The opinion of the court was delivered by: B. Lynn WinmillChief JudgeUnited States District Court
ORDER CERTIFYING SETTLEMENT
CLASS-ACTION SETTLEMENT, AND
CLASS, PRELIMINARILY APPROVING APPROVING FORM AND MANNER OF NOTICE
Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants have moved under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b) and (e) for an order: (1) certifying a settlement class; (2) preliminarily approving a class settlement on the terms and conditions set forth in the Idaho Class Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement Agreement"); and (3) approving forms and a program for class notice. Terms capitalized herein and not defined shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Settlement Agreement. The Court has reviewed and considered all papers filed in connection with the motion, including the Settlement Agreement, and all its exhibits, and has heard the presentations of counsel appearing with respect thereto. On the basis thereof, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Action and jurisdiction over the Parties.
2. For settlement purposes only, this action may be maintained as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 on behalf of a class under the Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement Class"), defined as follows: a class comprising all Persons who own or who claim to own, for any period of time during a Compensation Period, any Covered Property, provided, that "Settlement Class" or "Class" does not include: (1) Right-of-Way Providers and their predecessors, successors, parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, past or present; (2) federal, state, and local governmental entities; (3) Native American nations and tribes; or (4) any Person who files a valid and timely exclusion on or before the Opt-Out Deadline.
3. In light of the agreement to settle the Action and the resulting elimination of individual issues that may otherwise have precluded certification of a class, the prerequisites to class certification under Rule 23(a) are satisfied, to-wit:
a. The Settlement Class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
b. There are questions of law and fact common to members of the Settlement Class, including the central question of their right to compensation for Settling Defendants' occupation of Rights of Way with Telecommunications Cable Systems;
c. The claims of the following named Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the Settlement Class members: Dennis Koyle, Charles K. Turner, and the Caravelle Corporation, Inc.
d. Each Plaintiff, represented by counsel experienced in complex litigation, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class.
4. In light of the agreement to settle the Action and the resulting elimination of individual issues that the Settling Defendants contend precludes certification of a class, the questions of law and fact common to all members of the Settlement Class predominate over questions affecting only individual members of that Class, and certification of the Settlement Class is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient resolution of this controversy, satisfying Rule 23(b)(3).
5. If the Settlement Agreement is not finally approved by the Court or for any reason does not become effective, the Settlement Class shall be decertified, all Parties' rights to litigate all class issues will be restored to the same extent as if the Settlement Agreement had never been entered into, and no Party shall assert that another Party is estopped to take any position relating to class certification.
6. The following named Plaintiffs in the Class-Action Complaint filed in this action (the "Complaint") are hereby designated as the Class Representatives for the Settlement Class: Dennis Koyle, ...