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Hernandez v. Restoration Hardware, Inc.

Filed 1/29/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA MIKE HERNANDEZ et al., ) ) Plaintiffs and Respondents; ) ) FRANCESCA MULLER, ) ) Plaintiff and Appellant, ) S233983 v. ) ) Ct.App. 4/1 D067091 RESTORATION HARDWARE, INC., ) ) San Diego County Defendant and Respondent. ) Super. Ct. No. ) 37-2008-00094395- ) CU-BT-CTL _______________________________________) Under Code of Civil Procedure1 section 902, “[a]ny party aggrieved” may appeal a judgment. “It is generally held, however, that only parties of record may appeal; consequently one who is denied the right to intervene in an action ordinarily may not appeal from a judgment subsequently entered in the case. [Citations.] Instead, he may appeal from the order denying intervention.” (County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 736 (Carleson).) The issue we address is when does an unnamed class action member become a party of record with the right to appeal a class action settlement or judgment under section 902? We address this issue in the context of Justice Traynor’s 75-year-old decision, which held that unnamed class members do not become parties of record under 1 All statutory references are to the Code of Civil Procedure unless otherwise stated. SEE CONCURRING OPINION. section 902 with the right to appeal the class settlement, judgment, or attorney fees award unless they formally intervene in the class litigation before the action is final. (Eggert v. Pac. States S. & L. Co. (1942) 20 Cal.2d 199, 201 (Eggert).) We conclude the Court of Appeal correctly relied on Eggert to hold that unnamed class members may not appeal a class judgment, settlement, or attorney fees award unless they intervene in the action. (Ibid.) FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND In 2008, plaintiff Michael Hernandez filed a class action law suit against defendant Restoration Hardware, Inc. (RHI), alleging the company committed numerous violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (the Act) when it asked for and recorded ZIP codes from customers who used credit cards in making RHI purchases. (Civ. Code, § 1747.08.) After several years of litigation, the court certified the case as a class action and appointed plaintiffs Mike Hernandez and Amanda Georgino as class representatives (collectively Representatives). The court also appointed the Patterson Law Group and Stonebarger Law as class counsel. In June 2013, a notice to potential class members advised them of the pending class action and presented them with the following options: (1) they could remain as part of the class and be bound by the judgment, or (2) they could exclude themselves from the class (opt out) and not be bound by the judgment. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.766.) The notice also advised the potential class members that if they elected to remain in the class, they could appear in court through class counsel. Francesca Muller (Muller), an unnamed class member and the appellant here, received the June 2013 class action notice, but did not join the class as a party or opt out at that time. Instead, Muller’s attorney filed a notice of an …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court