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CLASS ACTIONS

 

A “class action” is when a lawyer, or a plaintiff of the civil case, sues on behalf of a particular class of people. You see it often referred to on American TV programmes or in American news items.

 

But usually underpinning such an action is the consent of each individual in a particular class allowing a lawyer to take an action on their behalf.

 

In the movie Erin Brockovich, the heroine filed what some may have thought was a "class action" but you will recall she went around and got the consent of all the clients and then brought a civil action on behalf of each those clients.  But the claim was then consolidated into one hearing.

 

However, in New Zealand, a lawyer can apply to the Court for a direction that an action can be taken on behalf of many people.  This is generally known as a "representative" action.

 

New Zealand does not allow easily for the procedure known as a class action as it is practised and referred to in other jurisdictions such as the United States.

 

Any number of Plaintiffs may join together in one action against a Defend

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Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Court Costs - Win Or Lose
"It's not fair that when you win a case you still have to beg a judge to award you costs and even then the award is always less than you have to pay your lawyer. This happened to me. My lawyer told me that there's always two sides to a story but the judge didn't recognise any validity in the other side's claim yet the nett result is that I recover only about 60% of my costs to my lawyer and the other 40% is about half of what I won in the case. That isn't justice. A real pissed off Kevin J. - Auckland - June 2007"
"NETLAW replies. Yes, we agree. What you need to do in these cases is make an Application for "Full and Reasonable Costs" and argue that the Court should (it can) make a full award. You need to convince a Judge that the other side never really has a chance of winning and that it is unfair that you should have to pay any costs. That is the way it is in the UK and Australia. But in New Zealand, it is usually only a percentage of the costs that you get back. That is unfair in many many cases. NETLAW - June 2007"
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"Bloody useful and practical. I sued for the recovery of money owing to me by a former friend. He owed me &11,000 so I could not use the Disputes Tribunal. I used a simple Statement of Claim. I forgot the Notice of Proceeding and the Court helped me but I then noticed that you had one on Netlaw. Your documents helped me and the Court staff were pretty good too. Cheers . . . Colin Dunedin - May 2007"
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Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Court Costs - Win Or Lose
"I'm making an enquiry on behalf of a relative who is paying child support for a person who is in his mid 30s now, the inland revenue who he is making these payments to told me it is not child support it is spouse support payments and he needs to go back to court to have the order changed. Who do we call now as he is not on a good income and should qualify for legal aid.

Netlaw replies: Yes, Spousal Maintenance is different from Child Support. The Family Court deals with Spousal maintenance but the IRD (Child Support Division) deals with kid's maintenance. Choose any family court lawyer and if he earns less than about $33,000 he should get legal aid."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Court Costs - Win Or Lose
"Great. See the other topics on Statement of Claim -Some Examples - Graeme - Tauranga"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Court Costs - Win Or Lose
"A fabulous topic. Why are there no other sites which actually give examples. The lay person does not get to see Claims like this set out so clearly. I think there is a bit of a myth about te law which is buit up by lawyers. Please get as many examples as you can on to this topic please Netlaw . . . Graeme - Tauranga - May 2007"
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