Rule 22: Filing a Request for Class Certification and Class Action (RCA)
(a) Relief from the Court on a class action basis may only be sought by represented parties in an action commenced by the filing of (1) a Notice of Appeal or (2) a petition under the All Writs Act. A party seeking relief on a class wide basis must file a Request for Class Certification and Class Action (RCA) with the Clerk with proof of service on the respondent(s) and the Secretary (if not a respondent). The RCA shall:
(1) define the class on whose behalf the RCA is filed;
(2) address with specificity and detail each of the factors in Rule 23(a);
(3) explain the reasons why a decision granting relief on a class action basis would serve the interests of justice to a greater degree than would a precedential decision granting relief on a non-class action basis;
(4) address each of the factors in Rule 23(f)(1)(A);
(5) state the precise relief sought on behalf of the class, the reasons why such relief should be granted, and the legal authorities that support the requested relief;
(6) state the facts, if any, (i) that are relevant to the question whether class certification is warranted or the question whether injunctive or corresponding relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole; (ii) that are not known to the party seeking relief on a class action basis; and (iii) as to which the Secretary has exclusive knowledge and control; and
(7) include an appendix containing copies of documents necessary to understand and support the RCA.
(b) Time for Filing RCA.
(1) For RCAs filed in the context of an appeal of a final decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, the RCA must be filed within 45 days after
(i) the Secretary serves a copy of the record before the agency, or (ii) resolution of a dispute as to the preparation or content of the record before the agency, whichever is later.
(2) RCAs filed in the context of a petition must be filed within 30 days after the filing of the petition.
(3) On motion, the Court may extend the deadline for filing an RCA consistent with the requirements established in Rule 26(b).
(c) Form and Length. Except by permission of the Court, an RCA may not exceed 30 pages and must comply with the form requirements in Rule 32 (Form of Briefs, Appendices, and Other Documents) for principal briefs.
(d) Docketing. Upon receipt of an RCA, the Clerk will note the request on the docket of the underlying appeal or petition and send notice to all parties. A party may move for bifurcation of the RCA matter, or the Court may order bifurcation in the interest of judicial efficiency. If bifurcation is ordered, the RCA will proceed as a separate action with a separate docket number.
(e) Payment of Fees. A $400 nonrefundable filing fee, payable to "U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims," shall be submitted with an RCA or received by the Court not later than 14 days after the filing of the RCA. The requirements of Rule 24 (Waiver of Filing Fee) apply to RCAs filed under this Rule.
(f) Public Notice. Upon receipt of an RCA, the Clerk shall:
(1) place a notice on the home page of the Court's website providing a link to the docket containing the pending RCA; and
(2) provide notice of each RCA filed at the Court to those organizations, law firms, attorneys, and agents who have informed the Court that they wish to be notified of the filing of such RCAs in a manner determined by the Clerk.
Practitioner's Note: Practitioners may move the Court for a stay of proceedings if they are reviewing a matter to assess whether to file an RCA. Filing an RCA under this Rule does not automatically stay proceedings in any pending appeal or petition.