Castro et al v. 870 Meat Corp. et al

Filing 14

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER granting 11 Motion for Judgment Based on Settlement. For the reasons stated herein, the Court accepts the offer of judgment and the Clerk of the Court is respectfully directed to close the case.(Ordered by Judge Arthur D. Spatt on 9/12/2017.) (Fagan, Linda)

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Fl LED UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ---------------------------------------------------------)( JAMIE CASTRO, EDUARDO MORALES, JN QL~K'a OFF'ICE b).~, [Jl~m1,, t COIJRf ~.o.N.Y. * SER.12 2017 * LONG JSUAND OFFICE Plaintiffs, -against- MEMORANDUM PF DECISION & ORDER 17-cv-1445 (ADS)(4 YS) 870 MEAT CORP., 379 PLAZA PRODUCE CORP. doing business as Compare Foods, MANUEL PENA, JOSE B. ESPINAL, TEOFILO GUZMAN, JOSE GUZMAN, JUAN GUZMAN, 870 PRODUCE CORP. doing business as Compare Foods, Defendants. ---------------------------------------------------------)( APPEARANCES: Law Office of Peter A. Romero Attorneys for the Plaintiffs 103 Cooper Street Babylon, NY I I 702 By: Peter A. Romero, Esq., Of Counsel Law Offices of Stephen D. Hans Attorneys for the Defendants 379 Plaza Produce Corp., Teofilo Guzman, Jose Guzman, and Juan Guzman 45-18 Court Square, Suite 403 Long Island City, NY I 1101 By: Stephen D. Hans, Esq., Of Counsel NO APPEARANCES: 870 Meat Corp., Manuel Pena, Jose B. Espinal, 870 Produce Corp. The Defendants SPATT, District Judge: The Plaintiffs Jamie Castro and Eduardo Morales brought this action under the Fair Labor ! Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. ยง 20 I et seq., and the New York Labor Lai ("NYLL") against I the Defendants 870 Meat Corp. ("870 Meat"), 379 Plaza Produce Corp. ("371 Plaza"), Manuel Pena ("Pena"), Jose B. Espinal ("Espinal"), Teofilo Guzman, Jose Guzman, Juan Guzman, and 870 Produce Corp. ("870 Produce") for alleged unpaid overtime, damages and Jttomeys' fees. j~dgment pursuant On June 15, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a notice ofacceptance with offer of to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P." or "Rule") 68. Although the Second Circuit has stated in Cheeks v. Freeport PancakelHouse, 796 F.3d 199, 206 (2d Cir. 2015) that district courts must approve FLSA settlements, ju~icial approval of an offer of judgment pursuant to Rule 68 may be unnecessary. The Second Circuit has not yet ruled on this issue, and district courts in the circuit are divided. See Anwar v. Stephens, No. 15-cv-4493 (JS)(GRB), 2017 WL 455416r at *I (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 2, 2017) (collecting cases that stand for the proposition that 'Judicial approval is not required for Rule 68 offers of judgment," and stating that those courts form the majority)![. cf Mei Xing Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc., --- F.R.D. ---, No. 16-cv-6094 (JMF), 2017 Wll 1424323 at *6 ! (collecting cases that "conclude that Rule 68 does not override the need for judi9ial [] [] approval I ! of a settlement of claims under the FLSA," but admitting that those courts are inthe minority). Rule 68 explicitly states that after either party files a notice of acceptance of an offer of judgment, the Clerk of the Court "must then enter judgment." This Court wil\ not ignore such plainly mandatory language; holding otherwise "would constitute a judicial rewriting of Rule 68." Arzeno v. Big B World, Inc., 317 F.R.D. 440, 441(S.D.N.Y.2016) , I I Accordingly, this Court joins the "majority of district courts in this Circuit [that] have held that judicial approval is not required for Rule 68 offers of judgment." Anwar, 2b 17 WL 455416 at *1. 1 Therefore, the Court accepts the offer ofjudgment and the Clerk of the Crurt is respectfully directed to close the case. ! It is SO ORDERED: Dated: Central Islip, New York September 12, 2017 ARTHURD. SPATT United States District Judge

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