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D.L. v. District of Columbia

AARP Supports Right to Bring Class Action Civil Rights Challenges


On April 12, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the D.L. case should be reconsidered by the district court because of differences between the claims of various members of the plaintiff class. In particular the appeals court directed the trial court to consider whether the single plaintiff class – which the appeal court said was improper -- could be lawfully divided into valid “sub-classes” of children whose claims against the District within each sub-class would be sufficiently common to meet the standards imposed by the Wal-Mart decision.

What’s at Stake

This case addresses new limitations on class action litigation recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. As the D.L. case demonstrates, the courts will require that plaintiffs to show, at the class action stage, that each member of a proposed class or sub class would – if liability is ultimately proven – suffer similar harm and obtain similar benefit from court-ordered relief if the case is permitted to proceed as a class action.

Case Status

D.L. v. District of Columbia was before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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Legal Cases

Find cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases. The cases within the drop-down categories below are in alphabetical order for ease of searching.

Strengthening Law and Policy through
Legal Advocacy

Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect nearly 20 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four impact areas: Tackling Senior Hunger, Paving the Way to Stable Income, assuring the adequacy and availability of Safe and Afffordable Housing and Reconnecting People to Families and Communities, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.