis.
Leonard said the fee increase should not have been an option for the university.
“The law says they can’t double bill students,” she said.
A temporary restraining order of the fee increase was denied on Monday but the court granted an expedited hearing for Aug. 31.