MARTHA MORAZAN, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
ARAMARK UNIFORM & CAREER APPAREL GROUP, INC., et al. Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOVANTS MITCH MARINCOVICH AND RYAN COMPTON'S MOTION TO INTERVENE AND CHALLENGE PLAINTIFF'S ADEQUACY AS A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE
YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS, District Judge.
Pending before the Court is a Motion to Intervene and Challenge Plaintiff's Adequacy as a Class Representative filed by Movants Mitch Marincovich and Ryan Compton ("Motion"). (Dkt. No. 39.) Plaintiff and Defendants both oppose the Motion. (Dkt. Nos. 46 & 49.) The Court held oral argument on the Motion on August 13, 2013. (Dkt. No. 61.)
Having carefully considered the papers submitted and the pleadings in this action, the arguments of counsel, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court hereby DENIES Movants' Motion to Intervene.
I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND
A. Procedural Background in the Instant Action
Plaintiff filed this action in state court on November 20, 2012. Defendants removed the action to federal court on March 1, 2013. (Dkt. No. 1.) The parties executed a settlement agreement on May 2, 2013. Pursuant to that agreement, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on May 3, 2013. (Dkt. No. 23.) Plaintiff then filed a Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement (Dkt. No. 29), which Defendants did not oppose.
The Court held a hearing on the Motion for Preliminary Approval on June 11, 2013, during which the Court requested that the parties meet and confer on particular issues and submit revised documents to the Court. (Dkt. No. 34.) After reviewing the revised documents, the Court issued an Order (1) Preliminarily Approving Class Action Settlement; (2) Conditionally Certifying the Proposed Settlement Class; (3) Appointing Plaintiff and her Counsel as Class Representative and Class Counsel; (4) Approving and Directing the Mailing of Settlement Notice; and (5) Scheduling a Fairness Hearing [As Modified by the Court] ("Preliminary Approval Order"). (Dkt. No. 37.)
Thereafter, on July 8, 2013, Movants filed the instant Motion to Intervene and Challenge Plaintiff's Adequacy as a Class Representative. In the Motion, Movants request that the Court grant intervention as of right pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a) to: (1) challenge the adequacy of Plaintiff to represent the settlement class; (2) seek leave to file a motion to bifurcate the claims of Route Sales Representatives ("RSRs"), who are listed as part of the settlement class; and (3) object to the settlement because Plaintiff is not an adequate class representative for RSR class members.
B. Proposed Intervenors' State Court Proceeding
Movants are the named plaintiffs in Marincovich v. Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel Group, Inc., a wage and hour class action in Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC494530. Movants filed the Marincovich action on October 24, 2012. The Marincovich complaint seeks remedies on behalf of RSR employees in certain Southern California locations who were classified as "Commission Route Sales Representatives" or "Hourly Route Sales Representatives." (Motion at 4.) The complaint alleges the following claims: (1) Violation of California Labor Code sections 204, 206, 218, 510, 511, 1194 and 1198; (2) Injunctive Relief, Declaratory Relief, Restitution for Violations of Unfair Business Practices (Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200, et seq. ); (3) Violation of Labor Code section 200, et seq.; (4) Violation of Labor Code sections 226.7 and 512; (5) Violation of Labor Code sections 226.7 and 512; (6) Penalties Under PAGA Labor Code section 2698, et seq.; and (7) Violation of Labor Code sections 219, 224, and 1198. ( Id. )
Aramark removed Marincovich on November 30, 2012 to the Central District of California. On March 6, 2013, Aramark filed a Supplemental Notice of Pendency of Other Actions or Proceedings. (Case No. 12-cv-10245-PSG-JEM [C.D. Cal.] at Dkt. No. 35.) In the Supplemental Notice, Aramark informed the court and Movants of the Morazan action and stated that "[t]he putative class in the present [ Marincovich ] action is encompassed within the putative class in Morazan. The subject matter of the claims alleged in both actions will overlap." ( Id. at 4.) The Marincovich plaintiffs filed a motion to remand and Aramark filed a motion to dismiss. The Marincovich court granted the motion to remand and denied the motion to dismiss as moot.
Thereafter, the parties filed a Joint Initial Status Conference Action Response Statement on May 1, 2013. (Declaration of Joseph Antonelli in Support of Movants Mitch Marincovich and Ryan Compton's Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene and Challenge Plaintiff's Adequacy as a Class Representative [Dkt. No. 53-1], Ex. 4.) The statement identified the Morazan action as an action with an overlapping class definition. ( Id. at 3.) In addition, plaintiffs stated they were open to an early mediation, whereas defendant stated that it "believes it is too early in the litigation to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution" and "respectfully request[ed] that the Court revisit this issue at a future status conference." ( Id. at 5.)
On July 1, 2013, plaintiffs' counsel filed a Notice of Ruling at Status Conference of June 25, 2013 and Continued Hearing. (Dkt. No. 53-1, Ex. 5.) The Notice stated that a further status conference would be scheduled for October 8, 2013, and stated that the parties were to file a Joint Report stating the status of the instant action here, which "should cover the time frame to opt out of the settlement and whether Plaintiffs have opted out. If preliminary approval of the settlement is granted, state the position of each party in regard to whether the Marincovich class is encompassed by the Morazan class. [¶] If preliminary approval is denied, the parties will need to address class certification dates and a briefing schedule. If preliminary ...