Header graphic for print

CAFA Law Blog

Information, cases and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005

District Court Retains Jurisdiction When Plaintiff Fails to Establish that the Home-State Exception Applies

Posted in Case Summaries

Sovanarra Nop v. American Water Resources, Inc., 2016 WL 4890412 (D.N.J. Sept. 14, 2016).

A district court in New Jersey retained jurisdiction over an action and rejected the plaintiff’s argument to consider the current year’s voter list (not the year in which the action was filed) for purposes of establishing citizenship.

Continue Reading

A Notice of Removal Need Not Contain Evidence Regarding Punitive Damages

Posted in Case Summaries

Lavelle v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2017 WL 706157 (D.D.C. Feb. 22, 2017)

In denying a motion to remand, the District of Columbia found that a defendant is not obligated to present evidence regarding punitive damages in its notice of removal, particularly when the defendant relies on the plaintiff’s calculation for such claims. The Court further held that declarations of an insurer’s claims representative and economist were sufficiently reliable to satisfy the insurer’s burden of demonstrating the size of a putative class of insureds to determine the amount in controversy. Continue Reading

Section 1332(C)(1) Gives Dual, Not Alternative, Citizenship To A Corporation Whose Principal Place Of Business Is In A State Different From Where It Is Incorporated

Posted in Case Summaries

Life of the South Insurance Company v. Carzell, 2017 WL 1174083 (11th Cir. March 29, 2017).

Recently, the Eleventh Circuit denied two corporate defendants’ petition to appeal because the companies’ dual citizenship was an insufficient basis to create federal diversity jurisdiction under CAFA when they shared a state of citizenship with all of the plaintiffs.

Continue Reading

Documents Pertaining To A Separate Case Does Not Constitute As ‘Other Paper’ To Ascertain Federal Jurisdiction Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Seasons Homeowners Association Inc v Richmond Homes of Nevada Inc., 2016 WL 7155746 (D. Nev. Dec. 7, 2016).

In this construction defect dispute, a District Court in Nevada denied the plaintiff’s motion to remand because the the plaintiff’s  supporting documents pertained to a separate case and, therefore, could not serve as “other paper” to put the defendants on notice of the amount in controversy in the instant case.

Continue Reading

District Court Orders Parties to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery Before It Can Rule on Amount-in-Controversy and CAFA Exception Issues

Posted in Case Summaries

Brinkley v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc., 2016 WL 4886934 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 15, 2016).

A district court in California ordered the parties to conduct jurisdictional discovery to determine if two-thirds of the class members (consisting of members from the states of California and Washington) were from the state of California, so it could ascertain if CAFA’s local controversy exception applied to this action.

The plaintiff, Tiffany Brinkley, filed this action in the Superior Court of the California for the County of San Diego, asserting causes of action against the defendant Monetary Financial Services, Inc., for violations of California Penal Code §§ 630, et. seq., Washington Rev. Code §§ 9.73, et. seq., and California Business & Professions Code § 17200, et. seq., based on the defendant’s alleged unlawful recording and/or monitoring of telephone calls. The plaintiff sought, among other things, to certify a putative class including all persons who, while physically located or residing in California and Washington, made or received one or more telephone calls with the defendant in the class period and did not receive notice at the beginning of the call that their conversation may be recorded or monitored.

Continue Reading

When a Complaint Involves More than 100 Plaintiffs Whose Claims Arise Out of a Common Set of Facts, a Court Will Analyze the Language and Structure to Determine Whether Plaintiffs Proposed a Joint Trial

Posted in Case Summaries

Melissa Ramirez, et. al. v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, 852 F.3d 324 (3d Cir. 2017).

In this case, the Third Circuit found that the language the plaintiffs held out as disclaiming their intent to seek a joint trial was not sufficiently definite to prevent removal as a mass action under CAFA. Accordingly, it reversed the U.S. District Court’s order, which had remanding the action to the state court, and remanded the matter to the U.S. District Court for further proceedings.

Continue Reading

CAFA Plaintiff’s Lack of Standing Triggers Remand, Not Dismissal

Posted in Case Summaries

Polo v. Innoventions_International, LLC, 833 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 2016)

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) held the District Court should remand a Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) suit rather than dismiss it under the removal statute, and even if dismissal rather than remand was permitted under the remand rule, it was not clear that remand would be futile in this instance.

Continue Reading

Post Removal Denial of Class Certification Does Not Divest the District Court of its Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Shepard v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC, 2015 WL 11142456 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 7, 2015).

Another action succumbs to the adage that post removal events do not divest federal jurisdiction over actions removed under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).

Plaintiff, Lauren Betancourt, brought a proposed products liability class action in the state court of Cobb County seeking to recover damages for injuries arising from her purchase and consumption of allegedly defective birth control pills. The case was removed as a putative class action having federal diversity under CAFA.  After the Northern District Court of Georgia, Atlanta Division (“District Court”) denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, the plaintiffs moved to remand the action to the state court.

Continue Reading

How Does the “Resident” Versus “Citizen” Distinction Observed in Other Parts of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 Play Out in CAFA’s Local-Controversy Exception?

Posted in Case Summaries

Hargett_v._St_Bernard’s_Hospital_Inc.. et al., 2017 WL 1405034 (8th Cir. April 14, 2017).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (the “Eighth Circuit”) found that under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005’s (“CAFA”) local-controversy exception citizenship can be ascertained either through irrefutable evidence, or through class definition before removal. If a Federal District Court allows the plaintiff to redefine the class to restrict it to a particular state post removal, then this will not divest a Federal District Court from exercising its jurisdiction.

Continue Reading

Gains To The Plaintiffs Is The Proper Measure For The Value Of An Injunction

Posted in Case Summaries

Lowery v. Iod, Inc., 2016 WL 4247803 (N.D. Al. Aug. 11, 2016)

In this diversity action, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama found that, in determining the amount in controversy, the value of an injunction is measured based on the gains to the plaintiffs rather than losses to the defendants. Continue Reading