Judge: Glenda Sanders, Case: 2013-00649415, Date: 2022-07-29 Tentative Ruling



Motion for Approval of Class Settlement



The overall structure of the settlement appears to fall within the parameters of a settlement that could finally be approved by the court. On a preliminary basis it appears to be fair, reasonable and adequate. There are, however, some issues that the court wishes to discuss with the parties at the July 29, 2022 hearing. These issues are:


1.            In the situation where a prior owner submits a Prior Owner Verification Form, will the present owner be notified that the prior owner has submitted such a form? Why or why not? It seems that, potentially, a present owner might expect a settlement payment when, unbeknownst to him/her a prior owner has claimed the payment. What would the procedure be if there is a dispute between the Present and Prior Owner regarding who is entitled to a settlement payment?


2.            Are there matters, other than the related cases before this court, that may be potentially influenced by this settlement?


3.            The proposed order includes a determination of good faith settlement pursuant to CCP §877.6, but no argument has been made in support of that finding. (PO ¶5).


4.            The Proposed Order states that any Settlement Class Member “who does not make an objection in the time and manner provided shall be deemed to have waived such objection and forever shall be foreclosed from making any objection to the fairness or adequacy of the proposed settlement as incorporated in the Settlement Agreement, the payment of attorneys’ fees and costs, or the Final Approval Order and Judgment.” (PO ¶24). The court cannot foreclose individuals from making such an argument in another proceeding, such as a hearing on the issue of res judicata or issue preclusion.


5.            Counsel must explain the reasoning for the language in Paragraph 25 of the Proposed Order which indicates that whether the Settlement is approved shall be considered separately from Class Counsel’s application for attorney’s fees and costs, and that there shall be separate orders for those two motions. To the contrary, the court normally considers fee and cost awards in the context of the overall settlement.


Plaintiff to give notice.