United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
WILLIAM H. STEELE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
previous order, (Doc. 65), the Court granted the parties'
joint motion to approve settlement of the FLSA claims but
disapproved of the proposed stipulated judgment. As the Court
The proposed judgment does not set forth the amount of the
judgment on the FLSA claim in favor of any named plaintiff or
opt-in plaintiff; instead, it refers the reader to the
settlement agreement, which does set forth these amounts, at
least if one performs certain mathematical calculations. The
parties have provided no authority or rationale for the
proposition that a money judgment can be entered without
setting forth the amounts of money awarded, especially when
the only document setting forth those amounts is sealed and
thus inaccessible to the public or to any court where the
judgment might be registered and enforced. Nor have they
explained how the public interest concerns addressed in
Crabtree, 2013 WL 593500 at *5, can be satisfied if
“the specific amounts for which [the plaintiffs]
settled their [FLSA] claims” is not disclosed.
(Id. at 2-3). The Court accordingly ordered to
parties to file either an amended proposed stipulated
judgment or a supplemental brief demonstrating the propriety
of the original proposed stipulated judgment.
parties chose the former approach, but their amended proposed
stipulated judgment, (Doc. 66), does not respond to the
Court's concerns. First, the proposed judgment does not
set forth the amount of the judgment as to any named or
opt-in plaintiff; instead, it attaches an appendix which, if
certain mathematical calculations are performed, yields those
individual settlement amounts. Second, the parties have filed
the amended proposed stipulated judgment under seal, despite
neither following the correct protocol nor explaining
why sealing is appropriate.
within the Eleventh Circuit routinely conclude that sealing a
settlement agreement or judgment in an FLSA case is improper
absent sufficiently compelling justification. For substantially
similar reasons, the Court joins their number. The parties
having suggested no compelling (or any) justification for
sealing the judgment, the Court adheres to the general rule.
the Clerk is directed to remove the seal from the amended
proposed stipulated judgment at Document 66. Judgment shall
be entered by separate order in the individual amounts
identified in the appendix.
opt-in plaintiffs - Candice Spain, Magen Stringer and Joseph
Kees - receive nothing under the parties' settlement of
the FLSA claims. The parties have not asked that judgment be
entered against these individuals on the FLSA claims, nor
have they identified any other way their FLSA claims may be
resolved. They are ordered to file, on or
before November 14, 2019, whatever motion or
other filing they deem appropriate to bring these
individuals' FLSA claims to a conclusion.
 No material may be filed under seal
without an accompanying unsealed motion to seal. General
Local Rule 5.2(b)(2).
 In contrast, the parties properly
requested permission to file their settlement agreement under
seal, on the grounds that “it involves consideration of
Plaintiffs' potential non-FLSA claim” and that
“[t]he Parties' interest in preserving the
confidentiality of non-FLSA claim terms outweighs any public
interest in accessing the same.” (Doc. 62 at 2-3). The
Court permitted filing under seal on this basis, and on the
assumption the motion to approve settlement, along with the
anticipated judgment, would satisfy the law's concerns
over confidentiality. (Doc. 65 at 1 n.1). The parties did not
assert that the amounts agreed to in settlement of the FLSA
claims should be sealed; on the contrary, the parties placed
on the public record the total amount of the FLSA settlement.
(Doc. 63 at 7).
E.g., Guerra v. Flores, 139
F.Supp.3d 1288, 1292-93 (N.D. Ala. 2015) (Hopkins, D.J.);
Dees v. Hydradry, Inc., 706 F.Supp.2d 1227, 1244-45
(M.D. Fla. 2010) (Merryday, D.J.); Stalnaker v. Novar
Corp., 293 F.Supp.2d 1260, 1263-64 (M.D. Ala. 2003);
Eigenberger v. Tokyo Statesboro Ga, LLC, 2018 WL
2065942 at *2 (S.D. Ga. 2018); Wade v. Rowan Cabinet
Co., 2015 WL 12859399 at *1 (N.D.Ga. 2015);
McPherson v. PCI Security, Inc., 2014 WL 12625456 at
*2-3 (M.D. Fla. 2014) (Smith, M.J.); Perez v. In-Rel
Properties, 2014 WL 12613285 at *1 (S.D. Fla. 2014);
Beard v. Dolgencorp, L.L.C., 2013 WL 12253571 at
*2-3 (N.D. Ala. 2013) (Blackburn, C.J.); Nichols v.