Boris Stern and others (plaintiffs) sued, among others, Kenneth Walheim and an accounting firm (defendants), alleging that Walheim falsely represented that he was a certified public accountant. The plaintiffs’ complaint presented several claims as class actions brought on behalf of all others similarly situated. The trial court held an initial status conference, and the plaintiffs admitted that the complaint had not been certified as a class action. Other than the plaintiffs’ complaint, no evidence was contained in the record regarding the amount at issue in the case. The trial court then determined that the matter should be reclassified as a limited civil case without giving the plaintiffs notice or an opportunity to present evidence about the amount in controversy in the case. Under California law, a limited civil action is a classification for cases with $25,000 or less in controversy. The plaintiffs then appealed to the California Court of Appeal.