The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Seeborg United States District Judge
[PROPOSED] FINAL APPROVAL ORDER AS MODIFIED BY THE COURT
On October 13, 2009, Defendant Cash America Net of California, LLC d/b/a CashNetUSA
("CashNetUSA") removed to this Court Plaintiff Theresa Calloway's class action complaint (hereinafter referred to as the "Lawsuit") filed in California state court against Defendant asserting class claims under the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Cal. Civil Code 1788 et seq.
("RFDCPA"). Plaintiff alleged specifically that CashNetUSA sent Plaintiff and Class Members a letter in the form of Exhibit 1 attached to Plaintiff's Complaint which allegedly used false and misleading representations in an attempt to collect a debt in violation of the RFDCPA.
CashNetUSA denied any and all liability asserted in the Lawsuit.
In an attempt to settle the Lawsuit, the Parties participated in
discussions and the Court's mediation process. A settlement was
reached. The parties subsequently
entered into a written Class Action Settlement Agreement ("Agreement")
and on January 20, 2011 2 filed a Joint Motion for Class Certification
and Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement
Agreement. The Agreement is subject to review under Fed. R. Civ. P.
The Court entered an Order of Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement on April 12, 2011, which was amended April 28, 2011 (hereinafter referred to as the "Preliminary Approval Order"). Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court, among other things, (for settlement purposes only) (i) preliminarily certified a class of plaintiffs; (ii) appointed Plaintiff Theresa Calloway as the Class Representative; and, (iii) appointed O. Randolph Bragg, Esq. and Ronald Wilcox, Esq. as Class Counsel. Class notices were to be emailed to all class members on or before May 9, 2011.
The Preliminary Approval Order also approved the form of the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement ("Notice") attached to the Agreement. The approved form Notice provided in the Relief to Class section that: "Claims of the class members to participate in the distribution of the class cash recovery may be sent to CashNetUSA by means of electronic mail." Because CashNetUSA elected to accept claims on line, it established a Settlement website (www.loansletterssettlement.com). Thus, the Relief to Class section in the Notice sent to class members was modified to read instead: "Claims of the class members to participate in the 18 distribution of the class cash recovery may be filed online at www.loanletterssettlement.com."
The approved form Notice provided in the To Submit A Claim Form section that: "To submit a claim to receive your share of the $16,000 cash recovery for the class (up to $10.00 max.), 21 you must respond to this email sent to you with this notice indicating your participation in the class 22 settlement, and if applicable, proof that the claims in this lawsuit were listed as an asset in any 23 bankruptcy proceeding and have been abandoned by the Trustee." Again, because CashNetUSA 24 elected to accept claims on-line, the To Submit A Claim Form section in the Notice was modified to 25 read instead: "To submit a claim to receive your share of the $16,000 cash recovery for the class (up to $10.00 max.) go to the Settlement website at www.loanletterssettlement.com and complete 27 the on-line claim form. You can also download a claim form, complete it and mail it to Claims Manager, PO Box 218, Minneapolis, MN 55440-0218. If you filed bankruptcy between September 3, 2008 and August 4, 2011, and you file a claim, you must provide proof that the claims in this 2 lawsuit were listed as an asset in any bankruptcy proceeding and have been abandoned by the Trustee." The Court approves these changes to the Notice.
On August 4, 2011, after the required class action notices were sent by email, a Fairness Hearing was held pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 to determine whether the Lawsuit satisfied the 6 applicable prerequisites for class action treatment and whether the proposed settlement was 7 fundamentally fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the settling class members and 8 should be approved by the Court. 9
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Lawsuit and over all settling parties hereto, including all Class Members.
2. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, the Lawsuit is hereby finally certified, for settlement purposes only, as a class action consisting of all persons to whom CashNet USA sent, from September 1, 2008 to the present, a letter in the form of Exhibit 1 attached to Plaintiff's Complaint.
3. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, the Court finally certifies Plaintiff Theresa Calloway as the Class Representative and O. Randolph Bragg, Esq. ...