The question presented to the Court would have been the fairness of assessing class action costs, but the real fun was in the underlying facts.
First, the serious. The Supreme Court declined to hear DTD Enterprises Inc. v. Janice Wells, but an interesting trio — Justices Kennedy and Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts — said it raised Constitutional concerns.
Now, the fun facts. The litigation began when DTD — also known as Together Dating Service — sued Wells for non-payment. She initiated a class action claiming the service had failed to provide suitable introductions to men and thus violated New Jersey consumer-protection laws. (Kristina Peterson of Dow Jones Newswire has the full report.)
The dating service was ordered to create a database to identify class members and bear the costs of notifying the class.
Kennedy filed a statement, joined by Roberts and Sotomayor, that said imposing the “onerous costs of class action notification” just because they could afford it “without any consideration of the underlying merits of the suit” raises a serious due process question.
Nonetheless, the Court declined to hear the case because the state appellate court denied the petioner’s request to appeal the trial court action — meaning it skipped the appeals level — and because a stay had already been issued due to the dating service’s pending bankruptcy.
As with many Supreme Court cases, the main issue would have been a dry (if, in this case, far-reaching and important) one. But we are sorry to miss out on hearing more about the dating service’s alleged match-making failures.
But, denial of cert or not, the Kennedy statement will not go unnoticed. Kennedy is the conservative-leaning swing vote and Roberts is just plain conservative. But the Obama-selected Sotomayor seemingly siding with class action defendants may sound a worried alarm in the hearts of plaintiffs’ attorneys everywhere.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.