United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
S. CAYER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's “Motion
for Entry of … Proposed Class Notice and Amendment of
the Class Certification Order” (document #293),
Plaintiffs' “Motion to Adopt … Proposed
Opt-Out Notice” (document #295), and the parties'
briefs and submissions.
Court has carefully considered the parties' arguments and
the applicable authorities.
December 15, 2016, the Court entered a “Pretrial Order
and Case Management Plan” (document #288) “(the
PTO”). Concerning class notice, the PTO provides:
CLASS NOTICE: Plaintiffs shall provide a draft notice to
Family Dollar no later than December 20, 2016. The parties
shall meet and confer regarding Plaintiffs' proposal and
will strive to resolve any disagreements without Court
involvement. The parties shall jointly submit a proposed
notice to the Court for approval no later than January 20,
2017. In the event the parties cannot agree on a proposed
notice, by that same date they shall each submit a motion for
entry of their respective orders with an accompanying brief.
The Plaintiffs reserve the right to argue that class notice
should not be issued prior to completion of mediation.
The parties shall use one of the neutral third-party
administrators proposed by Family Dollar to administer the
notice. Plaintiffs shall pay the costs of printing up to five
cents per page, the full costs of postage for the first
mailing of the class notice, and the costs of postage for
resending any returned notices not to exceed $5, 000. Family
Dollar shall pay the additional costs of postage and printing
to the extent they exceed these limits and the additional
costs associated with using the third-party administrator.
The parties shall ensure that the approved notice is sent to
class members within thirty (30) days following the
Court's order requiring the issuance of the notice.
Id. at 3 (underline emphasis added). The parties and
counsel have complied with this provision of the PTO. Their
respective Motions for adoption of competing class notices
are ripe for determination.
Civ. P. 23(c)(2)(B) provides that a notice “must [be]
clearly and concisely state[d] in plain, easily understood
language.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(c)(2)(B). “The notice
should be drafted in such a manner as to make it
understandable by the people to whom it is directed.”;
5-23 Moore's Federal Practice - Civil §23.104, 1(b)
(2016); see also In Re Deepwater Horizon, 739 F.3d
790, 819 (5th Cir. 2014); Mendoza v. Tucson Sch.
Dist., 623 F.2d 1338, 1351 (9th Cir. 1980) (notice
should be in lay terms).
23(c)(2)(B) identifies seven subjects to be included in the
The notice must clearly and concisely state in plain, easily
(i) the nature of the action;
(ii) the definition of the class certified;
(iii) the class claims, issues, or defenses;
(iv) that a class member may enter an appearance through an
attorney if the ...