In a class action, a large group of people can collectively bring a suit against one or many defendants. Class actions can also be named as representative actions. Class actions are filed by persons having the similar interests in the same proceedings, and representative actions are filed by persons when a common issue of law or fact at stake. Civil procedure rules provide the procedures of filing a class action in a federal or state court. Generally, any number of persons can be joined in a proceeding if the relief sought by them is the same, or the question of law in dispute is common for all the claimants.
Administrative cases can also be filed as class actions. Administrative agencies are not bound by the class action principles provided in the federal or state civil procedure.[i] An agency can create its own rules concerning joinder of parties in a suit and class actions.
When an administrative class action is filed, the opposite party should be informed about the proceeding through notice.[ii] In cases where individual relief is sought by a party in a class action, the evidence should include that of individual damage caused.[iii]
[i] Arizona Civil Rights Div., Dep’t of Law v. Hughes Air Corp., 139 Ariz. 309 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1983)
[ii] In re Global Crossing Ltd. Sec. Litig., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5459 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2008)
[iii] KLUGE v. CREWS LAKE RD. & BRIDGE DIST., 1985 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22530 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 15, 1985)