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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.769. Settlement of class actions

(a) Court approval after hearing

A settlement or compromise of an entire class action, or of a cause of action in a class action, or as to a party, requires the approval of the court after hearing.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Attorney's fees

Any agreement, express or implied, that has been entered into with respect to the payment of attorney's fees or the submission of an application for the approval of attorney's fees must be set forth in full in any application for approval of the dismissal or settlement of an action that has been certified as a class action.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Preliminary approval of settlement

Any party to a settlement agreement may serve and file a written notice of motion for preliminary approval of the settlement. The settlement agreement and proposed notice to class members must be filed with the motion, and the proposed order must be lodged with the motion.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Order certifying provisional settlement class

The court may make an order approving or denying certification of a provisional settlement class after the preliminary settlement hearing.

(e) Order for final approval hearing

If the court grants preliminary approval, its order must include the time, date, and place of the final approval hearing; the notice to be given to the class; and any other matters deemed necessary for the proper conduct of a settlement hearing.

(f) Notice to class of final approval hearing

If the court has certified the action as a class action, notice of the final approval hearing must be given to the class members in the manner specified by the court. The notice must contain an explanation of the proposed settlement and procedures for class members to follow in filing written objections to it and in arranging to appear at the settlement hearing and state any objections to the proposed settlement.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(g) Conduct of final approval hearing

Before final approval, the court must conduct an inquiry into the fairness of the proposed settlement.

(h) Judgment and retention of jurisdiction to enforce

If the court approves the settlement agreement after the final approval hearing, the court must make and enter judgment. The judgment must include a provision for the retention of the court's jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the terms of the judgment. The court may not enter an order dismissing the action at the same time as, or after, entry of judgment.

(Subd (h) amended effective January 1, 2009.)

Rule 3.769 amended effective January 1, 2009; adopted as rule 1859 effective January 1, 2002; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

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