Ex parte Anderson
Citation: 30 ELR 20782
No. No. 1981846, 807 So. 2d 505/(Ala., 06/16/2000)
The court holds that intervenors may not be granted a writ of mandamus directing a trial court to allow them to appear at a fairness hearing and object to a proposed class action settlement agreement between class members and a company that allegedly contaminated the class members' riparian property. The intervenors were originally members of the class in the case, however, after a settlement was proposed they filed objections to it and moved to intervene in the underlying action so they could appear at the fairness hearing in order to raise their objections to the settlement agreement. Because the 9 intervenors were the only objectors out of approximately 4,600 class members the trial court severed their claims from the class action and granted their motion to intervene. The intervenors do not object to being excluded from the class, but instead complain that after they were excluded they were not allowed to object to the settlement agreement that the remaining members of the class entered into. The court first holds that the intervenors have no standing to object to the settlement. Because they were excluded from the class, they are non-class members, and non-class members cannot object to a proposed class settlement. Further, a nonparty is not allowed to object even if he was originally a member of the class.
The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (5 pp., ELR Order No. L-247).
[Counsel not available at this printing.]