In Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., ___ Cal.4th ___ (Mar. 15, 2007), the Supreme Court did not address the appealability of orders denying class certification per se. Its discussion would apply to any appealable interlocutory order. The opinion contrues Rule of Court 8.104(a), which triggers the 60-day time to file a notice of appeal. Rule 8.104(a) states:
Rule 8.104. Time to appeal
(a) Normal time
Unless a statute or rule 8.108 provides otherwise, a notice of appeal must be filed on or before the earliest of:
(1) 60 days after the superior court clerk mails the party filing the notice of appeal a document entitled "Notice of Entry" of judgment or a file-stamped copy of the judgment, showing the date either was mailed;
(2) 60 days after the party filing the notice of appeal serves or is served by a party with a document entitled "Notice of Entry" of judgment or a file-stamped copy of the judgment, accompanied by proof of service; or
(3) 180 days after entry of judgment.
(Emphasis added.) Rule 8.104(f) is also relevant:
(f) Appealable order
As used in (a) and (e), "judgment" includes an appealable order if the appeal is from an appealable order.
In Alan, the trial court heard argument on plaintiff's motion for class certification and took the matter under submission. A few days later, the court clerk mailed a written statement of decision denying the motion, along with a minute order stating that the court had ruled on the motion and issued its statement of decision. While the minute order included the date of mailing, the statement of decision did not. And while the statement of decision was file-stamped, the minute order was not. Slip op. at 2-4.
The Court of Appeal held that the two documents combined triggered the 60-day period of Rule of Court 8.104(a)(1). Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., 131 Cal.App.4th 886 (2005). The Supreme Court disagreed:
Because no “document entitled ‘Notice of Entry’ ” (rule 8.104(a)(1)) exists, the clerk’s mailing cannot have triggered the 60-day period for noticing an appeal unless it contained “a file-stamped copy of the judgment” (ibid.) or appealable order (rule 8.104(f)). But the clerk’s mailing contained no such document. While it did contain a copy of the appealable minute order, that order is not file stamped. The typed or printed notation that appears at the bottom of that order—“MINUTES ENTERED 01/02/03 COUNTY CLERK”—is not a file stamp. (In re Marriage of Taschen (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 681, 686.) Accordingly, the clerk’s mailing did not satisfy rule 8.104(a)(1), and Alan’s notice of appeal was timely filed under rule 8.104(a)(2).
Slip op. at 8. The Court explained that all of the elements of Rule of Court 8.104(a)(1) must be satisfied in a single document:
For these reasons, we conclude that rule 8.104(a)(1) does indeed require a single document—either a “Notice of Entry” so entitled or a file-stamped copy of the judgment or appealable order—that is sufficient in itself to satisfy all of the rule’s conditions, including the requirement that the document itself show the date on which it was mailed. That having been said, we see no reason why the clerk could not satisfy the single-document requirement by attaching a certificate of mailing to the file-stamped judgment or appealable order, or to a document entitled “Notice of Entry.” Obviously a document can have multiple pages. But the rule does not require litigants to glean the required information from multiple documents or to guess, at their peril, whether such documents in combination trigger the duty to file a notice of appeal. “Neither parties nor appellate courts should be required to speculate about jurisdictional time limits.” (Van Beurden Ins. Services, Inc. v. Customized Worldwide Weather Ins. Agency, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 51, 64.)
Slip op. at 12-13. Because the clerk's mailing was insufficient to trigger the 60-day period of Rule of Court 8.104(a)(1), the 60-day period of Rule of Court 8.104(a)(2) was triggered instead when the defendant served a formal "Notice of Entry of Order and Statement of Decision Denying Class Certification," with copies of both the minute order and the statement of decision attached to it. Id. at 13-14.
[Cross-posted to The Appellate Practitioner]