Class Actions Law

The class actions law previously known as bill of peace provides convenient and efficient method for resolving legal disputes affecting a number of parties with similar claims. The main benefit of the class actions law is to assist in resolving common issues and factual disputes by a single claim on behalf of large number of people. In other words it is a collective lawsuit that allows a large group of people approach the court to sue the class of defendants for a common cause.

What type of cases become class actions?

  • · Generally class action cases are identical to the normal civil cases except that it involves larger and more complicated issues impacting huge number of people. Besides, a case can proceed as class action only if court certifies the class and the claims of the plaintiff or defendant are common issues of facts and laws.
  • · According to class actions law when one or small group of entities such as trading & security companies and other business corporations involve in fraud dealings violating the government laws and affecting the public to a great extent then it is considered as a class action case. A plaintiff or defendant in class action case files a lawsuit not just on his or her own behalf, but acts a representative on behalf of all the individuals who are in the same situation and have been offended as a result of the similar misconduct.

Overview of the class action laws:

  • · The implementation of Rule 23 of the federal rules civil procedure in 1938 expanded new scope for the class actions law in US seeking both equity as well as currency damages. This law was further revised in 1966 with more clarified amendments where all the members of the litigation group are bound except those who appear and oppose.
  • · This change in class actions law led to social and economic reformation and helped in reducing racial discrimination which gave rise to African-American civil rights movement. Besides, the law acted as a base to address the inequalities in education, voting and housing privileges and aided to achieve communal goals.
  • · However, the US Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 expanded federal jurisdiction to certain class actions where the amount in controversy exceeding $5,000,000 exclusive of interest and costs. Many state civil procedure systems are governed by the federal rules of class actions law except some states like California deviate themselves from these rules.

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