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Rule23. Class actions.

(a)Prerequisites to a class action. One or more membersof a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all onlyif (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2)there are questions of law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims ordefenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses ofthe class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequatelyprotect the interests of the class.

(b)Class actions maintainable. An action may be maintained as aclass action if the prerequisites of Subdivision (a) are satisfied, and inaddition:

(b)(1) The prosecution ofseparate actions by or against individual members of the class would create arisk of:

(b)(1)(A) inconsistent or varyingadjudications with respect to individual members of the class which wouldestablish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class,or

(b)(1)(B) adjudications withrespect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter bedispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to theadjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect theirinterests; or

(b)(2) The party opposing theclass has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class,thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratoryrelief with respect to the class as a whole; or

(b)(3) The court finds that thequestions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate overany questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action issuperior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication ofthe controversy. The matters pertinent to the findings include: (A) theinterest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution ordefense of separate actions; (B) the extent and nature of any litigationconcerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class;(C) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of theclaims in the particular forum; (D) the difficulties likely to be encounteredin the management of a class action.

(c)Determination by order whether class action to be maintained; notice; judgment;actions conducted partially as class actions.

(c)(1) As soon as practicableafter the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shalldetermine by order whether it is to be maintained. An order under this subdivisionmay be conditional, and may be altered or amended before the decision on themerits.

(c)(2) In any class actionmaintained under Subdivision (b)(3), the court shall direct to the members ofthe class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, includingindividual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonableeffort. The notice shall advise each member that (A) the court will exclude himfrom the class if he so requests by a specified date; (B) the judgment, whetherfavorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion; and(C) any member who does not request exclusion may, if he desires, enter anappearance through his counsel.

(c)(3) The judgment in an actionmaintained as a class action under Subdivision (b)(1) or (b)(2), whether or notfavorable to the class, shall include and describe those whom the court findsto be members of the class. The judgment in an action maintained as a classaction under Subdivision (b)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shallinclude and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided inSubdivision (c)(2) was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whomthe court finds to be members of the class.

(c)(4) When appropriate (A) anaction may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect toparticular issues, or (B) a class may be divided into subclasses and eachsubclass treated as a class, and the provisions of this rule shall then beconstrued and applied accordingly.

(d)Orders in conduct of actions. In the conduct of actions towhich this rule applies, the court may make appropriate orders: (1) determiningthe course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetitionor complication in the presentation of evidence or argument; (2) requiring, forthe protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct ofthe action, that notice be given in such manner as the court may direct to someor all of the members of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent ofthe judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they considerthe representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims ordefenses, or otherwise to come into the action; (3) imposing conditions on therepresentative parties or on intervenors; (4)requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate therefrom allegations asto representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly;(5) dealing with similar procedural matters. The orders may be combined with anorder under Rule 16, and may be altered or amendedas may be desirable from time to time.

(e)Dismissal or compromise. A class action shall not bedismissed or compromised without the approval of the court, and notice of theproposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class insuch manner as the court directs.