The Shriver Center's mission to advance justice for people living in poverty makes it an ideal match for class action cy pres awards. An underlying premise for all class actions is to make access to justice a reality for people who otherwise would not be able to obtain the protections of the court system. Cy pres awards are residual funds in class action cases (and occasionally in other types of proceedings like bankruptcy and probate matters) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class members or beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Under the cy pres doctrine, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes.
Cy pres awards have made possible a number of successful projects and initiatives over the past several years and enable the Shriver Center to provide ongoing support for these efforts. These awards play an important role in our ability to provide effective advocacy to improve policies, programs, and lives. Some judges prefer that the charity have relevance in the local jurisdiction. Because our involvement in justice and anti-poverty efforts penetrates to every state, it is relevant in all jurisdictions.
For more information about cy pres awards and other awards of residual funds and how you can make an impact by directing such an award to the Shriver Center, contact John Bouman.