August 13, 2019 – Rejecting multiple Court of Appeal decisions requiring that plaintiffs provide an administratively feasible method to identify putative class members, the California Supreme Court in Sacramento has held that a proposed class is “ascertainable” when it is defined “in terms of objective characteristics and common transactional facts” that make “the ultimate identification of class members possible when that identification becomes necessary.”
In Noel v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., (Cal. 2019) (No. S246490), the Court emphasized that a plaintiff does not need to present evidence showing that class members can “be readily identified without unreasonable expense or time by reference to official records” and that decisions imposing this requirement were no longer good law.
The Noel decision substantially weakens the ascertainability requirement in California and may lead to more decisions granting certification.