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The UCL Practitioner
Thursday, August 04, 2005
New UCL/class certification decision: Alan v. American Honda Motor Co.
In the published portion of Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Aug. 2, 2005), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Three) reaffirmed the rule that an order denying certification of an entire class is appealable.
The unpublished portion of the opinion is much more interesting. There, the Court addressed the plaintiff's argument that, given the passage of Proposition 64, a pre-Prop. 64 order denying certification of the CLRA claim, but not the UCL claim, was only a partial denial of class certification, and therefore not appealable:
Plaintiff asserts ... that the order denying plaintiff’s motion for class certification was not the death knell of the class action allegations. According to plaintiff, the trial court’s order was tantamount to a partial denial of class certification, and therefore was not appealable. (See, e.g., Shelley v. City of Los Angeles, supra, 36 Cal.App.4th 692; General Motors Corp. v. Superior Court (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 247.)Slip op. at 6-7.
Specifically, plaintiff asserts ... that the recently enacted Proposition 64 transformed the cause of action under Business and Professions Code section 17200 from a representative action to a class action.
Based upon these considerations, plaintiff claims the trial court order denying class certification was only a partial denial of certification, and therefore not immediately appealable. Plaintiff explains that this was a cautionary appeal and that this court should exercise its discretion to consider the premature appeal as a petition for a writ of mandate. (See Szetela v. Discover Bank (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1098.) We reject these assertions.
On this record, the trial court order denying certification cannot be construed as a partial denial of class certification. ....
[A]t the time the trial court ruled on plaintiff’s motion for certification, Proposition 64 had not been approved by the electorate. (Berger v. California Ins. Guarantee Assn. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 989, 1007, fn. 17 [Proposition 64 took effect on November 3, 2004.].) Thus, none of the class claims were based upon Proposition 64’s modifications of Business and Professions Code section 17200. In any event, plaintiff has offered no explanation as to how the newly-enacted Proposition 64 would broaden the potential class. Plaintiff has offered no explanation as to whether a proposed class under section 17200 of the Business and Professions Code would be comprised of a different class of persons or whether such a class would present different claims.
The trial court’s January 2, 2003, order was the final disposition of all class claims at issue and presented in this litigation. Thus, the trial court order denying plaintiff’s motion for class certification was the death knell of the class claims presented under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The order was therefore immediately appealable.
- posted by Kim Kralowec @ 12:01 AM
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