United States District Court, E.D. California
parties jointly stipulate to dismiss all individual claims
brought by plaintiff Karen Call, agreeing this putative class
action “should be resolved on an individual basis
because counsel for Plaintiff do not believe proceeding with
the class action is feasible, ” while all putative
class claims and causes of action should be dismissed without
prejudice. ECF No. 21 (emphasis omitted). In response to the
parties’ stipulation, the court directed the parties to
meet and confer and submit a supplemental filing addressing
the factors identified in Diaz v. Tr. Territory of Pac.
Islands, 876 F.2d 1401, 1407-09 (9th Cir. 1989) and
Del Rio v. CreditAnswers, LLC, No. 10CV346-WQH-BLM,
2011 WL 1869881, at *23 (S.D. Cal. May 16, 2011), Minute
Order, ECF No. 22, which the parties did, Suppl. Filing, ECF
No. 23. As explained below, the court now APPROVES the
Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs the litigation of class
actions in federal court. “Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23(e) requires courts to approve the proposed
voluntary dismissal of class claims” even before the
class is formally certified. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
23(e) (“The claims, issues, or defenses of a certified
class-or a class proposed to be certified for purposes of
settlement-may be settled, voluntarily dismissed, or
compromised only with the court’s approval.”);
id. advisory committee’s note to the 2018
amendments (“The introductory paragraph of Rule 23(e)
is amended to make explicit that [Rule 23(e)’s]
procedural requirements apply in instances in which the court
has not certified a class at the time that a proposed
settlement is presented to the court.”). Where parties
seek to voluntarily dismiss class claims, “the court
must inquire into possible prejudice from the following
(1) class members’ possible reliance on the filing of
the action if they are likely to know of it either because of
publicity or other circumstances, (2) lack of adequate time
for class members to file other actions, because of a rapidly
approaching statute of limitations, (3) any settlement or
concession of class interests made by the class
representative or counsel in order to further their own
Madrid v. teleNetwork Partners, LTD., No.
5:17-CV-04519-BLF, 2019 WL 3302812, at *7 (N.D. Cal. July 23,
2019) (quoting Diaz, 876 F.2d at 1408).
the court is satisfied that dismissal of this action will
result in no prejudice to the putative class members. It is
the court’s understanding that the statute of
limitations on certain class claims may have expired on or
about March 20, 2019, and therefore some potential class
members would be barred from bringing their claims once this
case was dismissed. See Order, ECF No. 15, at 2
(“Due to the potential impending expiration of the
statute of limitations on the added claims on or about March
20, 2019 . . . .”). However, this is not a widely
publicized case, and potential class members are unlikely to
have relied on this action to vindicate their interests.
See Suppl. Filing at 3; see, e.g., Castro v.
Zenith Acquisition Corp., No. 06-04163, 2007 WL 81905,
at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2007) (finding no publicity of case
meant potential class members did not rely on the action to
assert or protect their claims).
the parties explained in their supplemental filing that
dismissal of the classwide claims was based primarily on
plaintiff’s conclusion the claims lacked merit:
“Based on a review of the information produced by
Defendant, Plaintiff concluded Defendant presented classwide
evidence showing training time was paid regularly throughout
the class period.” Suppl. Filing at 2 (citing Decl. of
Michael Singer, ECF No. 23-3, ¶ 2). It appears notice to
the potential class members is therefore not necessary,
particularly because counsel for defendant represents she
“conducted an inquiry to determine whether there are
any other individuals other than Plaintiff who believes [sic]
that they are aggrieved by Defendant’s actions”
and could not find any. Decl. of Sayaka Karitani, ECF No.
23-1, ¶ 4; see also Decl. of Jonathan M. Lebe,
ECF No. 23-2, ¶¶ 2–3 (plaintiff’s
counsel explaining he has only been contacted by one other
putative class member, who did not appear to have legitimate
claim and who advised she was not interested in pursuing any
claims against defendant).
court is also satisfied the settlement and dismissal are not
“tainted by collusion, ” based on the
parties’ representation that the settlement was a
result of the parties discovering plaintiff was “owed
wages for training time due to a clerical error when
calculating her wages, ” and no other individuals
appear to have suffered from the same error. Suppl. Filing at
3 (citing Singer Decl. ¶¶ 3, 5; Lebe Decl.
¶¶ 2–3; Karitani Decl ¶¶ 3, 4).
Further, plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel “have
received no monetary consideration for dismissal of the class
claims”; rather, plaintiff’s counsel only
recovered costs for filing and service and a portion of the
attorney’s fees attributed to investigating and
prosecuting the individual claims. Id. (citing
Singer Decl. ¶¶ 7–8; Lebe Decl.
foregoing reasons, the court APPROVES the parties’
stipulation. All of the individual claims and allegations
brought by Karen Call are DISMISSED with prejudice and all of
the claims and allegations of the putative class members are
DISMISSED without prejudice. The court, in its discretion,
declines to maintain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the
parties’ settlement agreement. Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co. Of America, 511 U.S. 375, 381 (1994);
cf. Collins v. Thompson, 8 F.3d 657, 659 (9th Cir.
1993). Unless there is some independent basis for federal
jurisdiction, enforcement of the agreement is for the state
courts. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 382.
order resolves ECF No. 19.
case is CLOSED.