III. Complex Cases - Joining Parties
- Temple University
- Legal Studies
- Legal Studies 524
- III. Complex Cases - Joining Parties
Last Modified: 2011-05-28
If their claims:
- Arise from the same T/O, AND
- Raise at least one common question.
Assess SMJ (Diversity or FQ)
- Without A, the court cannot accord complete relief among existing parties
- A's interest may be harmed
- A claims an interest which subjects a party (usually D) to multiple obligations
- There is PJ over him, and
- Joining him will not destroy diversity
The court may either:
- Proceed without A; OR
- Dismiss the entire case
- Whether an alternative forum is available;
- The actual likelihood of harm to A; and
- Whether the court can shape relief to avoid the potential harm.
An abseentee party is indispensable if the court decides to dismiss a case due to A's absence and inability to join.
When a defending party wants to bring in someone new (third-party defendant (“TPD”)) for one reason: the TPD may owe indemnity or contribution to the defending party on the underlying claim.
There is a right to implead within 14 days after serving answer; after that, court permission is needed.
- File third-party complaint against TPD, AND
- Serve process on the TPD (must have PJ over TPD)
- P can assert a claim against TPD, and
- TPD can assert a claim against P
- SMJ (FQ or diversity)
- Supplemental jurisdiction
Absentee wants to join a pending suit. She chooses to come in either as a P or a D. The court may realign her if it thinks she came in on the "wrong" side. Application to intervene must be "timely."
- Intervention of right
- Permissive intervention
A's interest may be harmed if she is not joined and her interest is not adequately represented now.
- A's claim or defense and the pending case have at least one common question.
- Discretionary with court; OK unless delay or prejudice.
One holding property forces all potential claimants into a single lawsuit to avoid multiple litigation and inconsistency.
All four must be present:
- Representative is adequate
There are some questions of law or fact in common to class.
Rep's claims/defenses typical of those of the class
Rep will fairly and adequately represent class.
Type 1: "prejudice"
Type 2: Injunction or declaratory judgment
Type 3: "damages"
EX. many claimants to a fund. Individual suits might deplete the fund, leaving some without remedy.
Injunction or declaratory judgment (not damages) sought because class was treated alike by other party.
EX. employment discrimination.
- Common questions predominate over individual questions; AND
- Class action is the superior method to hand the dispute.
EX. mass tort
- It must define the class and the class claims, issues, or defenses.
- The court must also appoint class counsel (most qualified candidate)
Type 1 & 2: no notice requirement
Type 3: the court must notify class members, including individual notice (usually by mail) to all reasonably identifiable members.
Type 1 & 2: every member of the class
Type 3: all class members except those who opted out of the class
- FQ if claim arising under federal law
- Diversity so long as the rep is diverse from all Ds and the amount in controversy exceeds $75k.
Requires at least 100 class members to be applicable
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