California Supreme Court Sets Test Governing the Ascertainability Requirement For Class Certification
July 30, 2019
Noel v. Thrifty Payless, Inc.
(July 29, 2019, S246490) ___ Cal.5th ___
A party seeking class certification must demonstrate the existence of an ascertainable class. Over the years, California courts have developed differing views of the standard governing this ascertainability requirement.
In Noel, the California Supreme Court held that a named class representative sufficiently “articulates an ascertainable class” where the proposed class definition “defines the class ‘in terms of objective characteristics and common transactional facts’ that make ‘the ultimate identification of class members possible when that identification becomes necessary.’ ” The Court concluded that, “[a]s a rule, a representative plaintiff in a class action need not introduce evidence establishing how notice of the action will be communicated to individual class members in order to show an ascertainable class.”