United States District Court, D. Maine
In re TRS Recovery Services, Inc. and Telecheck Services, Inc., Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Litigation
FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
D. Brock Hornby United States District Judge
The plaintiffs Jean LaRocque and Melissa Allen (the “Class Representatives”) have moved for Final Approval of the proposed class action settlement with the defendants TRS Recovery Services, Inc. and TeleCheck Services, Inc. (“defendants”). Earlier, I provisionally certified three settlement classes by Order entered July 30, 2015 (ECF No. 118). On February 10, 2016, after a fairness hearing on January 21, 2016, I certified settlement classes and approved the parties’ settlement and the plaintiffs’ attorney fees. I have considered all papers filed and arguments made with respect to the settlement, and I find that:
1. For purposes of settlement, this action satisfies the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3). The classes as defined in my Order Directing Notice to the Class (ECF No. 118) (together, the “Settlement Classes”) are so numerous that joinder of all members is not practicable, there are questions of law and fact common to the Settlement Classes, the claims of the Class Representatives are typical of the claims of the Settlement Classes, and the Class Representatives fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Classes. Questions of law and fact common to the members of the Settlement Classes predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.
2. Notice to the Settlement Classes required by Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has been provided in accordance with my Order Directing Notice to the Class, and such notice by mail, website and publication has been given in an adequate and sufficient manner, constitutes the best notice practicable under the circumstances, and satisfies both Rule 23(e) and due process.
3. The defendants have provided notification of this settlement to federal and state officials pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1715. See Decl. of Jennifer M. Keough Regarding CAFA Dissemination (ECF No. 104).
4. The Settlement Agreement as modified was arrived at as a result of arms-length negotiations conducted in good faith by counsel for the parties, and is supported by the Class Representatives.
5. The settlement as set forth in the Settlement Agreement as modified is fair, reasonable and adequate to members of each of the Settlement Classes in light of the complexity, expense, and duration of litigation and the risks involved in establishing liability and damages, and in maintaining the class action through trial and appeal.
6. The relief provided under the settlement constitutes fair value given in exchange for the releases of claims against the Released Parties.
7. The persons listed on Plaintiff’s Exhibit 1 from the January 21, 2016 Fairness Hearing (ECF No. 132), have validly excluded themselves from the Settlement Classes in accordance with the provisions of the Order Directing Notice to the Class, and shall not be bound by the Settlement.
8. The parties and each member of the Settlement Classes have irrevocably submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of this Court for any suit, action, proceeding or dispute arising out of the Settlement Agreement as modified.
9. It is in the best interests of the parties and the members of the Settlement Classes and consistent with principles of judicial economy that any dispute between any member of the Settlement Classes (including any dispute as to whether any person is a member of the Settlement Classes) and any Released Party that in any way relates to the applicability or scope of the Settlement Agreement as modified or this Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal should be presented exclusively to this Court for resolution.
It Is Therefore Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed That:
1. This action is finally Certified as a class action for settlement purposes only against the defendants TRS Recovery Services, Inc. and TeleCheck Services, Inc. on behalf of a Settlement Class 1 defined as follows:
All natural persons with an address in the United States American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands to whom the defendant TRS sent its RECR3 ...