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Armstrong v. Codefied, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 22, 2019

CLIFFORD ARMSTRONG, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
CODEFIED INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant.

          PROPOSED ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          JOHN A. MENDEZ, HONORABLE DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Clifford Armstrong on behalf of himself and classes of similarly situated persons, and Defendant Codefied Inc. d/b/a HouseCall Pro have agreed to settle this Action pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in an executed Settlement Agreement dated as of September 13, 2019 ("Settlement" or "Agreement"). The proposed settlement appears to be the product of serious, informed, non-collusive negotiations, has no obvious deficiencies, does not improperly grant preferential treatment to class representatives or segments of the class, and falls within the range of possible approval. Under the Settlement, subject to the terms and conditions therein and subject to Court approval, Plaintiff and the other Releasing Parties will fully, finally, and forever resolve, discharge, and release the Released Claims against the Released Parties.

         The Settlement has been filed with the Court, and Plaintiff and Class Counsel have filed an Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement ("Motion"). Upon considering the Motion, the Settlement and all exhibits thereto, the record in these proceedings, the representations and recommendations of counsel, and the requirements of law, the Court finds that: (1) this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the Parties to this Action; (2) the proposed Settlement Class meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and should be certified for settlement purposes only; (3) the persons and entities identified below should be appointed Class Representative and Class Counsel; (4) the Settlement is the result of informed, good-faith, arm's-length negotiations between the Parties and their capable and experienced counsel, and is not the result of collusion; (5) the Settlement is within the range of reasonableness and should be preliminarily approved; (6) the proposed Notice Program and proposed forms of Notice satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and constitutional due process requirements, and are reasonably calculated under the circumstances to apprise the Settlement Class of the pendency of the Action, class certification, terms of the Settlement, Class Counsel's application for an award of attorneys' fees and expenses ("Fee Application") and request for a service award for Plaintiff, and their rights to opt-out of the Settlement Class or object to the Settlement, Class Counsel's fee application, and/or the request for a service award for Plaintiff; (7) good cause exists to schedule and conduct a Final Approval Hearing, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e), to assist the Court in determining whether to grant Final Approval of the Settlement and enter the Final Approval Order, and whether to grant Class Counsel's Fee Application and request for a service award for Plaintiff; and (9) the other related matters pertinent to the Preliminary Approval of the Settlement should also be approved.

         Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

         1. As used in this Preliminary Approval Order, unless otherwise noted, capitalized terms shall have the definitions and meanings accorded to them in the Settlement.

         2. The Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class-Action Settlement is granted. For the purpose of settlement only, the Court finds that certification of the Settlement Class is appropriate because (a) the Class is ascertainable and sufficiently numerous; (b) there are questions of law and fact that are common to the Class, and those questions predominate over any questions affecting individual Class Members; (c) Plaintiffs claims are typical of the claims of the Class; (d) Plaintiff and Class Counsel are adequate representatives of die Class; and (e) a class action is superior to other available methods for adjudicating the Action.

         3. Furthermore, the Court finds that (a) the terms of the Settlement Agreement appear to be fair and reasonable to the Class when balanced against the probable outcome of further litigation relating to class certification, liability and damage issues, and potential appeals; (b) Class Counsel are experienced in class-action litigation, including litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act; (c) significant investigation and informal discovery was undertaken, and significant information was exchanged, enabling Plaintiff and Defendant to reasonably evaluate one another's positions and financial capacity; (d) approving the Settlement Agreement will avoid the substantial costs, delay, and risks that would be presented by further litigation; and (e) the terms of the Settlement Agreement were the result of intensive, serious, and non-collusive negotiations between Plaintiff and Defendant, including a full day mediation widi Honorable Judge Holderman (Ret.). Accordingly, the Court preliminarily finds that the Settlement Agreement falls within the range of possible final approval and therefore meets die requirements of preliminary approval.

         4. The Court therefore provisionally certifies the following Settlement Class: All individuals or entities in the United States who, from March 28, 2015 to the date of the Preliminary Approval Order, received one or more telephone calls or texts concerning Codefied's (i.e., Housecall Pro's) goods or services from or on behalf of Defendant. Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (1) the trial judge presiding over this case; (2) Codefied, as well as any parent, subsidiary, affiliate or control person of Codefied, and the officers, directors, agents, servants or employees of Codefied; (3) any of the Released Parties; (4) the immediate family of any such person(s); (5) any member of the Settlement Class who has timely opted out of the Settlement; and (6) Class Counsel and their employees.

         5. The Court appoints Plaintiff, Clifford Armstrong, as Class Representative.

         6. The Court appoints the following people and firms as Class Counsel: Avi R. Kaufman and Rachel E. Kaufman of Kaufman P. A. and Stefan Coleman of Law Offices of Stefan Coleman, LLC.

         7. The Court approves the form and content of the Mailed Notice, Long Form Notice, and Claim Form, substantially in the forms attached as Exhibits A through C to the Settlement. The Court further finds that the Notice Program described in the Settlement is the best practicable under the circumstances. The Notice Program is reasonably calculated under the circumstances to inform the Settlement Class of the pendency of the Action, certification of a Settlement Class, the terms of the Settlement, Class Counsel's Fee Application and the request for service award for Plaintiff, the claim process, and their rights to opt-out of the Settlement Class or object to the Settlement. The Notices and Notice Program constitute sufficient notice to all persons entitled to notice. The Notices and Notice Program satisfy all applicable requirements of law, including, but not limited to, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and the Constitutional requirement of due process.

         8. The Court appoints KCC LLC as the Settlement Administrator.

         9. The Administrator shall implement the Notice Plan, as set forth in the Settlement, and the Claims Process using the Notices and Claim Form substantially in the forms attached as Exhibits to the Settlement and approved by this Preliminary Approval Order. Notice shall be provided to the members of the Settlement Class pursuant to the Notice Plan, as specified in the Settlement and approved by this Preliminary Approval Order.

         10. The Settlement Administrator shall send Notice within thirty (30) days after entry of this Preliminary Approval ...


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