A gavel next to a stack of legal papers

Court sets deadline for appeals in brokerage settlements 

A status update in the 5-year-old Moehrl case says any objections to the deals must be filed next month, while HomeServices continues to hash out its agreement.

July 8, 2024
2 minutes

As the first commissions case to go to trial, Sitzer/Burnett quickly became a familiar name — but a similar five-year-old lawsuit is still quietly working its way through the courts.

The Moehrl case, also filed in 2019, includes the same defendants as Sitzer/Burnett. Because NAR and the brokerage defendants have all reached settlement agreements, much of the process is out of the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Wood.

In a status update report filed on July 8, however, the plaintiffs and defendants provided a few details about what's next.

Appeals scheduled: While the combined $208.5 million settlement reached by Anywhere, Keller Williams and RE/MAX was finalized in May, one more appeal effort is underway. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit set an August 26 deadline to receive arguments from plaintiffs in South Carolina's Burton case, a plaintiff in the Batton case in Illinois, and a company called Spring Way, all of whom have filed appeals contesting the settlement agreement.

While the plaintiffs are expected to provide more details in support of their appeals next month, some of the existing filings state that the award amount is insufficient and assert that homebuyers who also sold homes should be able to pursue their own settlement agreements.

HomeServices deal still pending: The status update also indicates that HomeServices of America and the plaintiffs in the Sitzer/Burnett case are continuing to hash out the details of the $250 million settlement announced April 26

The long-form settlement agreement needs to be completed before a judge can grant preliminary approval and schedule a final hearing.

The status update did not indicate why HomeServices' settlement is taking longer to reach the preliminary approval stage compared to the other brokerage settlements, but the amount of the payout is significantly higher, and the deal involves 51 brands and more than 300 franchisees. 

Only the National Association of Realtors' $418 million settlement is larger in terms of damages awarded. The NAR settlement has received preliminary approval, and a final approval hearing is scheduled for Nov. 26.

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