28 U.S. Code § 1711. Definitions
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In this chapter:
The term “class action” means any civil action filed in a district court of the United States under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or any civil action that is removed to a district court of the United States that was originally filed under a State statute or rule of judicial procedure authorizing an action to be brought by 1 or more representatives as a class action.
References in Text
Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in par. (2), is set out in the Appendix to this title.
Findings and Purposes
“(a)Findings.—Congress finds the following:
Class action lawsuits are an important and valuable part of the legal system when they permit the fair and efficient resolution of legitimate claims of numerous parties by allowing the claims to be aggregated into a single action against a defendant that has allegedly caused harm.
“(2) Over the past decade, there have been abuses of the class action device that have—
harmed class members with legitimate claims and defendants that have acted responsibly;
adversely affected interstate commerce; and
undermined public respect for our judicial system.
“(3)Class members often receive little or no benefit from class actions, and are sometimes harmed, such as where—
counsel are awarded large fees, while leaving class members with coupons or other awards of little or no value;
unjustified awards are made to certain plaintiffs at the expense of other class members; and
confusing notices are published that prevent class members from being able to fully understand and effectively exercise their rights.
“(4) Abuses in class actions undermine the national judicial system, the free flow of interstate commerce, and the concept of diversity jurisdiction as intended by the framers of the United States Constitution, in that State and local courts are—
keeping cases of national importance out of Federal court;
sometimes acting in ways that demonstrate bias against out-of-State defendants; and
“(b)Purposes.—The purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 2005 Amendments note set out under section 1 of this title] are to—
assure fair and prompt recoveries for class members with legitimate claims;
benefit society by encouraging innovation and lowering consumer prices.”