Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oppenheimer Fund v. Sanders case brief

Oppenheimer Fund v. Sanders case brief summary
437 U.S. 340 (1978)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioners challenged a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit holding that the federal discovery rules authorized the district court to order petitioners to assist respondents in compiling a list of members of respondent class and to bear the expenses of compilation.

CASE FACTS
Respondents were the representative plaintiffs in a class action brought against petitioners. Respondents sought to require petitioners to assist in compiling list of class members to satisfy individual notice required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(2). The court of appeals concluded the federal discovery rules authorized the district court to order petitioners to assist in compiling the list and bear the compilation expenses.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and remanded the action because Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(d) was the appropriate authority of such an order and the court abused its discretion requiring petitioners to bear compilation expenses. 
  • Since identification was a necessary component in order to send notice, Rule 23(d) authorized the district court to require petitioners' cooperation in providing notice. 
  • The expense of hiring a third party to compile the list would be no greater for respondents, who sought the information, so respondents were required to pay the third party.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded the decision because the court abused its discretion requiring petitioners to bear the expense to compile a class member list for respondents.

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