Cordova et al v. R&A Oysters, Inc. et al
Order re: 101 Notice of Acceptance with Offer of Judgment filed by Miguel Angel Fuentes Cordova, Leobardo Morales Inclan. The Notice, construed as a motion, is denied without prejudice. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 12/21/2015. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MIGUEL ANGEL FUENTES
CORDOVA, et al., etc.,
R & A OYSTERS, INC., et al.,
) CIVIL ACTION 14-0462-WS-M
The plaintiffs have filed a “notice of acceptance of amended offer of
judgment as to Count I (Fair Labor Standards Act, Non-Retaliation Claims).”
(Doc. 101). The plaintiffs say that, “the offer of judgment having been accepted,
the Clerk of the Court must therefore enter judgment for Plaintiffs and against
Defendants as to Count I only.” (Id. at 2). The Court is not so sure.
As a threshold matter, the plaintiffs have not established that Rule 68 may
properly be invoked to resolve a single cause of action in a lawsuit containing
multiple claims.1 If Rule 68 can be used only to resolve an entire case, then its
provision that “[t]he clerk must then enter judgment,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 68(a), has
not been triggered.
But there is a more fundamental reason the Clerk cannot enter judgment.
The settled claim is one for violation of the minimum wage provisions of the
FLSA. (Doc. 20 at 18). “Other than a section 216(c) payment supervised by the
Department of Labor, there is only one context in which compromises of FLSA
back wage or liquidated damage claims may be allowed: a stipulated judgment
entered by a court which has determined that a settlement proposed by an
The amended complaint lists six claims, (Doc. 20), three of which have been
dismissed. (Doc. 52).
employer and employees, in a suit brought by the employees under the FLSA, is a
fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute over FLSA provisions.”
Lynn’s Food Stores v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1355 (11th Cir. 1982); accord
Nall v. Mal-Motels, Inc., 723 F.3d 1304, 1307-08 (11th Cir. 2013) (under Lynn’s
Food Stores, which “applies to settlements between former employees and
employers” as well as current employees, an FLSA settlement not made under the
supervision of the Secretary of Labor “is valid only if the district court entered a
‘stipulated judgment’ approving it”); Mayer v. Wall Street Equity Group, Inc., 514
Fed. Appx. 929, 935 (11th Cir. 2013) (dismissal of FLSA case was invalid where it
“d[id] not satisfy the FLSA’s general ‘judgment’ requirement, see 29 U.S.C. §
216(b), or our specific requirement of a stipulated judgment or consent decree
enforcing a settlement”).
For the reasons set forth above, the notice of acceptance of amended offer
of judgment, construed as a motion for entry of judgment on the FLSA wage
claim, is denied, without prejudice to the parties’ ability to seek entry of judgment
by proper means.
DONE and ORDERED this 21st day of December, 2015.
s/ WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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