Eighth Circuit limits appeal bonds in class action settlement appeals

In In re Target Corp Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909 (Feb. 1, 2017), the Eighth Circuit reversed a district court's approval of a class-action settlement because of its unreasoned class certification, which the court of appeals said "was the product of summary conclusion rather than rigor."

More importantly to my mind, the Eighth Circuit also reversed the district court's order requiring the settlement objectors to post a bond of nearly $50,000 to cover the costs of the appeal. The court rejected the argument that the amount of the bond may include "costs associated with delays in administering a class action settlement." Slip. op. 8. Instead, following the lead of other circuits, the court said that the amount of an appeal bond must be limited to "direct appeal costs" — the specific costs that the winning party may be reimbursed by rule or statute. Id. at 8-10. These costs, such as for the costs of reproducing the appellate briefs, are likely to be fairly modest in most cases. See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39.  

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