Israeli Courts to Charge for Class Action Suits

YERUSHALAYIM -

Filing a class action suit in Israel will soon become harder to do—because it will cost money. Until now, there has been no fee for filing; but Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked has decided that fees of 24,000 shekels and 12,000 shekels will be implemented depending on whether the case is in a district court and magistrates court, according to Globes.

The reason for the new fee is to discourage class action suits, which have been clogging the courts with frivolous cases. A recent study showed that about half of the class action requests in Israel have little or no chance of coming to trial and end in dismissal.

Initially, Shaked sought a much higher fee, 50,000-62,000 shekels. The more moderate amount was the final product of discussions that included the Israel Bar Association, Ministry of Justice legal advisor Erez Kaminitz, and the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

In fact, the law is less stringent than it sounds, since only half of the fees will be charged upon filing; the other half will be paid if and when the evidence in the case is presented to the court. They usually never get that far, since most such cases are either settled out of court or the class action is denied.

Non-profit organizations and class actions filed against the state will be exempt from the fee.

Before the new fees go into effect, though, they need approval from both the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee and Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon.