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Galvez v. Cuccinelli

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

July 17, 2019

LEOBARDO MORENO GALVEZ, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
KENNETH T. CUCCINELLI, [1] et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

          ROBERT S. LASNIK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on “Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification.” Dkt. # 2. The three named plaintiffs seek certification of a class of:

All individuals who have been issued predicate Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) orders by Washington state courts after turning eighteen years old but prior to turning twenty-one years old and have submitted or will submit SIJS petitions to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) prior to turning twenty-one years old.

         Having reviewed the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits submitted by the parties, and having heard the arguments of counsel in the context of the preliminary injunction motion, the motion for class certification is GRANTED.

         A. Plaintiffs and the Class Satisfy Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)

         Before certifying a class, the Court must assure itself that the proposed class satisfies the four prerequisites set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3):

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (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.

See In re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litig., 926 F.3d 539, 556 (9th Cir. 2019). Defendants apparently agree that plaintiffs Moreno Galvez and Vicente Ramos[2] are adequate class representatives, but challenge their ability to establish numerosity, commonality, or typicality.

         1. Numerosity.

         The Class's size is sufficiently numerous to meet the requirement of numerosity. There are at least fifty-three members in the proposed class. As a general rule, a potential class of forty members is considered impractical to join. Cox v. Am. Cast Iron Pipe Co., 784 F.2d 1546, 1553 (11th Cir. 1986); In re Banc of Cal. Sec. Litig., 326 F.R.D. 640, 646 (C.D. Cal. 2018). Accordingly, plaintiffs have met their burden of showing that the proposed class is so numerous that joinder is impracticable.

         2. Commonality

         A class meets the commonality requirement when “the common questions it has raised are ‘apt to drive the resolution of the litigation' no matter their number. Jimenez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 765 F.3d 1161, 1165 (9th Cir. 2014). Here, plaintiffs allege that defendants have implemented a policy requiring adjudicators to reject SIJS determinations by Washington state courts if the juvenile is over the age of eighteen. The class's common questions include:

o Whether the policy is procedurally defective.
o Whether the policy is in accordance with ...

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