Letters have arrived in the mailboxes of more than 53,000 drivers letting them know they qualify for part of a $1.5 million settlement with the city of Fargo.

The letters are the latest step in resolving a 2007 class-action lawsuit brought by West Fargo resident Stephanie Sauby, who alleged that the city of Fargo charged more than was allowed under state law for traffic violations.

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The $1.5 million settlement agreement was preliminarily approved in July. The letters sent out this month notify drivers that they are eligible to receive up to 65 cents for each dollar in traffic fines they paid that exceeded limits set by North Dakota law.

Drivers must decide whether to participate in the settlement by Nov. 2 by submitting a claim form indicating their interest.

Fargo city attorney Erik Johnson said it's hard to say how many drivers will file a claim to participate in the settlement.

"Normally, I've heard that return rates on class-action notices is fairly low," Johnson said. "I don't know what this will bring in."

There is also a choice to opt out of the settlement. By doing so, drivers state they don't want to take part in the settlement and will not receive any portion of the settlement money. The drivers must choose whether to opt out by Nov. 2.

Final approval of the settlement will be decided in Fargo U.S. District Court at a hearing on Nov. 30.

The Herald and the Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.