Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (07/27/2000)

Class Action Fairness Act of 2000 - Amends the Federal judicial code to require that, no later than ten days after a proposed settlement in a class action is filed in court, the attorneys representing the class serve the attorney general of each State (State AG) in which a class member resides and the Department of Justice (DOJ) with specified information, including notice of a proposed settlement. Makes this Act applicable to all plaintiff class actions filed in or removed to Federal court except any such class action solely involving claims concerning: (1) a covered security; (2) the internal affairs or governance of a business enterprise under State law; or (3) the rights, duties, and obligations relating to any security.

Prohibits the holding of a hearing to consider final approval of a proposed settlement earlier than 120 days after the date on which the State AGs and the U.S. Attorney General are served notice.

Requires any court with jurisdiction over a plaintiff class action to require that: (1) any written notice provided to the class through the mail or publication in printed media contain a short summary written in plain, easily understood language describing the subject matter of the class action, the legal consequences of joining such action, and, if the notice is informing class members of a proposed settlement agreement, specified information; and (2) any notice provided through television or radio to inform class members of their rights to be excluded from a class action or a proposed settlement, if such right exists, describe in plain, easily understood language the persons who may potentially become class members and explain that the failure of persons falling within the definition of the class to exercise their right to be excluded will result in such persons' inclusion in such action.

Authorizes a class member to refuse to comply with, and choose not to be bound by, a settlement agreement or consent decree in a class action if the class member resides in a State where the State AG has not been provided notice and materials under this Act.

(Sec. 3) Grants district courts original jurisdiction in class actions involving diversity jurisdiction where the matter in controversy exceeds $2 million (based on aggregated individual claims of class members), exclusive of interest and costs. Makes such provision inapplicable to a civil action in which: (1) the substantial majority of the members of the proposed plaintiff class and the primary defendants are citizens of the State in which the action was originally filed and the claims asserted therein will be governed primarily by the laws of that State; (2) the primary defendants are States, State officials, or other governmental entities against whom the district court may be foreclosed from ordering relief; or (3) the number of members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate is less than 100.

Directs the district court to dismiss any civil action that is subject to the jurisdiction of the court solely under this section if the court determines the action may not proceed as a class action based on a failure to satisfy the conditions of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifies that nothing herein prohibits plaintiffs from filing an amended class action in Federal court or filing an action in State court but that any such filed action may be removed if it is one of which the U.S. district courts have original jurisdiction.

Provides that: (1) in any action that is dismissed under this section and that is filed by any of the original named plaintiffs in the same State court venue in which the dismissed action was originally filed, the limitations periods on all reasserted claims shall be deemed tolled for the period during which the dismissed class action was pending; and (2) the limitations periods on any claims that were asserted in a class action dismissed herein that are subsequently asserted in an individual action shall be deemed tolled for the period during which the dismissed action was pending.

Makes this section inapplicable to class actions solely involving a claim relating to: (1) the internal affairs or governance of a business entity under State law; and (2) the rights, duties, and obligations relating to any security.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes removal of class actions to a district court by any: (1) defendant without the consent of all defendants; or (2) plaintiff class member who is not a named or representative member without the consent of all members.

Makes this section inapplicable to class actions solely involving claims concerning: (1) a covered security; (2) the internal affairs or governance of a business enterprise under State law; or (3) the rights, duties, and obligations relating to any security.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Judicial Conference of the United States, within 12 months, to prepare and transmit to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees a report on class action settlements.