Category Archives 23(b)(2)

In a thorough per curiam order, the Kansas Court of Appeals emphatically reversed the District Court's order certifying a class of "free gas" users.  In Combs v. Devon Energy Prod. Co., 2013 WL 3867981 (Kan. App. July 26, 2013), the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court had abused its discretion in certifying a class consisting of resident owners of surface estates burdened with oil and gas leases held by Devon where the leases contained "free gas clauses", ie. clauses entitling the lessor to connect to and draw from any gas well on the land for his or her own use free of charge.  The class had sought a declaration that the free gas clauses in the leases obligated Devon to provide a usable supply of free gas, which it alleged Devon had failed to provide due to pressure and moisture issues. The District Court certified the class under both…

We like to write and talk about Missouri class action law.  Prisons, not so much.  But if there’s a class action decision involving the First Amendment, an inmate-authored publishing company named Caged Potential, and using 23(b)(3) to certify an injunctive-relief-only class, we’re all over it. In Lane v. Lombardi, 2012 WL 5462932 (W.D. Mo. Nov. 8, 2012), a publishing company, Caged Potential, published a novel, So Far From Paradise.  The book was an overnight hit at the Crossroads Correctional Facility, with nine inmates placing orders during the 2011 holiday season.  Caged Potential attempted to send the books to the inmates, but Crossroads had seized the books – pursuant to its censorship policy – and never told Caged Potential that the books were seized.  Trouble in paradise, indeed. Thereafter, Caged Potential sued the Missouri Department of Corrections, claiming that the censorship policy deprives senders of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment…

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