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Joint Stipulation Doesn't Remove Federal Jurisdiction in Motion to Intervene

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals granted consolidation of mixed motions from separate members of a class action suit filed against the United States Marshals Services (USMS) alleging racial discrimination directed at its African-American employers. The court granted Keith Herrington's motion to intervene, denied Herman Brewer's petition for interlocutory review of denial of his motion for class certification, and dismissed the appeal from final judgment.

Brewer, an African-American deputy with the USMS, acted as the class representative in a racial discrimination suit brought against the USMS. He was the sole class member named in the suit that alleged that USMS had established a promotion plan that impeded advancement for African-American employees. They also used duty assignments to diminish class members' opportunities for career advancement and enhancement for members of the class.

The federal district court denied Brewer's motion for certification as a class because he did not meet adequacy and typicality requirements necessary to serve as a class representative.

Brewer then filed a petition for interlocutory review. However, he filed a joint stipulation to dismiss the suit because he reached a settlement with the defendants. The stipulation was "effective automatically" without only other court action.

On the same day that Brewer signed the stipulation, Harrington, an unnamed member of the class, filed a motion to intervene and consolidate. The District of Columbia Circuit noted that the stipulation may have removed a "live controversy" to warrant its jurisdiction, so it clarified that the stipulation was a stator regulation, not jurisdiction. So it maintained jurisdiction over the mixed motions.

The District of Columbia Circuit consolidated all relative causes in its jurisdiction. It granted Harrington's motion to intervene because he had met all requirements, and failure to grant it would likely impede or hinder the other members' interests in the outcome. It would also present unnecessary financial and judicial burdens.

The District of Columbia Circuit also denied Brewer's petition for interlocutory review because it presented no question that fell within the court's discretion for interlocutory review. It also dismissed the appeal of final judgment. Dismissal resulted in return of jurisdiction to the district court. It directed the district court to allow intervenors time to file a motion for class certification and motion to substitute a new class representative.

See Re Herman Brewer: No. 15-8009 F. 3d (D.C. Cir. 2017) and Herrington v. Sessions, Nos: 16-5285 and 16-5286, F. 3d (D.C. Cir 2017).

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Related legal cases

Re: Herman Brewer

Herrington v. Sessions

 

 

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