Owners of allegedly defective refrigerators manufactured by Dometic Corporation moved to certify a class of similarly situated owners, but the District Court denied certification based on their failure to prove administrative feasibility. The District Court then dismissed the action because, in its view, the denial of class certification divested it of subject-matter jurisdiction. Because jurisdiction does not turn on the denial of class certification and Rule 23(a) provides no basis to require administrative feasibility, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the order denying class certification and dismissing the action, and remanded for further proceedings:
Traditionally, the courts have collapsed class definition and ascertainability into one inquiry.
“A class is clearly ascertainable if we are certain that its membership is capable of being determined. But membership can be capable of determination without being capable of convenient determination. Administrative feasibility is not an inherent aspect of ascertainability.”
At the same time, of course: “If a district court reaches Rule 23(b), and the action involves a proposed Rule 23(b)(3) class, it may consider administrative feasibility as part of the manageability criterion of Rule 23(b)(3)(D).”
Cherry v. Dometic Corp., 986 F.3d 1296 (11th Cir. 2021).
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