Devlin v. Scardelletti, 536 U.S. 1, 15 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next

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

Scalia, J., dissenting

Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Kennedy and Justice Thomas join, dissenting.

"The rule that only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment, is well settled." Marino v. Ortiz, 484 U. S. 301, 304 (1988) (per curiam); Fed. Rule App. Proc. 3(c)(1) ("The notice of appeal must . . . specify the party or parties taking the appeal"). This is one well-settled rule that, thankfully, the Court leaves intact. Other chapters in the hornbooks are not so lucky.


The Court holds that petitioner, a nonnamed member of the class in a class action litigated by a representative member of the class, is a "party" to the judgment approving the class settlement. This is contrary to well-established law. The "parties" to a judgment are those named as such— whether as the original plaintiff or defendant in the complaint giving rise to the judgment, or as "[o]ne who [though] not an original party . . . become[s] a party by intervention, substitution, or third-party practice," Karcher v. May, 484 U. S. 72, 77 (1987). As the Restatement puts it, "[a] person who is named as a party to an action and subjected to the jurisdiction of the court is a party to the action," Restatement (Second) of Judgments 34(1), p. 345 (1980) (herein-after Restatement); "[t]he designation of persons as parties is usually made in the caption of the summons or complaint but additional parties may be named in such pleadings as a counterclaim, a complaint against a third party filed by a defendant, or a complaint in intervention," id., 34, Comment a, Reporter's Note, at 347. As was the case here, the only members of a class who are typically named in the complaint are the class representatives; thus, it is only these members of the class, and those who intervene or otherwise enter through third-party practice, who are parties to the class judgment. This is confirmed by the application of those Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that confer upon


Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007