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Senne v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 6, 2016

AARON SENNE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS BASEBALL CORP., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AND DISMISSING CLAIMS WITHOUT PREJUDICE RE: DKT. NO. 673

          JOSEPH C. SPERO Chief Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Withdraw Putative Class Representatives Matt Lewis and Matt Gorgen and Dismiss their Claims without Prejudice ("Motion"). Defendants do not object to Gorgen and Lewis's withdrawal but ask the Court to dismiss their claims with prejudice and require that both Gorgen and Lewis sit for a "seven hour deposition, in New York City, during regular business hours and on dates selected by Defendants before July 8, 2016." The Court finds that the Motion is suitable for determination without oral argument and therefore vacates the scheduled July 8, 2016 hearing as to the instant Motion only pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). For the reasons stated below, the Motion is GRANTED.[1]

         II.BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs amended their complaint in this action to add Matt Gorgen as a named Plaintiff on April 21, 2104 and Matt Lewis as a named Plaintiff on May 20, 2015. See Docket Nos. 39, 382. Gorgen played for the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks; Lewis played for the Atlanta Braves. Both Gorgen and Lewis responded to written discovery propounded upon them by Defendants, including the production of documents. Pouya Decl. ¶¶ 4-5.

         In July of 2015 the parties collaborated to prepare a schedule of all 43 Plaintiffs named in the Second Consolidated Amended Complaint. Bloom Decl. ¶ 4. On July 27, 2015, Defendants noticed Gorgen's deposition for January 14, 2016 and Lewis's deposition for January 26, 2016. Id. According to Plaintiffs' counsel, when Gorgen and Lewis were informed of the noticed depositions, they "decided they no longer wished to serve as class representatives in this action." Pouya Decl. ¶ 7. It is unclear when Gorgen and Lewis were informed of the depositions or when they told counsel of their decisions.

         On January 5, 2016, Plaintiffs' counsel informed Defendants that Gorgen needed to cancel the scheduled January 14, 2016 due to a conflict. Bloom Decl. ¶ 5. When Plaintiffs were unable to come up with an alternative date that worked for Gorgen, Defendants renoticed the deposition for February 8, 2016, a time that was convenient for Defendants because they were already conducting depositions of three other named Plaintiffs that week in the same location. Id. ¶ 7. On February 3, 2016, Plaintiffs informed Defendants that Gorgen would not sit for his deposition on February 8 and two days later, on February 5, they informed Defendants that Gorgen would be withdrawing from the case. Bloom Decl. ¶ 5; Pouya Decl. ¶ 9.

         On January 22, 2016, Plaintiffs' counsel cancelled the Lewis deposition scheduled to occur on January 26, 2016. Bloom Decl. ¶ 11. The next day, Plaintiffs' counsel informed Defendants that Lewis had decided to withdraw. Pouya Decl. ¶ 8.

         According to Defendants, they informed Plaintiffs that they still planned to depose Gorgen and Lewis. Bloom Decl. ¶¶ 10, 12. Plaintiffs declined to provide alternative dates, however, taking the position that rescheduling the depositions would be unnecessary because they intended to bring a motion seeking leave for Gorgen and Lewis to withdraw. Id. In their Motion for Class Certification, Plaintiffs stated that they intended to seek leave to amend to add Aaron Dott, a current opt-in Plaintiff, to substitute in for Matt Gorgen. See Docket No. 496 at 17 n. 75.

         On May 20 and 23, 2016, Defendants served subpoenas on Plaintiffs' counsel rescheduling the depositions for June 6 (Lewis) and June 9 (Gorgen). Bloom Decl. ¶¶ 15-16, 23-24. In the interim, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion. Plaintiffs contend they provided a copy of the Motion to Defendants the day before they filed it and that they were informed on the same day that Defendants would oppose the Motion; Defendants state that Plaintiffs filed the Motion without following up and before Defendants had informed Plaintiffs' counsel as to whether they would consent to the relief requested in the Motion. Pouya Decl. 12; Bloom Decl. ¶ 21.

         Defendants refused to reschedule the noticed depositions unless the parties could agree on "reasonable alternative times, dates, and/or locations;" because Plaintiffs refused to provide alternative dates, the depositions were not rescheduled. Bloom Decl. ¶ 22. Plaintiffs brought motions for protective orders relating to the depositions, which the Court denied on June 13, 2016 on the basis that the parties had not adequately met and conferred. Docket No. 677. Gorgen and Lewis did not appear at the noticed depositions. Bloom Decl. ¶¶ 23-24.

         In the Motion, Plaintiffs ask the Court to dismiss Gorgen and Lewis pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) and assert that the dismissal should be without prejudice and with no special conditions. Defendants do not object to the dismissal of Gorgen and Lewis but ask the Court to dismiss their claims with prejudice and to further require that Gorgen and Lewis sit for depositions of seven hours each.

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. ...


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