In an opinion yesterday, Judge Forrest allowed a defendant in a putative class action concerning debt collection to submit to a judgment in the plaintiff’s favor, and moot the entire case:
Defendant has now offered judgment referencing “unconditional surrender” and affording complete relief to plaintiff. Accordingly, judgment shall be entered against defendant under Rule 68. This entry of judgment moots plaintiff’s individual claim. There is therefore no longer any named plaintiff with an interest in the litigation to proceed with a claim on behalf of a class. Plaintiff . . . cannot nominally continue in some capacity as class representative as he would definitionally be atypical and not an adequate representative.
The Supreme Court is currently considering whether a Rule 68 offer of judgment to a plaintiff can moot a class action. However, Judge Forrest emphasized that the case here went beyond a mere offer of judgment from the defendant to the plaintiff, because the defendant was not just offering a judgment but actually submitting to one.