Devlin v. Scardelletti, 536 U.S. 1, 9 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 1 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

to an opportunity to object). The District Court's approval of the settlement—which binds petitioner as a member of the class—amounted to a "final decision of [petitioner's] right or claim" sufficient to trigger his right to appeal. See Williams v. Morgan, 111 U. S. 684, 699 (1884) (describing the cases discussed above). And like the appellants in the prior cases, petitioner will only be allowed to appeal that aspect of the District Court's order that affects him—the District Court's decision to disregard his objections. Cf. supra, at 6. Petitioner's right to appeal this aspect of the District Court's decision cannot be effectively accomplished through the named class representative—once the named parties reach a settlement that is approved over petitioner's objections, petitioner's interests by definition diverge from those of the class representative.

Marino v. Ortiz, supra, is not to the contrary. In that case, we refused to allow an appeal of a settlement by a group of white police officers who were not members of the class of minority officers that had brought a racial discrimination claim against the New York Police Department. Although the settlement affected them, the District Court's decision did not finally dispose of any right or claim they might have had because they were not members of the class.

Nor does considering nonnamed class members parties for the purposes of bringing an appeal conflict with any other aspect of class action procedure. In a related case, the Seventh Circuit has argued that nonnamed class members cannot be considered parties for the purposes of bringing an appeal because they are not considered parties for the purposes of the complete diversity requirement in suits under 28 U. S. C. 1332. See Navigant Consulting, 275 F. 3d, at 619; see also Snyder v. Harris, 394 U. S. 332, 340 (1969). According to the Seventh Circuit, "[c]lass members cannot have it both ways, being non-parties (so that more cases can come to federal court) but still having a party's ability to litigate independently." 275 F. 3d, at 619. Nonnamed class mem-


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