MHP Class Actions? Not So Fast!

Several groups of California residents (PLAINTIFFs) in MH parks owned by the same investors are seeking class actions in court for their unjust treatment.

In March 2016, multi-park/multi-plaintiff class actions were dealt a significant setback when the California Court of Appeal affirmed the DISMISSAL of a lawsuit brought by residents in 18 manufactured home parks owned by Thomas Tatum & Jeffery Kaplan (Mobile Community Management (MCM)) (DEFENDENTS).

The Appeals Court concluded that there was NO reasonable possibility that the requirements for CLASS CERTIFICATION could be satisfied. This was because the CLASS included 18 manufactured home parks, involved the negotiation of individual lease agreements in EACH park, and involved the conduct of the defendants with respect to EACH such lease. Thus, there was NO reasonable possibility that the PLAINTIFFS could assert that ‘common leasing practices’ existed in EACH park.

Not being an attorney, my ‘plain language’ explanation is that there were too many plaintiffs, EACH with a different cause of action, for there to be a ‘CLASS’.

That DOES NOT MEAN that INDIVIDUAL plaintiffs cannot sue, just that they cannot sue as a class.

Attorneys for park owners are likely to use this argument in other class actions currently pending.

Deane

(Schermer v. Tatum, D067807 (Cal. App. 4th Dis. Mar. 18, 2016)