Class certification is the legal process by which a court grants a group of plaintiffs the status of a “class.” This allows the plaintiffs to collectively pursue their legal claims against the defendants. The process of class certification is governed by federal and state law. In order to obtain class certification, the plaintiffs must first prove that their claims meet the requirements of a particular rule or statute. The most common rule used to obtain class certification is Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In order to meet the requirements of Rule 23, the plaintiffs must demonstrate that the class is sufficiently numerous, that there are common claims or questions of law or fact among the members of the class, that the claims or defenses of the class representatives are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and that the class representatives will adequately represent the interests of the class. If the plaintiffs are able to meet these requirements, the court will then consider whether class certification is appropriate under the particular facts and circumstances of the case. The court will consider a number of factors, including whether the class is sufficiently cohesive, whether the interests of the class members are best served by proceeding as a class, and whether class certification will promote efficiency and fairness. Once the court grants class certification, the plaintiffs and defendants are bound by the court’s decision and may not opt out of the class. The class representatives will then proceed with their claims on behalf of the class. If the plaintiffs are successful, the court may award damages to the class as a whole. Alternatively, the court may enter an injunction ordering the defendants to take or refrain from taking some action.
There are a few key things to remember when it comes to class certification:
Here are additional resources to learn more about Class Certification: