Reynolds v. Dept/Transportation, et al
OPINION AND ORDER that 7756 special master's recommendation is adopted in part and rejected in part; that 5277 defendants' motion to certify is granted to the extent that the hiring class will be decertified after the court has had inpu t from the parties as to how decertification should be made; that on or before November 17, 2008, the parties are to file briefs on how the court should decertify the hiring class. Signed by Honorable Myron H. Thompson on 11/10/2008. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(cc, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
JOHNNY REYNOLDS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, et al., Defendants.
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CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:85cv665-MHT (WO)
OPINION AND ORDER This case is now before the court on the special master's recommendation that the defendants' motion to decertify the hiring class should be denied albeit with "reemphasis [on] the limited nature of the Hiring Class' certification as a subclass devoted to ensuring that the Defendants comply with the provisions of the Consent Decree that regulate ALDOT's hiring practices."
Recommendation (Doc. No. 7756) at 10-11. After record, an independent court agrees and with do novo review of of the the
special master, but, because there has now been a changed circumstance, that change being full compliance with the consent decree, cf. Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk Cty. Jail, 502 U.S. 367, 384 (1992) (stating that the party seeking modification of a decree bears the initial burden of showing either a significant change in factual conditions or in law), the court concludes that, in the exercise of its discretion, it is time to decertify the hiring class; the court also believes that, at this stage of the litigation and in light of the other pending issues, it would be more efficient, as a general matter, for class members to litigate their claims separately, unless their claims are otherwise already being, or to be, litigated. However, because decertification could have an
immediate impact on the individual claims of hiring-class members (for example, the court the running wants of statutes from made of the (for
limitations), parties on
example, whether the hiring class should be giving notice
Tennessee Valley Authority, 353 F.3d 1331 (11th Cir. 2003) (stating that a district court that is about to decertify a class on the ground of inadequate
representation by the named plaintiff must ensure that notification of that action is sent to the class members, in order that the latter can be alerted that the statute of limitations has begun to run again on their individual claims). Accordingly, it is the ORDER, JUDGMENT, and DECREE of the court as follows (1) The special master's recommendation (Doc. No. 7756) is adopted in part and rejected in part. (2) The defendants' motion to certify (Doc. No. 5277) is granted to the extent that the hiring class will be decertified after the court has had input from the
parties as to how decertification should be made.
(3) On or before November 17, 2008, the parties are to file briefs on how the court should decertify the hiring class. DONE, this the 10th day of November, 2008. ____________________________ /s/ Myron H. Thompson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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