United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
KENNETH S. GRABARCZYK, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
JOSHUA STEIN, Attorney General of the State of North Carolina, in his official capacity; BOB SCHURMEIER, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, in his official capacity; SEAN BOONE, District Attorney of Alamance County, North Carolina, in his official capacity; Defendants.
TERRENCE W. BOYLE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause comes before the Court on plaintiffs motions pursuant
to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for class
certification and to appoint class counsel. Defendants have
responded in opposition, plaintiff has replied, and the
matters are ripe for ruling. For the following reasons,
plaintiffs motions are granted.
Court incorporates by reference as if fully set forth herein
the factual and procedural background of this matter as
recited in its order denying defendants' motions to
dismiss. [DE 36].
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
certification of a class is appropriate if the following
prerequisites are satisfied:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately
protect the interests of the class.
Fed R. Civ. P. 23(a). If the prerequisites have been satisfied,
the party seeking class certification must also demonstrate
that the action falls within a category of Rule 23(b).
See Haywood v. Barnes, 109 F.R.D. 568, 575
(E.D. N.C. 1986).
court's inquiry into whether the Rule 23(a) prerequisites
have been satisfied must be rigorous, but it does not entail
a "free-ranging merits inquiry at the certification
stage." Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Ret. Plans &
Tr. Funds, 568 U.S. 455, 466 (2013). A party must also
satisfy the Rule 23(b) provision with evidentiary proof, and
may not rely on the pleadings alone. Comcast Corp. v.
Behrend, 569 U.S. 27, 33 (2013). In addition to Rule
23's express requirements, the Fourth Circuit has
recognized an implicit requirement that the class be
ascertainable or readily identifiable. EQT Prod. Co. v.
Adair, 764 F.3d 347, 358 (4th Cir. 2014). The party
seeking class certification bears the burden of proof.
Thorn v. Jefferson-Pilot Life Ins. Co., 445 F.3d
311, 321 (4th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiffs proposed class is comprised of
All persons placed on the North Carolina Sex Offender
Registry solely on the basis of an offense committed in a
state other than North Carolina and who both committed the
predicate offense prior to December 1, 2006, and moved into