A gavel in a courtroom

Judge denies effort to delay commissions settlement hearing 

Buy-side plaintiffs who claim the Anywhere, RE/MAX and KW deals go too far will still get their chance to make that argument in court May 9.

May 8, 2024
2 minutes

A judge has denied an eleventh-hour attempt to stall the final approval settlement hearing for RE/MAX, Keller Williams and Anywhere Real Estate.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Wood turned away a motion filed earlier today by the plaintiffs in the Batton cases for an injunction and temporary restraining order that could have prevented the hearing from moving forward.

In a two-page filing, Judge Wood indicated that the concerns expressed in the motion can be brought up during the hearing itself, which will be held 10 a.m. local time on May 9 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City. 

What was the injunction motion about? The plaintiffs in the Batton cases alleged that the defendants in the settlements didn't disclose a plan to claim immunity from Batton homebuyers who also sold a home until May 3, six days before the final approval hearing.

The plaintiffs' attorney said that at the time of the Anywhere and RE/MAX settlement announcements last fall, it was understood by the court that the deals would have no impact on the Batton case.

Only after the opt-out deadline had passed in April "did the Settling Defendants file motions making clear what they had previously kept clandestine: their intent to settle as much of the Batton homebuyer claims as possible with class counsel representing homesellers," the court documents arguing for the injunction stated.

What Judge Wood had to say: In response to the plaintiffs' accusations of unfairness about the recent disclosure that homebuyers who also sold a home would be included in the RE/MAX, Keller Williams and Anywhere settlements, Wood said the plaintiffs can make that  argument in front of Judge Stephen Bough, who is presiding over the final approval settlement.

"The very purpose of a final approval hearing… is for the district court to consider and address challenges to the fairness of the proposed class action settlement," Wood said, adding that trying to block such a hearing would be inappropriate.

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