Class Certification Order Reversed For Lacking Findings Of Fact And Conclusions Of Law

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In Fidelity National Title Ins. Co. v. Grosso, 110 So. 3d 521 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint they alleged complied with Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.220(a) and 1.220(b)(3).  After a hearing to determine whether class certification was appropriate, the trial court granted class certification.  The trial court, however, failed to make factual findings or conclusions of law in its order.

On review, the District Court of Appeal of the Fourth District of Florida reversed the class certification order, holding that certification of a class by an order that does not contain findings of fact and conclusions of law is reversible error.  The Court stated “[i]f evidence is not presented to the trial court, which could demonstrate a proper factual basis for class certification, it is an abuse of discretion to certify the class.”  Without an order containing findings of facts and conclusions of law based on the facts, the Court was unable to review whether the requirements for class certification were met.  Accordingly, the Court remanded the case for entry of an order that complies with Rule 1.220.