Rule 23(c)(1) of the Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure governs the timeliness of a motion for class certification in a class action case. The rule provides that “[a]s soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained.” R.I. Super. Ct. R. 23(c)(1). Looking to federal cases on the issue of timeliness of requests for class certification, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has long recognized that each motion for certification must be reviewed on the facts and circumstances of the particular case and there is no set deadline by which the court must act. Zarrella v. Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance, Co., 824 A.2d 1249, 1263 n.16 (R.I. 2003).
This term, the Rhode Island Supreme Court reminded litigants that it has not adopted the 2003 amendments to Federal Rule 23 or its more liberal timeliness requirement. Long v. Dell, Inc., No. 2012-248-Appeal at 11-12. Compare R.I. Super. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(1) (“As soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained.”) with Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(1)(A) (“At an early practicable time after a person sues or is sued as a class representative, the court must determine by order whether to certify the action as a class action.”).