A09425 Summary:

Amd §§901 & 902, amd RR908 & 909, CPLR
Eliminates the restriction on class actions involving a penalty or minimum recovery; adds language expressly permitting class actions against governmental entities.
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A09425 Actions:

03/14/2024referred to judiciary
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A09425 Committee Votes:

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A09425 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A09425 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Dinowitz
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to class actions   PURPOSE: To reform and modernize the administration of class actions in New York's Courts.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends subdivision b of § 901 of the civil prac- tice law and rules to eliminate the restriction on class actions involv- ing a penalty or minimum recovery, and adds language expressly permit- ting class actions against governmental entities. Section two of the bill amends § 902 of the civil practice law and rules to eliminate the fixed deadline to move for class certification and direct appointment of counsel in the class certification order. Section three of the bill amends Rule 908 of the civil practice law and rules to eliminate the mandatory provision of notice and authorize a court to exercise its discretion to direct notice where appropriate to protect the interests of the class or putative class. Additionally, this section would track the comparable language of Federal Rule 23(e) but would retain the existing requirement for judicial approval. Section four of the bill amends Rule 909.of the civil practice law and rules to prevent any statutory conflict about the basis for a fee award and the standard that governs when the fees are to be paid by a defend- ant. Section five is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The administration of class actions in New York's courts has not mate- rially changed since the enactment of Art. 9 in 1975. While New York legislative proposals were the basis for Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 1966, the federal rules have been amended several times since then. Outdated and often confusing class action procedures lead to, among other things, (i) New York courts missing opportunities to entertain complex class actions due to forum shopping in the federal courts, (ii) wasteful briefing because of artificial deadlines for certification motions not suitable for contemporary practice, (iii) arbitrary deci- sions regarding class counsel due to lack of statutory guidance, and (iv) difficulty in concluding settlements because of a rule requiring notice even where a class has not been certified and no non-party would be bound.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-2020: A.8034 / S.6334A - Died in rules / died in rules 2017-2018: OCA 2017-61 2015-2016: OCA 2016-88 Assembly 9573 (M. of A. Weinstein) (ordered to 3rd Rdg., Rules Cal. 292)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This measure would take effect on the first day of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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A09425 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 14, 2024
        Introduced by M. of A. DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Judiciary
        AN  ACT  to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to class
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. Subdivision b of section 901 of the civil practice law and
     2  rules, as added by chapter 207 of the laws of 1975, is amended  to  read
     3  as follows:
     4    b.  [Unless  a  statute  creating  or imposing a penalty, or a minimum
     5  measure of recovery specifically authorizes the recovery  thereof  in  a
     6  class  action,  an  action  to  recover a penalty, or minimum measure of
     7  recovery created or imposed by statute may not be maintained as a  class
     8  action] Once the other prerequisites under subdivision a of this section
     9  have  been  satisfied,  class  certification  shall not be considered an
    10  inferior method for fair and efficient adjudication on the grounds  that
    11  the action involves a governmental party or governmental operations.
    12    §  2.  Section  902 of the civil practice law and rules, as amended by
    13  chapter 474 of the laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
    14    § 902. Order allowing class action[. Within sixty days after the  time
    15  to  serve  a  responsive  pleading  has expired for all persons named as
    16  defendants in an action brought as a class action, the  plaintiff  shall
    17  move  for  an  order to determine whether it is to be so maintained] and
    18  appointing class counsel. a. At an early practicable time after a person
    19  sues or is sued as a class representative, the court must  determine  by
    20  order  whether  to  certify the action as a class action. An order under
    21  this section may be conditional, and may be altered  or  amended  before
    22  the decision on the merits on the court's own motion or on motion of the
    23  parties.  The  action  may  be  maintained as a class action only if the
    24  court finds that the prerequisites under section  901  of  this  article
    25  have been satisfied. Among the matters which the court shall consider in
    26  determining whether the action may proceed as a class action are:
    27    1.  the  interest  of members of the class in individually controlling
    28  the prosecution or defense of separate actions;
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9425                             2
     1    2. the impracticability or inefficiency of  prosecuting  or  defending
     2  separate actions;
     3    3.  the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy
     4  already commenced by or against members of the class;
     5    4. the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the  litigation
     6  of the claim in the particular forum;
     7    5.  the  difficulties  likely to be encountered in the management of a
     8  class action.
     9    b. Unless a statute provides otherwise, the order permitting  a  class
    10  action  shall  appoint  class  counsel. In appointing class counsel, the
    11  court:
    12    1. shall consider:
    13    (i) the work counsel has done in identifying or  investigating  poten-
    14  tial claims in the action;
    15    (ii)  counsel's  experience  in  handling class actions, other complex
    16  litigation, and the types of claims asserted in the action;
    17    (iii) counsel's knowledge of the applicable law; and
    18    (iv) the resources that counsel will commit to representing the class;
    19    2. may consider any other matter pertinent  to  counsel's  ability  to
    20  fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class;
    21    3.  may  order  potential  class counsel to provide information on any
    22  subject pertinent to the appointment and to propose terms for attorneys'
    23  fees and nontaxable costs;
    24    4. may include in the appointing order provisions about the  award  of
    25  attorneys' fees or nontaxable costs under rule 909 of this article; and
    26    5. may make further orders in connection with the appointment.
    27    c.  When  one  applicant seeks appointment as class counsel, the court
    28  may appoint that applicant only  if  the  applicant  is  adequate  under
    29  subdivisions  b  and e of this section. If more than one adequate appli-
    30  cant seeks appointment, the court must appoint the applicant  best  able
    31  to represent the interests of the class.
    32    d. The court may designate interim counsel to act on behalf of a puta-
    33  tive  class  before determining whether to certify the action as a class
    34  action.
    35    e. Class counsel must fairly and adequately represent the interests of
    36  the class.
    37    § 3. Rule 908 of the civil practice law and rules, as added by chapter
    38  207 of the laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
    39    Rule 908.    [Dismissal]  Voluntary  dismissal,  discontinuance  [or],
    40  compromise  or  settlement.    [A  class  action]  The claims, issues or
    41  defenses of a class shall not be  voluntarily  dismissed,  discontinued,
    42  [or] compromised, or settled without the approval of the court.  [Notice
    43  of  the proposed dismissal, discontinuance, or compromise shall be given
    44  to all members of the class in such manner as the  court  directs.]  The
    45  following procedures apply to a proposed voluntary dismissal, discontin-
    46  uance, compromise or settlement:
    47    a.  In  class  actions  where  a  class has been certified, reasonable
    48  notice of the proposal shall be given to the class in such a  manner  as
    49  the  court  directs  to  all  class  members  who  would be bound by the
    50  proposal.
    51    b. The court shall direct that notice be given to members of  a  class
    52  or  putative  class not otherwise entitled to notice under subdivision a
    53  of this rule where the court finds that  such  notice  is  necessary  to
    54  protect the interest of such members.
    55    c. The content of the notice and the expenses of notification shall be
    56  governed by subdivisions (c) and (d) of section 904 of this article.

        A. 9425                             3
     1    d.  If the proposal would bind class members, the court may approve it
     2  only after a hearing and on finding that it  is  fair,  reasonable,  and
     3  adequate.
     4    e.  The parties seeking approval must file a statement identifying any
     5  agreement made in connection with the proposal.
     6    f. In class actions where notice to the class was  given  pursuant  to
     7  subdivision  (b)  of  section  904  of  this  article, the court, before
     8  approving a voluntary dismissal, discontinuance, compromise, or  settle-
     9  ment  of  a  class  action,  may direct that notice thereof afford a new
    10  opportunity to request exclusion from the class to class members who had
    11  an earlier opportunity to request exclusion but did not do so.
    12    g. Any class member may object to the proposal if  it  requires  court
    13  approval  under  this rule; the objection may be withdrawn only with the
    14  court's approval.  Unless approved by the court,  no  payment  or  other
    15  consideration  may  be  provided to an objector or objector's counsel in
    16  connection with (i) foregoing or withdrawing an objection, or (ii) fore-
    17  going, dismissing, or abandoning an appeal from a judgment approving the
    18  proposal.
    19    § 4. Rule 909 of the civil practice law and rules, as amended by chap-
    20  ter 566 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
    21    Rule 909. Attorneys' fees. If a judgment in an action maintained as  a
    22  class  action  is  rendered  in  favor  of  the  class, the court in its
    23  discretion may award attorneys' fees to the representatives of the class
    24  and/or to any other person that the court finds has acted to benefit the
    25  class based on the reasonable value of legal services  rendered  and  if
    26  justice  requires  and to the extent not otherwise limited by law, allow
    27  recovery of the amount awarded from the opponent of the class.
    28    § 5. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
    29  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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A09425 LFIN:

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A09425 Chamber Video/Transcript:

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