Woosley v. State of California – Case Brief Summary (California)

In Woosley v. State of California (1992) 3 Cal.4th 758, the California Supreme Court rejected the plaintiff's argument that if his class claim were disallowed, " 'notice would have to be given to each putative class member that (1) they were entitled to a refund of use taxes and license fees, and (2) the time to file a claim for refund was running from the date of notice.' "

The Supreme Court stated, "we disagree ... with plaintiff's contention that such notice is required. "Whatever merit there may be in plaintiff's argument that the time for putative class members to file claims has been tolled, we are unaware of any requirement that notice be given to persons affected by such tolling of the period in which to file a claim. The decision in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah (1974) 414 U.S. 538 required only that persons who will be included in the class be notified so that they have an opportunity to opt out of the class and thus not be bound by the resulting judgment. Neither the decision in American Pipe, supra, 414 U.S. 538, nor any other authority of which we are aware, requires that persons who are outside the class be notified of that fact." (Ibid.)