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Galleher v. Artisanal, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

January 3, 2020

ASHLEY GALLEHER, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ARTISANAL, LLC, and BILL GREENE, Defendants.

          ORDER

          W. Carleton Metcalf United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Parties' Joint Motion to Approve Notice, Consent to Join Form, and Conditional Certification Plan (Doc. 20).

         On December 11, 2019, the undersigned conducted a conference call with counsel regarding the Motion. At the conclusion of the conference, the parties were directed to file, within seven (7) days, a revised Notice of Collective Action Lawsuit. The parties were also given leave to submit authority pertaining to the need for court-authorization of the proposed Consent to Become Party Plaintiff form.

         On December 18, 2019, the parties requested that their deadline to file this information be extended through December 19, 2019. (Doc. 23). This request was granted.

         On December 19, 2019, Plaintiff filed a proposed revised Notice of Collective Action Lawsuit form and informed the Court that the parties had not been able to agree upon a joint revised form and that Plaintiff's counsel was unaware of any authority mandating court-authorization of Consent to Become Party Plaintiff forms. (Doc. 24).

         On December 31, 2019, Defendants filed a Response (Doc. 25).

         The Court finds that Plaintiff's revised Notice of Collective Action Lawsuit (Doc. 24-1) should be accepted, though with certain changes, some of which were discussed during the December 11 conference call. For example, potential plaintiffs should be informed that, should they choose to join the lawsuit, they may be represented by counsel for Plaintiff or may hire an attorney of their own choosing. See e.g., Moseman v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, No. 3:17-CV-00481-FDW-DCK, 2018 WL 3616864, at *2 (W.D. N.C. June 12, 2018).

         The Court declines, however, to endorse Plaintiff's proposed Consent to Become Party Plaintiff form (Doc. 20-2). As written, the form includes several provisions that would appear to be more appropriate for an engagement agreement and, as noted, no authority has been provided to indicate that such forms are required to be authorized by the Court.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

         1. The Parties' Joint Motion to Approve Notice, Consent to Join Form, and Conditional Certification Plan (Doc. 20) is GRANTED IN PART as follows:

a. The revised Notice of Collective Action Lawsuit filed on December 19, 2019 (Doc. 24-1) (“Revised Notice”) is ACCEPTED subject to the following revisions which shall be made by Plaintiff's counsel before the Revised Notice is distributed.
b. Section I (Introduction):
i. Change “Plaintiff … filed this lawsuit on behalf of himself and all current and former tipped employees … ” to “Plaintiff… filed this lawsuit on behalf of herself and also seeks to sue on behalf of all current and former tipped employees … .”
ii. Change “You are receiving this Notice because you are ‘similarly situated' to the Plaintiff and are eligible to join this lawsuit” to “You are receiving this Notice because you may be ‘similarly situated' to ...

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