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Aldaz v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 18, 2014

ISMAEL ALDAZ, SR., ET AL
v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.

Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS): DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO DISMISS ALL INDIVIDUALLY NAMED PLAINTIFFS EXCEPT ISMAEL ALDAZ, SR. (ECF No. 10, filed September 9, 2014)

The Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of November 24, 2014, is vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs, fifty police officers employed by the Los Angeles Police Department ("LAPD"), filed the instant action on July 21, 2014, against the City of Los Angeles ("the City") and Does 1 through 10. ECF. No. 1. The complaint alleges that defendants failed to compensate plaintiffs for overtime hours worked, including before and after shifts and during their "Code 7" meal breaks. See Compl. ¶¶ 22-29.

Plaintiffs were previously parties in two opt-in FLSA collective actions that were decertified because the plaintiffs were not "similarly situated" with respect to off-the-clock claims. See Alaniz v. City of Los Angeles, No. 04-CV-8592 GAF (AJWx); Mata v. City of Los Angeles, No. 07-CV-6782 GAF (AJWx). The decertifying orders dismissed the opt-in plaintiffs' claims without prejudice.[1] See Compl. ¶ 11. Subsequently, the dismissed opt-in plaintiffs refiled their actions as twenty-eight lawsuits, with plaintiffs grouped by work divisions or bureaus. Plaintiffs in the case before this Court were, "[d]uring a significant period of time throughout their employment... assigned to divisions of the Detective Bureau: Gangs and Narcotics, Commercial Crimes, Detective Support and Vice, and Robbery Homicide Divisions." Compl. ¶ 12.

On September 9, 2014, the City filed a motion to (1) dismiss or strike all named plaintiffs except for Ismael Aldaz, Sr. ("Aldaz"), the first-named plaintiff, and (2) strike certain allegations in the complaint relating to collective adjudication.[2] Following plaintiffs' failure to file a timely opposition, and the Court's grant of an ex parte application to extend the opposition deadline, plaintiffs filed an opposition on November 3, 2014. ECF No. 22. The City replied on November 10, 2014. ECF No. 23. After considering the parties' arguments, the Court concludes that the motion to dismiss all plaintiffs but Aldaz should be GRANTED and that the motion to strike should be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Joinder

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 governs permissive joinder and provides:

Persons... may be joined in one action as plaintiffs if:
(A) they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and
(B) any question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs will arise in the action.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(1). "The first prong, the same transaction' requirement, refers to similarity in the factual background of a claim." Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 1997). "Both of these requirements must be satisfied in order to sustain party joinder under Rule 20(a)." 7 Charles ...


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