In Aho v. AmeriCredit Financial Services, Inc., 2011 WL 3047630 (S.D.Cal. 2011), Judge Sabraw found that Juarez v. Arcadia Financial, Ltd., 152 Cal.App.4th 889, 912, 61 Cal.Rptr.3d 382 (2007), and its holding regarding post-repossession NOIs applied to letters mailed to classmembers before Juarez was issued.
Defendant argues Juarez should apply prospectively only, and therefore any member of the class who received a notice pre- Juarez should be excluded. Plaintiff disagrees. ¶ “The general rule is that judicial decisions are given retroactive effect.” Grobeson v. City of Los Angeles, 190 Cal.App.4th 778, 796, 118 Cal.Rptr.3d 798 (2010) (citing Brennan v. Tremco Inc., 25 Cal.4th 310, 318, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 790, 20 P.3d 1086 (2001)). This rule “rests on the theory that the new decision does not really pronounce ‘new’ law but rather states what the law always was.” Id. Whether a judicial decision announced a new rule of law is the threshold inquiry in determining whether the decision should be given retroactive effect. People v. Guerra, 37 Cal.3d 385, 399, 208 Cal.Rptr. 162, 690 P.2d 635 (1984). “If it does, the new rule may or may not be retroactive, …; but if it does not, ‘no question of retroactivity arises’ because there is no material change in the law.” Id. (citations omitted). ¶ Here, Defendant argues Juarez established a new rule of law when it interpreted the “all conditions precedent” language of the statute. However, Defendant admits that, “[p]rior to Juarez, no court had analyzed the phrase ‘all the conditions precedent.’ ” (Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of Mot. at 7.) Under these circumstances, Juarez did not establish a new rule of law. See County of Sacramento v. Superior Court, 180 Cal.App.4th 943, 953–54, 103 Cal.Rptr.3d 449 (2009) (stating issue of first impression “does not justify giving our decision prospective application only[.]”); West Shield Investigations and Sec. Consultants v. Superior Court, 82 Cal.App.4th 935, 955, 98 Cal.Rptr.2d 612 (2000) (quoting Gentis v. Safeguard Business Systems, Inc., 60 Cal.App.4th 1294, 1306, 71 Cal.Rptr.2d 122 (1998)) (“Where there is no decisional authority addressing an issue, a party cannot have relied, ‘reasonably or otherwise, on any established body of California decisional authority,’ and retroactive application of a decision does not constitute an injustice.”) Absent the establishment of a new rule of law, Juarez is entitled to retroactive effect. Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to exclude class members who received notices pre- Juarez is denied.