The trial court abused its discretion in denying class certification to two consolidated cases seeking tax refunds on behalf of LLCs which had paid tax under a statute later determined to be unconstitutional. The class was ascertainable in that it was defined in terms of objective characteristics and common transactional facts making the ultimate identification of class members possible when needed. The class was defined as all LLCs that filed timely refund claims with the FTB and had the claims denied or deemed denied. The FTB had invited refund claims and had a database compiling all the LLC refund claims. The legal theory plaintiffs pursued was that all LLCs that paid the tax was entitled to complete refunds since the law had been declared unconstitutional. That presented a predominant common issue that could best be resolved by class litigation.
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (Reardon, J.); July 18, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 637