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Danyell Murphy, et al v. Target Corporation

June 14, 2011

DANYELL MURPHY, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TARGET CORPORATION, ET AL.,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. William McCurine, Jr. U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court

ORDER RE: MOTION TO COMPEL DISCLOSURE OF NAMES AND CONTACT CLASS MEMBERS [DOC. NO. 38.] INFORMATION OF PUTATIVE

Background

Plaintiff Danyell Murphy brings this putative class action lawsuit on behalf of cashiers at Target Corporation alleging that Target violated California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 7-2001 section 14(a) which states: "All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats." Plaintiff alleges a violation of Wage Order 7-2001 constitutes a violation of Labor Code section 1198 which, in turn, permits Plaintiff to bring an action pursuant to the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 to recover civil penalties. [Doc. No. 1, Exh. A (Complaint).]

On January 14, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel disclosure of the names and contact information of putative class members. [Doc. No. 38.] Target filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion on January 31, 2011. [Doc. No. 40.] Plaintiff filed a reply to Target's opposition on February 4, 2011. [Doc. No. 42.]

Plaintiff's Motion to Compel

Plaintiff seeks a Court order compelling Target to produce the names, addresses and telephone numbers of putative class members employed at 10% of Target stores in California. [Doc. No. 38-1, pg. 2.] Specifically, Plaintiff requests the Court order the procedure Plaintiff proposed to Target on January 5, 2011:

(1) Target would provide Plaintiff with a list of the Target stores in California by January 14, 2011; (2) plaintiff would select a sample of 10% fo those stores; (3) within 10 court days of plaintiff's selection, Target would provide to plaintiff the name, contact information, job title, and store location of each putative class member who worked in the selected stores during the limitations period; and, (4) both sides would agree to limit their pre-certification communications regarding this lawsuit to those putative class members whose contact information had been provided to plaintiff. In other words, under plaintiff's procedure, both sides would have "equal access" to the putative class. [Doc. No. 38-1, pg. 3.]

Target's Response

Although Target concedes that it must disclose the names and contact information of a putative class sample, Target disagrees with Plaintiff on the size and scope of the sample, the definition of the sample, whether a privacy notice should issue before disclosure, the limitations on counsel's communications with Target employees, and the disclosure of employee telephone numbers. [Doc. No. 40, pg. 1.]

Plaintiff's Reply

Following Target's response, Plaintiff narrowed the issues before the Court to the following: (1) defining the representative sample; (2) setting the size of the representative sample; (3) whether the putative class members must receive an "opt-out" notice before the disclosure of their contact information; and (4) the inclusion of employee telephone numbers in the contact information disclosed. [See Doc. No. 42, pg. 2.]

Standards

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure to 26(b) sets forth the scope and limits of discovery in civil cases. It reads in pertinent part: "Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: "Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any parties claim or defense--including...[t]he identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d).In the class action context, Courts balance the following factors when assessing the potential intrusion of pre-certification discovery on the putative class members' right of privacy in their contact information: (1) if the party has a legally protected privacy interest; (2) whether the party has a reasonable expectation of privacy; and (3) whether ...


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