The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge: Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr.
ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION FOR CERTIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT CLASS AND PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT
Date: March 24, 2011Time: 2:00 p.m.
TO ALL PARTIES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNSEL OF RECORD: Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement came before this Court, Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr. presiding, on March 24, 2011. Pursuant to Local Rule 230(g), the Court dispensed with oral argument. Having considered the papers submitted in support of the application of the parties, HEREBY ORDERS THE FOLLOWING:
1. The Court grants preliminary approval of the Settlement and the Settlement Class based upon the terms set forth in the Stipulation and Agreement of Compromise and Settlement ("Settlement Agreement"), attached to the Notice of Motion and Motion as Exhibit A. The Settlement appears to be fair, adequate, and reasonable to the Class.
2. The Settlement falls within the range of reasonableness and appears to be presumptively valid, subject only to any objections that may be raised at the final fairness hearing and final approval by this Court.
3. A final fairness hearing on the question of whether the proposed Settlement, attorneys' fees to Class Counsel, and the Class Representative's enhancement payments should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate as to the members of the Class is scheduled for July 28, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., in the Courtroom of the Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr.
4. The Court approves, as to form and content, the Notice of Class Action Settlement ("Notice") attached to the Notice of Motion and Motion as Exhibit A (A) and the Claim Form in substantially the form attached thereto as Exhibit A (B). The Court approves the procedure for Class Members to participate in, to opt out of, and to object to the Settlement as set forth in the Notice.
5. The Court directs the mailing of the Notice and the Claim Form by first-class mail to the Class Members in accordance with the Implementation Schedule set forth below. Notices and Claim Forms returned to the Claims Administrator as non-delivered during the forty-five (45) calendar day period for the filing of claims shall be resent to the forwarding address, if any, on the returned envelope. If the resent envelope is returned unopened, the Claims Administrator shall attempt to ascertain the correct address through one reasonable attempt to locate the Class Member. The Court finds the dates selected for the mailing and distribution of the Notice and the Claim Form, as set forth in the Implementation Schedule, meet the requirements of due process and provide the best notice practicable under the circumstances and shall constitute due and sufficient notice to all persons entitled thereto.
6. It is ordered that the Settlement Class is preliminarily certified for settlement purposes only.
7. The Court confirms the Law Offices of Michael Tracy as Class Counsel for purposes of settlement only.
8. The Court confirms Simpluris as the Claims Administrator.
9. The Court orders the following Implementation Schedule for further proceedings:
Deadline for Claims Administrator to 45 Days after Court Orders Mail the Notice and the Claim Form to Preliminary Approval of Class Members Settlement
Deadline for Class Members to Postmark 45 Days after Notice of Proposed Claim Forms, Request Exclusion from Class Action Settlement and Claim the Class (opt out) and serve written Form is mailed by the ...