United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO INTERVENE; AND GRANTING IN
PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO RELATE DOCKET NOS. 73,
M. CHEN United States District Judge
Court held a hearing on a motion to intervene and a motion to
relate on July 21, 2016. This order memorializes the
Court's oral rulings made at the hearing and provides
additional analysis, as necessary.
Motion to Intervene
motion to intervene is DENIED. Intervention
as of right is improper as to seven out of the ten proposed
intervenors because the seven do not have a significant
protectable interest in Carroll –
i.e., they could not be members of the
Carroll class if certified. See Wells
Opp'n at 5 (noting that seven of the proposed intervenors
stopped working for Wells prior to the beginning of the
Carroll class period, i.e., April 2011).
See, e.g., Lee v. The Pep Boys-Manny Moe,
No. 12-cv-05064-JSC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9753, at *9 (N.D.
Cal. Jan. 27, 2016) (indicating that proposed intervenor
might not have a significant protectable interest in the
lawsuit because he “is arguably not even a putative
member of Plaintiff's proposed UCL class”).
the remaining three, even if they have a significant
protectable interest, they are not so situated that the
disposition of Carroll may as a practical matter
impair or impede their ability to protect their interest. The
three can make objections if and when Ms. Carroll moves to
certify; they can also object and/or opt out if,
e.g., a settlement class is contemplated. See,
e.g., Zepeda v. Paypal, Inc., No.
10-cv-02500-SBA (JCS), 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56699, at *20-21
(N.D. Cal. Apr. 23, 2014) (“If the class is certified
and Putative Interveners are members of the class, then
Putative Interveners do have means to protect their
interests. That is, they may object to the settlement during
the hearings on motions for preliminary or final approval, or
they may opt out of the class and pursue their claims
separately.”). Furthermore, the Court orders that
counsel for the three proposed intervenors be served with all
significant motions, including any motion for preliminary
approval of settlement.
the Court notes that, at least at this juncture, the three
proposed intervenors have not shown that Ms. Carroll and/or
her counsel cannot adequately represent their interest. Where
an applicant for intervention and an existing party
„have the same ultimate objective, a presumption of
adequacy of representation arises.'â Nw. Forest Res.
Council v. Glickman, 82 F.3d 825, 838 (9th Cir. 1996);
see also Prete v. Bradbury, 438 F.3d 949, 957 (9th
Cir. 2006). Here, there is nothing to cast doubt that Ms.
Carroll and the proposed intervenors share the same ultimate
objective. Moreover, nothing shows that Ms. Carroll will not
seek the discovery that the proposed intervenors have
developed or may develop in their cases.
the proposed intervenors have a better case for permissive
intervention – there appear to be some questions of law
or fact in common (e.g., California Labor Code
violations based on failure to pay for off-the-clock time and
meal breaks) – the Court still has discretion to deny
permissive intervention and, here, the adequacy of
representation alone is a sufficient ground to deny
above-stated reasons, the Court denies the motion to
intervene. However, the Court orders the Carroll
parties to keep the proposed intervenors apprised of
significant motions as noted above.
Motion to Relate
plaintiffs in the two federal cases – Layog v.
Wells Fargo, No. C-16-2011 JD (filed on April 15, 2016),
and Santini v. Wells Fargo, No. C-16-1992 YGR (also
filed on April 15, 2016) – have asked for their cases
to be related to Carroll. The Court GRANTS the
motion to relate Layog but DENIES the motion to
relate Santini. Because of the overlap in class
definitions in Layog and Carroll, relation
of these cases is sensible. However, there is no such overlap
between Santini and Carroll; indeed, there
seems to be no dispute that the putative class members in
Santini (phone bankers in Wells Fargo call centers)
operate under a different structure than the putative class
members in Carroll (nonexempt employees who service
Wells Fargo customers at bank branches).
Meet and Confer
on the overlap between Layog and Carroll,
the Court ordered the parties to meet and confer to discuss
the possibility of consolidation. In light of this order, the
Court defers setting a hearing on the motion to dismiss which
has been fully briefed in Layog See generally Layog,
Docket No. 27 (motion to dismiss). In addition, the Court
hereby vacates the class certification deadlines previously
set in Carroll. During their meet and confer, the
parties shall also discuss setting new dates for the motion
to dismiss (if necessary) and motion for class certification.