The UCL Practitioner
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Recent federal UCL decision: Molski v. Mandarin Touch Restaurant
In an opinion handed down earlier this month, Molski v. Mandarin Touch Restaurant, ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2005 WL 535357 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2005), Senior District Judge Edward Rafeedie declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a UCL claim, explaining:
The Court also believes that there is a question regarding the applicability of California Proposition 64 to the Plaintiffs' Fifth Causes of Action for alleged violations of California's unfair business practices law. Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2004, limited the standing of plaintiffs to sue under that law. Proposition 64 eliminated the provision of California Business and Professional [sic] Code § 17204 authorizing initiation of a complaint by "any person acting for the interests of itself, its members, or the general public," and substituted a provision for enforcement only by "any person who has suffered injury in fact and has lost money or property as a result of such unfair competition." Proposition 64 also amended section 17203, concerning injunctive relief under the unfair business practices law, to provide that a private person "may pursue representative claims or relief on behalf of others only if the claimant meets the standing requirements of Section 17203 [i.e., actual injury] and complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure" governing class actions. The meaning and scope of Proposition 64 are being hotly contested in the California state courts at this time. Compare Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyn's, LLC, 24 Cal.Rptr.3d 301 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.2005) (declining to apply Propositon 64 retroactively) with Benson v. Kwikset Corp., --- Cal.Rptr.3d --- (Cal.App. 4 Dist.2005) (applying Proposition 64 retroactively). Accordingly, the Court believes that the state courts are the proper forum for the resolution of this novel issue of state law.
Notwithstanding such concerns, another Central District judge decided this issue on the merits just a couple of weeks ago. Disability Law has more on the ADA aspects of the Molski decision. (And as an aside, while I was searching (unsuccessfully) for a free online copy of the decision, I found this, which I can't resist posting. It's hilarious.)
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