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RULE 2-231. CLASS ACTIONS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 2. Civil Procedure--Circuit Court
Chapter 200. Parties
MD Rules, Rule 2-231
RULE 2-231. CLASS ACTIONS
(a) Prerequisites to a Class Action. One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all only if (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
Cross reference: See Code, Courts Article, § 4-402(d), regarding aggregation of claims for jurisdictional amount.
(b) Class Actions Maintainable. Unless justice requires otherwise, an action may be maintained as a class action if the prerequisites of section (a) are satisfied, and in addition:
(1) the prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of
(A) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class that would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class, or
(B) adjudications with respect to individual members of the class that would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests; or
(2) the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or
(3) the court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy. The matters pertinent to the findings include: (A) the interest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions, (B) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class, (C) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum, (D) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action.
(c) Certification. On motion of any party or on the court's own initiative, the court shall determine by order as soon as practicable after commencement of the action whether it is to be maintained as a class action. A hearing shall be granted if requested by any party. The order shall include the court's findings and reasons for certifying or refusing to certify the action as a class action. The order may be conditional and may be altered or amended before the decision on the merits.
(d) Partial Class Actions; Subclasses. When appropriate, an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class.
(e) Notice. In any class action, the court may require notice pursuant to subsection (f)(2). In a class action maintained under subsection (b)(3), notice shall be given to members of the class in the manner the court directs. The notice shall advise that (1) the court will exclude from the class any member who so requests by a specified date, (2) the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion, and (3) any member who does not request exclusion and who desires to enter an appearance through counsel may do so.
(f) Orders in Conduct of Actions. In the conduct of actions to which this Rule applies, the court may enter appropriate orders: (1) determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument, (2) requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in the manner the court directs to some or all of the members of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action, (3) imposing conditions on the representative parties or intervenors, (4) requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly, (5) dealing with similar procedural matters. The orders may be combined with an order under Rule 2-504, and may be altered or amended as may be desirable from time to time.
(g) Discovery. For purposes of discovery, only representative parties shall be treated as parties. On motion, the court may allow discovery by or against any other member of the class.
(h) Dismissal or Compromise. A class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court. Notice of a proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in the manner the court directs.
(i) Judgment. The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsections (b)(1) and (2), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class. The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsection (b)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in subsection (e)(1) was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) and former Rule 209 a.
Section (b) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (b)(1), (2) and (3).
Section (c) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (c)(1).
Section (d) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (c)(4).
Section (e) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (c)(2).
Section (f) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (d).
Section (g) is new.
Section (h) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (e) and former Rule 209 d.
Section (i) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (c)(3).

Credits

[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended July 27, 1987, eff. Aug. 17, 1987; Nov. 12, 2003, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.]
MD Rules, Rule 2-231, MD R RCP CIR CT Rule 2-231
Current with amendments received through June 15, 2017
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