Skip Navigation Links
      CCP 592     

  

Art. 592.  Certification procedure; notice; judgment; orders

A.(1)  Within ninety days after service on all adverse parties of the initial pleading demanding relief on behalf of or against a class, the proponent of the class shall file a motion to certify the action as a class action.  The delay for filing the motion may be extended by stipulation of the parties or on motion for good cause shown.

(2)  If the proponent fails to file a motion for certification within the delay allowed by Subparagraph A(1), any adverse party may file a notice of the failure to move for certification.  On the filing of such a notice and after hearing thereon, the demand for class relief may be stricken.  If the demand for class relief is stricken, the action may continue between the named parties alone.  A demand for class relief stricken under this Subparagraph may be reinstated upon a showing of good cause by the proponent.

(3)(a)  No motion to certify an action as a class action shall be granted prior to a hearing on the motion. Such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable, but in no event before:

(i)  All named adverse parties have been served with the pleading containing the demand for class relief or have made an appearance or, with respect to unserved defendants who have not appeared, the proponent of the class has made due and diligent effort to perfect service of such pleading; and

(ii)  The parties have had a reasonable opportunity to obtain discovery on class certification issues, on such terms and conditions as the court deems necessary, which may include expert witness testimony or evidence.  The admissibility of expert witness testimony or evidence for class certification purposes shall also be governed by Article 1425(F), although the court in its discretion may change the deadlines for filing or hearing a motion as set forth in Article 1425(F) provided such deadlines are prior to or contemporaneous with the class certification hearing.

(b)  At the hearing on the motion to certify an action as a class action, the proponent of the class shall have the burden of proof to establish that all requirements of Article 591 of this Code have been satisfied.

(c)  If the court finds that the action should be maintained as a class action, it shall certify the action accordingly.  If the court finds that the action should not be maintained as a class action, the action may continue between the named parties.  In either event, the court shall give in writing its findings of fact and reasons for judgment provided a request is made not later than ten days after notice of the order or judgment.  A suspensive or devolutive appeal, as provided in Article 2081 et seq. of the Code of Civil Procedure, may be taken as a matter of right from an order or judgment provided for herein.

(d)  In the process of class certification, or at any time thereafter before a decision on the merits of the common issues, the court may alter, amend, or recall its initial ruling on certification and may enlarge, restrict, or otherwise redefine the constituency of the class or the issues to be maintained in the class action.

(e)  No order contemplated in this Subparagraph shall be rendered after a judgment or partial judgment on the merits of common issues has been rendered against the party opposing the class and over such party's objection.

B.(1)  In any class action maintained under Article 591(B)(3), the court shall direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort.  This notice, however given, shall be given as soon as practicable after certification, but in any event early enough that a delay provided for the class members to exercise an option to be excluded from the class will have expired before commencement of the trial on the merits of the common issues.

(2)  The notice required by Subparagraph B(1) shall include:

(a)  A general description of the action, including the relief sought, and the names and addresses of the representative parties or, where appropriate, the identity and location of the source from which the names and addresses of the representative parties can be obtained.

(b)  A statement of the right of the person to be excluded from the action by submitting an election form, including the manner and time for exercising the election.

(c)  A statement that the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion.

(d)  A statement that any member who does not request exclusion may, if the member desires, enter an appearance through counsel at that member's expense.

(e)  A statement advising the class member that the member may be required to take further action as the court deems necessary, such as submitting a proof of claim in order to participate in any recovery had by the class.

(f)  A general description of any counterclaim brought against the class.

(g)  The address of counsel to whom inquiries may be directed.

(h)  Any other information that the court deems appropriate.

(3)  Unless the parties agree otherwise, the proponents of the class shall bear the expense of the notification required by this Paragraph.  The court may require the party opposing the class to cooperate in securing the names and addresses of the persons within the class defined by the court for the purpose of providing individual notice, but any additional costs reasonably incurred by the party opposing the class in complying with this order shall be paid by the proponent of the class.  The court may tax all or part of the expenses incurred for notification as costs.

C.  The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under Article 591(B)(1) or (B)(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 Article 591(B)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in Paragraph B was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.

D.  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, and the provisions of Article 591 and this Article shall then be construed and applied accordingly.

E.  In the conduct of actions to which Article 591 and this Article apply, the court may make any of the following 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 such manner as the court may direct to members of the class 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 on intervenors.

(4)  Requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate therefrom allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly.

(5)  Dealing with similar procedural matters, including but not limited to case management orders providing for consolidation, duties of counsel, the extent and the scheduling of and the delays for pre-certification and post-certification discovery, and other matters which affect the general order of proceedings; however, the court shall not order the class-wide trial of issues dependent for their resolution on proof individual to a member of the class, including but not limited to the causation of the member's injuries, the amount of the member's special or general damages, the individual knowledge or reliance of the member, or the applicability to the member of individual claims or defenses.

(6)  Any of the orders provided in this Paragraph may be combined with an order pursuant to Article 1551, and may be altered or amended as may be desirable from time to time.

Acts 1997, No. 839, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2005, No. 205, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2012, No. 115, §1; Acts 2013, No. 254, §1.



If you experience any technical difficulties navigating this website, click here to contact the webmaster.
P.O. Box 94062 (900 North Third Street) Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9062