United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER REQUESTING SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING AND RENOTING
MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on putative class
representatives Mickey Fowler and Leisa Maurer's
(collectively “Plaintiffs”) motion for class
certification. Dkt. 43. The Court has considered the
pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion
and the remainder of the file and hereby renotes the motion
and requests supplemental briefing for the reasons stated
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY
15, 2015, Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendant Marcie
Frost (“Frost”) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt.
Plaintiffs are public school teachers who participate in
Washington's Teachers' Retirement System
(“TRS”), a public retirement system managed by
the Washington State Department of Retirement Services
(“DRS”). Dkt. 18-1 at 20-21. Plaintiff's only
cause of action was an alleged violation of the Takings
Clause of the Fifth Amendment as applied to the states by the
Fourteenth Amendment based on the method DRS used to
calculate the interest on funds transferred between two plans
within TRS. Dkt. 1. On September 23, 2015, the parties
stipulated to class certification. Dkt. 20. On February 24,
2015, the Court denied the stipulated motion for class
certification without prejudice. Dkt. 21.
December 22, 2015, the Court granted Frost's motion for
summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiffs' claims
were not ripe. Dkt. 28. On January 20, 2016, Plaintiffs
appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Dkt. 30. In the intervening
months, Tracy Guerin (“Guerin”) succeeded Marcie
Frost as the Director of DRS, becoming the named defendant in
this matter. Dkt. 49 at 2; Fed. R. App. P. 43(c)(2);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 25(d). On August 16, 2018, the Ninth Circuit
reversed and remanded. Dkt. 32. On March 13, 2019, the Ninth
Circuit denied Guerin's motion for panel rehearing and
petition for rehearing en banc. Dkt. 39. On March 21, 2019,
the Ninth Circuit issued its mandate. Dkt. 40; Fowler v.
Guerin, 899 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2018), reh'g and
reh'g en banc denied, 918 F.3d 644 (2019).
April 4, 2019, Guerin moved for a stay pending resolution of
her petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.
Dkt. 41. On April 10, 2019, Plaintiffs moved for an order
certifying the class. Dkt. 43. On April 29, 3019, Guerin
responded to the motion for class certification. Dkt. 49. On
May 1, 2019, Plaintiffs replied to their motion. Dkt. 50. On
May 2, 2019, the Court denied Guerin's motion to stay.
certification is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S.
338, 345 (2011). “As the party seeking class
certification, [Plaintiffs] bear the burden of
demonstrating that [they] ha[ve] met each of the four
requirements of Rule 23(a) and at least one of the
requirements of Rule 23(b).” Zinser v. Accufix
Research Inst., Inc., 253 F.3d 1180, 1186 (9th Cir.
2001), amended by 273 F.3d 1266 (9th Cir. 2001).
Plaintiffs seek to certify a class of TRS members under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(2). Dkt. 43.
23 does not set forth a mere pleading standard.”
Dukes, 564 U.S. at 350. Rather, “[a] party
seeking class certification must affirmatively demonstrate
his compliance with the Rule . . . .” Id.
Before certifying a class, the Court must conduct a
“rigorous analysis” to determine whether
Plaintiffs have met the requirements of Rule 23.
Zinser, 253 F.3d at 1186. “While the trial
court has broad discretion to certify a class, its discretion
must be exercised within the framework of Rule 23.”
Rule 23(a), Plaintiffs must satisfy four requirements: (1)
numerosity; (2) commonality; (3) typicality; and (4) adequacy
of representation. Parsons v. Ryan, 754 F.3d 657,
674 (9th Cir. 2014). In addition to these four requirements,
Plaintiffs must satisfy at least one of the categories of
Rule 23(b). Zinser, 253 F.3d at 1186. The parties
previously stipulated to class certification. Dkt. 20.
Plaintiffs now propose that the Court enter an order with
text matching the parties' previous stipulation to class
certification. Dkt. 43 at 3. Guerin does not now dispute that
the class meets the Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) factors. Dkt. 49
(“defendant partially opposes certification of a class
under FRCP 23(b)(2) for the following reasons:”).
However, the Court previously found that the parties'
stipulation provided insufficient information for the Court
to perform its independent responsibility to determine
whether Fed.R.Civ.P. 23's requirements are actually
satisfied. Dkt. 21 at 2 (citing Zinser, 253 F.3d at
1186). The Court next explained that it “also ha[d]
concerns about the appropriateness of a Rule 23(b)(2) class
in this case. Dkt. 21 at 2.
appeal, the Ninth Circuit characterized the Court's
denial of class certification as “based on its concern
that a Rule 23(b)(2) class would be inappropriate here,
” found this decision was error, and held that
“[t]he claim can be certified for class treatment under
Rule 23(b)(2) because the relief of correcting the entire
records system for the class member accounts is in the nature
of injunctive relief.” Fowler, 899 F.3d at
1120. The Circuit made no mention of the Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)
factors and remanded for this Court to reconsider class
certification. Id. The Court now requires
supplemental briefing on the basis for certification under
the Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) factors so that it may satisfy its
duty to “conduct a ‘rigorous analysis' to
determine whether the party seeking certification has met the
prerequisites of Rule 23.” Dkt. 21 at 2 (quoting
Zinser, 253 F.3d at 1186).
it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiffs'
motion for class certification, Dkt. 43, is
RENOTED for consideration on the Court's
June 28, 2019 calendar. Plaintiffs may submit supplemental
briefing no later than June 24, 2019, and Guerin may submit
supplemental briefing no later than June 28, 2019.
Clerk shall substitute Tracy Guerin in place of Marcie Frost
as the ...