12 Steps of a Class Action Lawsuit

Thousands if not millions of claims might flood the court system without the ability to file together in a class action lawsuit. Filing together in a class action suit not only allows for the courts to be less burdened, but it also encourages corporate defendants to behave in a more responsible behavior.

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by one or more plaintiffs, who are also known as the “named plaintiffs”, on behalf of others who have a similar legal claim. A class action lawsuit allows individuals to join together as a group and all file one lawsuit against a common defendant. These type of lawsuits also allow for attorneys fees and all other costs of litigation to be shared among all plaintiffs, instead of one or a few individuals having to pay the cost, which can be a great deal of money, all alone. Class action lawsuits are an important legal right for all consumers, and are a very important part of our judicial system and its ability to function efficiently. Thousands if not millions of claims might flood the court system without the ability to file together in a class action lawsuit. Filing together in a class action suit not only allows for the courts to be less burdened, but it also encourages corporate defendants to behave in a more responsible behavior.

There are 12 Steps of a Class Action Lawsuit

Filing – Case Initiated – A complaint is filed by the attorney(s) on behalf of the plaintiff(s).

Response – The defendant(s) respond(s) with an answer, motion to dismiss or other legal pleading.

Discovery – Both sides disclose evidence to each other that supports their respective cases.

Certification Request – Plaintiff(s) file(s) a motion to certify the case as a class action.

Certification Opposed – Defendant(s) file(s) opposing briefs to the plaintiff(s) motion for class certification.

Class Action Certification – Judge certifies or denies the class action (if the judge denies, the case can continue as individual lawsuit(s) filed by the plaintiff(s).

Notification – If certified, notification of class action to prospective claimants, who must choose whether to stay in the case or file their own individual case.

Trial – Case is either set for trial, in trial, or has been tried before a judge or jury.

Appeal – A judgment of the trial court has been appealed to a higher level court.

Settlement Phase – Deadline is set for class action members to submit claims with supporting documentation.

Pay Out – Proceeds are distributed to class members.

Dismissed – A case can be dismissed at any point during the ten-stage process. This is not actually a stage, but the end of the process. This means that the case has terminated, at least for now, without the plaintiffs receiving any relief. The plaintiffs may have voluntarily dismissed the case, or the court may have ordered the case to be dismissed. Depending on the circumstances, the plaintiff may be able to file the action again later.

NOTE: The steps outlined above are only meant as a general guide, and may not be applicable to all class action cases. Some class actions will proceed to trial when settlement between the parties cannot be reached.

Class Action America is committed to providing YOU with the information and access you need to find out if you are eligible to claim your share of billions of dollars distributed yearly through thousands of class action lawsuits.

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15 Responses

  1. I am trying to find someone willing to start a class action lawsuit on behalf of others and myself, who have a similar problems with this college. There already a lawsuit against the AIU for students. However, they have not yet expand this suit to cover the AIU on-line students. So, please if you can help me let me know. Thank you.

    Sharon White
    270-200-4076

  2. requesting information for possible litigation

  3. “Graduated” from AIU and the degree means nothing. Now I am in debt over 20k. If anyone knows anything that is going on with lawsuits against AUI, please let me know – greatnotion24 on yahoo. Thanks.

  4. I am a student of AIU they won’t let me out. They just keep getting more loans I can’t pay. I tried to talk to student accounts and the Fin. aid dept. with no luck….Please help the students online.

  5. Depressed over all the loans that a.i.u. Forced me to get without explanation of were it was going. I owe 100,000 when the told me that I was to owe 50,000, I am now dealing with harrasing phone calls with no income to pay .
    Please help: Roberta

  6. Depressed over all the loans that a.i.u. Forced me to get without explanation of were it was going. I owe 100,000 when the told me that I was to owe 50,000, I am now dealing with harrasing phone calls with no income to pay .
    Please help: Roberta

  7. I am a former AIU student…I am in the same situation that most of you are in. I have read many stories from former students and its horrific. We need to band together and fight this. Whos with me? email me and we can help each other find a lawyer. i dont know what else to do but something has to change now or else we wont survive.
    chellemeta@yahoo.com

  8. Christine, I feel for you, but please there is still hope. Have you tried ontacting the places they are getting your loans through and tell them to reject them. Tell them you did not give AIU permission to get these loans for you. Usually you have to sign some forms pertaining to the loans AIU is trying to get for you. DON”T sign anything they send you. They can’t get your loans without your signature. Don’t give them anymore personal information about yourself either. That’s what they did to me…they had me sign these forms (promissary notes)stating that I would pay the loans back. Please MAKE SURE you do not get any private loans. THEY ARE THE WORSE KIND OF LOAN YOU CAN GET!!!!!!!!!!!. No one can help you with those at all. I was like you, really very naive and trusting and wound up with 60000 in debt thanks to AIU. I am continuously getting call after call for pay back from Sallie Mae and ASC (formerly wachovia). Soon I will be getting sued and my wages garnished. I will be in debt till the day I die THANKS TO AIU. All the best!! and GOOD LUCK.

  9. So glad to see there are others that are going through the hell my family and I have been through. I was an on-line student and went for 18 months, my last course in the 3rd week, I was locked out of the school and couldn’t submit my assignments. I was dumbfounded, all my effort, money, and time from my family was for NOTHING. Now we get harassing phone calls and I have a pending garnishment on my wages coming. Please if anyone knows how to HELP my family and I from this horrible burden that AIU has put on us, please contact me at peachiegirl_1@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of you and I feel much sorrow for you and your families.

  10. HELP US SOMEONE!

  11. I too graduated from AIU and I am in Student Loan Hell
    Owing 90k in student loans for the Fashion Marketing Program here in Los Angeles. There was a suit but it did not provide the relief that was stated in the terms.
    100 percent relief for Graduates but we only received 5k. Sallie Mae should have been included in the Class Action because they were the only company used to Package and Finance the Students Loans. They also promised to help us obtain careers right after Graduation. And that never happened I have had to take whatever job I could get and at this time the market is terrible so I am really in a bind. Need and attorney to help!!!

  12. WOW.. i see that i am not alone. I too, am in the same vote as many of you.. owing about 80 grand in student loans and with a very sad and depressing out come.. they also promised to do all these great things like help find a job and after it was said and done they pretty much leave you empty handed.. i recently tried going back to school for a teaching certification and i was told that i would need another 10 hours before i could even be considered, this is a big disappointment, not to mention the economy being in the shape it is now, is really hard to find an entry level position, because everyone is looking for internship with a degree.. they do not offer that either.. I think we have all been seriously scammed ….

  13. Involve in a class action lawsuit with medtronics due to a lead wire malfunction the case was settled in 2009 but now it’s almost 2012 and still no payouts!my attorney has all my information needed but knows nothing,it is a shame the way the legal system takes advantage of the working class people,this case has been crappy since day one and gets worse by the day,to many people are looking forward to there payout in which the lawyers are holding hostage.

  14. I went to AIU buckhead campus from jul 2003- sometime 2008. I never did graduate but I’m am in debt and feel like I was taken advantage of. I’m in the navy now and because my credit score is so low it hinders the type of jobs I’m allowed to have.I’m looking to be apart of any type of lawsuit that can bring me financial relief. I an constantly worry about money and feel like I can’t go left or right. If anyone has any new info please email me ocrystalo2003@gmail.com or crystajn@lhd6.navy.mil

  15. Wow…I thought something wasn’t right. If someone could contact me at fperez@grandecom.net. I am also in debt for $10.000 and don’t recall signing anything regarding authorization for loans. And like eveyone else it has affected my credit.

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