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United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
May 27, 2020, Argued; September 9, 2020, Opinion Filed
[*469] OPINION OF THE COURT
AMBRO, Circuit Judge
We review the District Court's denial of a renewed motion for certification of a proposed class of drivers who performed deliveries on a full-time basis using one truck for mattress retailer Sleepy's LLC. The Court held that the class was not ascertainable. Hargrove v. Sleepy's LLC, No. 10-cv-01138, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221933, 2019 WL 8881823, at *5-7 (D.N.J. May 9, 2019) ("Hargrove [**2] II"). ] In addition to all the other requirements for class actions in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, our Court requires that a Rule 23(b)(3) class also be "currently and readily ascertainable." Marcus v. BMW of N. Am. LLC, 687 F.3d 583, 593 (3d Cir. 2012).1 Plaintiffs must show that "(1) the class is defined with reference to objective criteria; and (2) there is a reliable and administratively feasible mechanism for [*470] determining whether putative class members fall within the class definition." Byrd v. Aaron's Inc., 784 F.3d 154, 163 (3d Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
We reverse the District Court's order. First, the Court should not have treated the renewed motion for class certification as a motion for reconsideration. ] "An order that grants or denies class certification may be altered or amended before final judgment." Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(1)(C). Courts cannot graft onto that provision the heightened motion-for-reconsideration [**3] standard requiring that, in addition to satisfying the typical Rule 23 criteria, plaintiffs show there was a change in controlling law, new evidence, or a clear error. See Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). District courts should treat renewed motions for class certification as they would initial motions under Rule 23. Cf. In re Initial Pub. Offering Sec. Litig., 483 F.3d 70, 73 (2d Cir. 2007).
Second, the District Court misapplied our ascertainability case law. It was too exacting and essentially demanded that Appellants identify the class members at the certification stage. ] We have held that a plaintiff need not "be able to identify all class members at class certification—instead, a plaintiff need only show that 'class members can be identified.'" Byrd, 784 F.3d at 163 (emphasis omitted) (quoting Carrera v. Bayer Corp., 727 F.3d 300, 308 n.2 (3d Cir. 2013)). Appellants have met that requirement. They submitted thousands of pages of contracts, driver rosters, security gate logs, and pay statements, as well as testimony from a dozen class members stating they were required to work exclusively for Sleepy's full-time. ] "Affidavits, in combination with records or other reliable and administratively feasible means, can meet the ascertainability standard." City Select Auto Sales Inc. v. BMW of N. Am. Inc., 867 F.3d 434, 441 (3d Cir. 2017).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
974 F.3d 467 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28501 **; 107 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1539; 2020 WL 5405596
SAM HARGROVE; ANDRE HALL; MARCO EUSEBIO, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Appellants v. SLEEPY'S LLC v. I STEALTH LLC; EUSEBIO'S TRUCKING CORP.; CURVA TRUCKING LLC
Subsequent History: Dismissed by, in part, As moot, Class certification denied by, Class certification granted by, Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part Hargrove v. Sleepy's LLC, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36491 (D.N.J., Mar. 1, 2022)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.C. Civil Action No. 3-10-cv-01138). District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan.
Hargrove v. Sleepy's LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221933 (D.N.J., May 9, 2019)
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Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Prerequisites for Class Action, Adequacy of Representation, Numerosity, Superiority, Commonality, Typicality, Summary Judgment, Supporting Materials, Affidavits, Judicial Officers, Judges, Discretionary Powers, Appeals, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Certification of Classes, Decertification, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, De Novo Review, Appellate Review, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Preponderance of Evidence, Maintainability, Prerequisites for Class Action, Business & Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, Wage & Hour Laws, Recordkeeping Requirements, Allocation, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences