Campbell v. Pincher's Beach Bar Grill Inc.

Filing 70

OPINION AND ORDER granting 59 Motion for Approval of Settlement; adopting and incorporating 68 Report and Recommendations; approving settlement. Counsel for plaintiffs shall identify any heirs/successors/assignees of Ms. Sellers within 60 days, and if unable to do so, return her share of the settlement proceeds to defendant. The Clerk shall administratively close the case for a period of 90 days from this Opinion and Order, after which the case will be dismissed and judgment entered. Signed by Judge John E. Steele on 8/25/2017. (RKR)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA FORT MYERS DIVISION KAREN CAMPBELL, on her behalf and on behalf of those similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Case No: PINCHER’S INC., BEACH BAR 2:15-cv-695-FtM-99MRM GRILL Defendant. OPINION AND ORDER This matter is before the Court on consideration of the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. #68), filed August 24, 2017, recommending that the parties' Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement and Entry of an Order of Dismissal With Prejudice (Doc. #59) be granted and their settlement be approved, that the Court retain jurisdiction for a period of time with regard to one opt-in plaintiff, and that the case otherwise be dismissed. On the same day, the parties filed a Joint Notice of Non-Objection (Doc. #69) to the Report and Recommendation. After conducting a careful and complete review of the findings and recommendations, a district judge may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732 (11th Cir. 1982). In the absence of specific objections, there is no requirement that a district judge review factual findings de novo, Garvey v. Vaughn, 993 F.2d 776, 779 n.9 (11th Cir. 1993), and the court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The district judge reviews legal conclusions de novo, even in the absence of an objection. See Cooper-Houston v. Southern Ry. Co., 37 F.3d 603, 604 (11th Cir. 1994); Castro Bobadilla v. Reno, 826 F. Supp. 1428, 1431-32 (S.D. Fla. 1993), aff’d, 28 F.3d 116 (11th Cir. 1994) (Table). The Magistrate Judge directed the parties to brief the issue of whether a final determination as to certification of the class was required before a settlement could be approved. of the parties’ determined that Magistrate Judge Joint Supplemental review further and Brief approval required was (Doc. After review #65), it appropriate. signatures of the was The opt-in plaintiffs to confirm that they were in fact afforded the ability to consider the terms of the settlement, and signed agreements were provided with the exception of Elizabeth Sellers who is deceased. The Magistrate Judge was satisfied that plaintiffs were afforded the ability to object, and that they did not object. As to Ms. Sellers, efforts will be made to provide her share of the settlement proceeds to her estate or appropriate heir. - 2 - After due consideration of the Report and Recommendation, the Court accepts the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge. The Court will retain jurisdiction for a period of time to allow counsel to identify the heirs of Ms. Sellers, and defer the entry of judgment until expiration of this time period. Accordingly, it is now ORDERED: 1. The Report and Recommendation (Doc. #68) is hereby adopted and the findings incorporated herein. 2. The parties' Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement and Entry of an Order of Dismissal With Prejudice (Doc. #59) is granted and the Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (Doc. #59-1) is approved as a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute. 3. Counsel for plaintiffs shall identify any heirs or successors or assignees of Ms. Sellers within SIXTY (60) DAYS of this Opinion and Order. If counsel is unable to do so, Ms. Sellers’ share of the settlement proceeds shall be returned to defendant through defendant’s counsel. 4. The Clerk shall terminate all deadlines and motions, and administratively close the case for a period of NINETY (90) DAYS from the date of this Opinion and Order. - 3 - Upon expiration of this period of time, the Clerk will be directed to enter judgment dismissing the case with prejudice and to close the file. DONE and ORDERED at Fort Myers, Florida, this of August, 2017. Copies: Hon. Mac R. McCoy United States Magistrate Judge Counsel of Record Unrepresented parties - 4 - 25th day

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