Lopez Cabrera v. South Valley Almond Company, LLC et al

Filing 44

ORDER Directing Clerk of Court to Close Case Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; Clerk of Court to Assign District Judge, signed by Magistrate Judge Christopher D. Baker on 02/05/2024. CASE CLOSED.(Maldonado, C)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 ALVARO LOPEZ CABRERA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 15 16 SOUTH VALLEY ALMOND COMPANY, LLC, et al. Defendants. Case No. 1:21-cv-00748-NODJ-CDB ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO CLOSE CASE PURSUANT TO RULE 41(a)(1) OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE (Doc. 42) Clerk of Court to Assign District Judge 17 18 On April 1. 2021, Plaintiff Alvaro Lopez Cabrera (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in the 19 Superior Court of California, County of Kern, asserting claims on behalf of himself and a putative 20 class against Defendants South Valley Almond Company, LLC, and AgReserves, Inc. 21 (“Defendants”). (Doc. 1). In 2021, Plaintiff filed a separate state court action, Case No. BCV- 22 21-100722, on behalf of the State of California for Civil Penalties under the California Private 23 Attorneys General Act of 2004, pursuant to Labor Code section 2698 et seq (“PAGA Action”). 24 On January 6, 2022, Plaintiff filed the operative, first amended class action complaint. 25 (Doc. 21). Defendants filed answers to the first amended complaint on February 7, 2022. (Docs. 26 26-27). On August 3, 2023, the parties filed a notice of settlement. (Doc. 37). 27 Pending before the Court is the parties’ joint stipulation to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint 28 without prejudice. (Doc. 42). The parties stipulate to dismiss Plaintiff’s individual claims and 1 putative class members’ claims without prejudice. Id. The parties intend to stipulate to filing an 2 amended complaint in the PAGA Action to add Plaintiff’s class action claims currently before 3 this Court, and Plaintiff shall seek preliminary approval of both class action and PAGA claims in 4 the PAGA Action. Id. The parties’ stipulation of dismissal comports with the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 6 41(a)(1)(ii) and Plaintiff is entitled to dismiss his individual claims (at least) without court order. 7 In a class action, however, court approval of dismissal may be required under Rule 41(a)(2) if the 8 class has been certified. Specifically, Rule 23(e) provides that any claims arising out of either a 9 (1) “certified class” or (2) “class proposed to be certified for purposes of settlement ... may be 10 settled, voluntarily dismissed, or compromised only with the court's approval.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 23(e) (emphasis added). 12 In this case, the parties jointly seek to dismiss the putative class claims under Rule 13 41(a)(1) without prejudice and reassert them in the PAGA Action. (Doc. 42). No class has been 14 certified, Plaintiff has not sought certification, nor has certification been proposed for purposes of 15 settlement. Because no class has been certified in this case, and because any dismissal would not 16 affect putative class members’ claims, Rule 23(e) does not mandate either Court approval of the 17 parties’ settlement or notice to putative class members. See Titus v. BlueChip Financial, 786 Fed. 18 Appx. 694, 695 (9th Cir. 2019) (“Because no class has been certified, Titus is the only plaintiff 19 before the court; once she has dismissed her claims with prejudice, no other plaintiff can step into 20 her shoes to continue this legal action”) (unpublished) (citing Emp’rs-Teamsters Local Nos. 175 21 & 505 Pension Tr. Fund v. Anchor Capital Advisors, 498 F.3d 920, 924 (9th Cir. 2007)). In light of the parties’ filing the Court finds that Rule 23(e) does not require the Court’s 22 23 approval of the dismissal. This action shall be terminated by operation of law without further 24 order of the Court. Comm. Space Mgmt. Co., Inc. v. Boeing Co., Inc., 193 F.3d 1074, 1077-78 25 (9th Cir. 1999). 26 Accordingly, the Clerk of the Court is HEREBY DIRECTED to assign a district judge for 27 the purpose of closing this case and then to CLOSE the case and adjust the docket to reflect 28 /// 2 1 voluntary dismissal without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(ii), with each party to bear that 2 party’s own attorney’s fees and costs. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 5 Dated: February 5, 2024 ___________________ _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?