United States District Court, D. Maryland
April 30, 2014
DENNIS WALTER BOND, SR., et al., Plaintiffs,
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC., et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ROGER W. TITUS, District Judge.
On January 7, 2014, this Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification. ECF Nos. 136, 137. On February 14, 2014, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Issue Notice of Class-Certification Denial, requesting this Court to order that notice of the Court's January 7, 2014 decision be given to former putative class members. ECF No. 145. Defendant filed a Response in Opposition on March 3, 2014. ECF No. 148.
Courts rarely permit plaintiffs to issue formal notice of a class certification denial to former putative class members. The few cases Plaintiffs cite, none of which is from this district, present significantly different circumstances. Although both parties concede that the Fourth Circuit has not considered this issue, other circuits that have addressed the issue have routinely declined to issue notice to non-certified classes. See e.g., Cruz v. American Airlines, Inc., 356 F.3d 320, 331 (D.C. Cir. 2004) ("We doubt, as a threshold matter, that a district court has any discretion to order notice in the conduct of [an] action[ ]' in which it has declined to certify any class whatsoever."); Pearson v. Ecological Science Corp., 522 F.2d 171, 177 (5th Cir. 1975)(relying on Advisory Committee's Comments on Rule 23 to determine that notice should not issue because a negative "determination (of class action status) means that [t]he action should be stripped of its character as a class action."). The Court is not convinced by Plaintiffs' argument that former putative class members would be prejudiced without notice and finds that there is not sufficient evidence that many or all of them knew of the litigation and/or relied on the class action to vindicate their interests. Instead, public policy concerns weigh heavily against issuing such notice in this case. For the foregoing reasons, it is this 29th day of April, 2014, by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland,
ORDERED, that the Plaintiffs' Motion to Issue Class Notice (ECF No. 145) is DENIED; and it is further
ORDERED, that the Plaintiffs' Motion to Seal Exhibit (ECF No. 147) is GRANTED.