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Mora v. Harley-Davidson Credit Corp.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 8, 2013

LUIS MANUEL MORA, individually, and on behalf of the class, Plaintiff,
v.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON CREDIT CORP., a corporation; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the Motion of plaintiff Luis Manuel Mora ("Mora"), pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e) for an order granting preliminary approval of the settlement of this matter in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and Release dated June 5, 2013 (the "Agreement") (Doc. 129, Attach. 5).

The Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions for a proposed settlement of this lawsuit by and between defendant Harley Davidson Credit Corp. ("HDCC") and Mora, on his own behalf and on behalf of the Settlement Class and Settlement Sub-Class. Having read and considered the Agreement, as well as the proposed Class Notice, the memorandum in support of the motion and the Declarations of Luis Manuel Mora, William M. Krieg, Todd Hogue, and having heard the parties and given due consideration, the Court grants the motion for certification of a class for settlement purposes only and for preliminary approval of this class-action settlement.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

1. This Order incorporates by reference the definitions in the Agreement, and all capitalized terms used in this Order will have the same meanings as set forth in the Agreement, unless otherwise defined in this Order.[1]

2. For settlement purposes only, the Court conditionally certifies the following Settlement Class pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e):

all persons who purchased a Motor Vehicle in California whose Motor Vehicle was repossessed or voluntarily surrendered to HDCC, or its agents, and to whom HDCC sent an NOI between August 19, 2004 and May 31, 2011, and against whom HDCC claimed a deficiency was owed.[2]

3. For settlement purposes only, the Court conditionally certifies the following Settlement Sub-Class pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e):

All persons in the Settlement Class who signed Loan Agreements which contain arbitration clauses.

4. The Court conditionally finds, solely for the purposes of this settlement, that: (a) the Settlement Class is ascertainable and its members are so numerous that joinder of all Settlement Class Members in the action is impracticable; (b) there are questions of law or fact common to the Settlement Class for purposes of determining whether this settlement should be approved; (c) the claims of Mora are typical of the claims of absent members of the Settlement Class; (d) Mora and Class Counsel will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class Members in connection with the proposed settlement and satisfy the requirements Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e); (e) for purposes of determining whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate, common questions of law and fact appear to predominate over questions affecting only individual Settlement Class Members; and (f) a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy, considering: (i) the interests of the Settlement Class Members in individually controlling the prosecution of separate actions; (ii) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against Settlement Class Members; (iii) the desirability or undesirability of continuing the litigation of these claims in this particular forum; and (iv) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of this action as a class action.

5. Mora is hereby designated as representative of the conditionally certified Settlement Class and Settlement Sub-Class, and William M. Krieg of Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg, LLP is appointed as Class Counsel.

6. The Court preliminarily finds that the settlement as set forth in the Agreement, as modified by this Order, is fair, reasonable and adequate and is within the range of possible approval. The Court further finds that there is sufficient basis for notifying the Settlement Class of the proposed settlement.

7. The Court hereby preliminarily approves the Agreement, as modified in this Order, subject to a hearing on the final approval of the settlement.

8. A Final Approval Hearing shall be held on December 13, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe in Courtroom 8 of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, ...


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