New Case: Denial of Class Certification is a "Death Knell" Order

A new opinion was published today by California's Second District Court of Appeal reiterating a doctrine I first discussed in this earlier post.

An order denying class certification is immediately appealable when the order has the effect of dismissing the action as to all members of the purported class other than plaintiff. (Daar v. Yellow Cab Co. (1967) 67 Cal.2d 695, 699; Richmond v. Dart Industries, Inc. (1981) 29 Cal.3d 462, 470 ["A decision by a trial court denying certification to an entire class is an appealable order."].) This is referred to as the "'death knell'" doctrine. (Shelley v. City of Los Angeles (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 692, 695.)

In California, a final appealable order must be appealed within 60 days. Cal. Rules Ct. Rule 2(a)(1). If not, the courts lose jurisdiction, which cannot be revived. In the instant case, the appeal was filed 63 days after the order, not 60, so the court lost jurisdiction:

Because Alan did not file a timely notice of appeal, this court is without jurisdiction to consider his appeal. (Filipescu v. California Housing Finance Agency, supra, 41 Cal.App.4th at p. 742.) In addition, a party that has not timely appealed from an appealable order is not entitled to obtain review of the appealable order by requesting that the Court of Appeal deem the untimely appeal to be a petition for writ relief. (Mauro B. v. Superior Court (1991) 230 Cal.App.3d 949, 952.)

Again, I don't think most practitioners are aware that failure to timely appeal the denial of a motion for class certification is a "death knell" as to the claims of the class. The new case is Alan v. American Honda Motor Co. (2nd App. Dist. Div. 3, Aug. 2, 2005) No. B165756.