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INTERNATIONAL UNION

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


December 22, 1986

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, UAW, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
RICHARD A. LYNG, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Defendant

Oberdorfer, J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER CERTIFYING CLASS

On January 10, 1985, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. Plaintiffs requested certification of a class consisting "of all UAW and Mine Worker strikers and their households who are or were otherwise eligible for Food Stamps but for the anti-striker provision of the Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2015(d)." Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification at 6 (filed January 10, 1985). Defendant consented to class certification but of a somewhat narrower class. The November 14, 1986 memorandum and order, 648 F. Supp. 1234, declared the striker provision unconstitutional, but did not rule upon plaintiffs' motion.

 Plaintiffs have subsequently renewed their motion for class certification. In plaintiffs' present motion, they seek certification of a class consisting of

 

All UAW and UMWA strikers and their households (which, for purposes of this certification order only, includes strikers and their households in: UFCW Local 400, on strike against Marval Poultry; Steelworkers Local 3701 on strike against St. Josephs Resources; and Teamsters Local 912 on strike against Watsonville Canning) who:

 

1) will be, are, or have been otherwise eligible for Food Stamps but for the application of the striker disqualification of the Food Stamp Act (7 U.S.C. § 2015(d)(3)) and its implementing regulations, and

 

2) who have previously filed an application for Food Stamps, or were discouraged or prevented from filing an application by their state or local food stamp agency, or who will in the future apply for Food Stamps.

 Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend, Class Certification, and Intervention at 11 (filed November 26, 1986).

 Defendant still consents to class certification but poses three objections to the class as defined by plaintiffs.

 First, defendant objects to the inclusion of non-UAW and non-UMWA strikers within the class, as envisioned in the first paragraph of plaintiffs' proposed class definition. Defendant also opposes plaintiffs' concurrent motion to intervene three individual named plaintiffs to represent these strikers and their households.

 Plaintiffs' requests for intervention and expansion of the class both come after entry of final judgment in their favor. "Intervention attempts after final judgments are 'ordinarily looked upon with a jaundiced eye. "[I]nterventions after judgment have a strong tendency to prejudice existing parties to the litigation or to interfere substantially with the orderly process of the court." United States v. U.S. Steel Corp., 548 F.2d 1232, 1235 (5th Cir. 1977) (citation omitted). For this reason,

 

The general rule is that motions for intervention made after entry of final judgment will be granted only upon a strong showing of entitlement and of justification for failure to request intervention sooner.

 United States v. Associated Milk Producers, Inc., 534 F.2d 113 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 940, 50 L. Ed. 2d 309, 97 S. Ct. 355 (1976) (emphasis in original). Plaintiffs note that the proposed intervenors were affiants in the summary judgment stage of this litigation. Obviously, therefore, they were aware of the litigation. As no justification has been proferred for their failure to request intervention sooner, plaintiffs' motion for intervention and expansion of the class to include non-UAW and non-UMWA strikers should be, and will be, denied.

 Defendant also argues that the class should be limited to persons "who were discouraged from filing an application by their local food stamp agency because they were on strike," rather than for reasons unrelated to the striker provision. In response, plaintiffs concede that there should be some relation between a person's status as a striker and the reason he was discouraged from applying for food stamps, but disagree that his status as a striker need be the only or the predominate reason for the discouragement. Instead, plaintiffs propose modifying the class to include persons "who were prevented or discouraged from filing an application . . . due, in part, to their status as strikers or members of a striker's household. . . ." The importance of this distinction is uncertain. The proof problems of establishing "discouragement" are already sufficient to preclude precision in the definition of the class. Nevertheless, a striker and his household should not be excluded from the plaintiff class merely because they were discouraged from applying for food stamps because of some factor in addition to the striker provision. Consequently, an accompanying order will certify a class to include persons "who were prevented or discouraged from filing an application . . . due, in part, to their status as strikers or members of a striker's household. . . ."

 Finally, defendant argues that the class should include only those persons whose applications were denied or discouraged by operation of § 2015(d)(3) within one year prior to the filing of this suit. In support, defendant relies upon 7 U.S.C. § 2023(b), which states in pertinent part:

 

In any judicial action arising under this chapter, any food stamp allotments found to have been wrongfully withheld shall be restored only for periods of not more than one year prior to the date of the commencement of such action. . . .

 By its terms, this section applies only to cases arising under the Food Stamp Act. As this case arises under the Constitution, section 2023(b)'s limitation on recovery does not apply.

 For the foregoing reasons, it is this day of December, 1986, hereby

 ORDERED: that plaintiffs' motion for intervention should be, and hereby is, DENIED; and it is further

 ORDERED: that plaintiffs' motion for class certification should be, and hereby is, GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; and it is further

 ORDERED: that the plaintiff class should be, and hereby is, CERTIFIED and DEFINED to include

 

All UAW and UMWA strikers and their households who:

 

1) will be, are, or have been otherwise eligible for Food Stamps but for the application of the striker disqualification of the Food Stamp Act (7 U.S.C. § 2015(d)(3)) and its implementing regulations, and

 

2) who have previously filed an application for Food Stamps, or were discouraged or prevented from filing an application by their state or local food stamp agency due, in part, to their status as strikers or members of a striker's household, or who will in the future apply for Food Stamps.*

19861222

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