U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Citizens' Access to the Courts Act of 1978 - Hearing on S 2390 Before the Senate Subcommittee on Citizens and Shareholders Rights and Remedies, Part 1, April 20, 1978

NCJ Number
Date Published
73 pages
Testimony is offered on behalf of Senate Bill 2390 (S. 2390) before the Senate Subcommittee on Citizens and Shareholders Rights and Remedies.
The bill is designed to increase and facilitate citizens' access to the courts by eliminating some recent court-imposed barriers which appear to be unnecessary and inappropriate to the vindication of citizens' rights. The bill amends the jurisdictional amount provisions of the judicial code in relation to multiparty litigation. It also provides for more flexible notice provisions in class actions which present meritorious claims within the jurisdiction of the Federal courts. Widespread support is given to legislation that would make class actions in the Federal courts once more a practical and feasible means of providing relief to large numbers of persons with a common complaint. A Harvard Law School professor sees S. 2390 as a proper balance between the importance of giving notice to class members and considerations of economy, but would prefer to see the question of notice dealt with by a revision of the Federal Rule itself. A member of the Public Citizen Congress Watch views S. 2390 as a worthy contribution to the advancement of consumer class actions, as consumers need an efficient method to recover money lost to corporate illegality. A Pace University School of Law professor and a private attorney support the confinement of the bill to the two essential questions of aggregation and notice and agree that other class action problems should be deferred. With recommendations for revisions, the counsel for the Consumers Union, a St. Louis University law professor, and an attorney for the National Consumer Law Center offer conditional support for the bill. The prepared statements and suggested revisions of these witnesses are provided, together with the text of the bill, Justice Department views, and further statements from the Citizens for Class Action Lawsuits, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and legal services attorneys supporting S. 2390.