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District Court Affirms Magistrate Court’s Lack of Sua Sponte if Outside Scope of Its Referral

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Lowell v. Summer Bay Mgmt., L.C., 2014 WL 1092187 (E.D. Tenn. March 17, 2014). In an action, a Tennessee District Court adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation, where he refused to dismiss a case sua sponte on the issue of subject matter jurisdiction.  The magistrate judge was of the view that when a case is referred […]

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District Court Allows Discovery to Proceed in Part for Plaintiff to Establish CAFA Jurisdiction

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Kanowitz v. Broadridge Fin. Solutions, Inc., 2014 WL 1338370 (E.D.N.Y. March 31, 2014). A district court in New York granted in part and denied in part a defendant’s motion to stay discovery while a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under CAFA was pending.  The District Court found that although the putative class satisfied […]

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District Court Holds Denial of Class Certification Deprives Action of CAFA Jurisdiction

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Karhu v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2014 WL 1274119 (S.D. Fla. March 27, 2014). A district court in Florida dismissed this action finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction after denial of a motion for class certification.  The court explained that the denial of certification meant that the plaintiff’s action was, from the beginning, inappropriate for […]

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New York Record Company’s Unpaid Interns Must Stay in Federal Court Following Removal Pursuant to CAFA Jurisdiction

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Henry v. Warner Music Group Corp., 2014 WL 1224575 (S.D.N.Y. March 24, 2014). In an action filed by an interns seeking unpaid wages, the District Court retained jurisdiction over the case finding, among many things, that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that more than two-thirds of the putuative class members were citizens of New York.  […]

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Court Can Take Judicial Notice of Prior Multi District Litigation to Find Number of Plaintiffs Satisfied for CAFA Jursidiction

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Downing v. Riceland Foods, Inc., 2014 WL 1316776 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 31, 2014). In an action filed by a group on behalf of all persons and entities that provided or paid for common benefit services or expenses for the defendant in prior Multi-District Litigation, the District Court took judicial notice that the MDL consisted of […]

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Plaintiff’s Facially Deficient Claims Cannot Be Considered for Purposes of the CAFA Amount in Controversy Determination

Posted in Case Summaries, Uncategorized

McDaniel v. Fifth Third Bank, 2014 WL 805508 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 28, 2014). In an action arising out of fraud and misrepresentation, the district court refused to retain subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA finding that it could not consider a facially deficient claim for the purpose of ascertaining the amount-in-controversy.

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Plaintiff Cannot Maintain CAFA Jurisdiction Where Amount Stated In Controversy Isn’t Really in Controversy

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Reilly v. Amy’s Kitchen, Inc., 2014 WL 905419 (S.D. Fla. March 7, 2014). A District Court in Florida dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint finding that the general rule for CAFA jurisdiction that the amount-in-controversy is determined at the time a complaint is filed does not apply to cases where the plaintiff doesn’t have standing to pursue […]

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Remove Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace

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Lee v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 2013 WL 6627755 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 16, 2013). In this action, the District Court remanded the case finding that when the initial complaint on its face shows enough characteristics sufficient for a federal jurisdiction, the defendant must remove it within 30-days after filing of that complaint.

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Only Actual Named Parties Qualify As Plaintiffs

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Miss. ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., 2014 WL 113485 (U.S. Jan. 14, 2014). The United States Supreme Court remanded an action holding that the mass action provision of CAFA did not apply because the term “plaintiffs” refers to actual named parties as opposed to unnamed real parties in interest.

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Standard Fire Versus Lowdermilk – The Debate Continues!

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Trahan v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 2014 WL 116606 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2014). A District Court while denying a motion to remand opined that the preponderance of the evidence standard applied, and held that the legal certainty standard is not applicable in actions involving absent class members. The plaintiff brought an action on behalf of […]

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Jail Term Not a Bar For Jail Inmate’s Ability to Communicate

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Underwood v. Menfre, 2014 WL 67644 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 8, 2014). Aggrieved by her inability to write letters to her husband with sensitive, personal information, and send him inter alia photographs, drawings, and newspaper clippings, the plaintiff, whose husband was an inmate at the Flagler County Jail, Florida, brought an action challenging two policies of […]

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Doctrine of Comity Shaves off Jurisdiction of Federal Court

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Farneth v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2013 WL 6859013 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 30, 2013). A District Court in Pennsylvania remanded an action holding that the doctrine of comity applicable to state taxation cases restrains federal courts from entertaining claims for relief that risk disrupting state tax administration.

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Potential for Recovery in Excess of Jurisdictional Minimum is Not Sufficient to Establish Amount in Countroversy, Which

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Perritt v. Westlake Vinlys Co., LP, 2013 WL 6451774 (M.D. La. Dec. 9, 2013). A District Court in Louisiana granted the plaintiffs’ motions to remand holding that the mere potential for recovery in excess of the jurisdictional minimum was not sufficient to establish the amount in controversy, and that the defendants must show that it […]

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An Unnamed Defendant Is Not A Party For Purposes of the “At Least 1 Defendant” Requirement for the Local Issue Controversy Exception

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Quicken Loans v. Alig, 2013 WL 6671618 (4th Cir. Dec. 19, 2013). The Fourth Circuit vacated an order of remand, holding that an unnamed defendant is not a party to the litigation, and thus, it was improper for the District Court to aggregate the unnamed defendant in a group for the purposes of the “at […]

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Western District of Kentucky Analyzes CAFA’s Jurisdictional Requirements And Exceptions In Order Denying Remand

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Brown v. Paducah & Louisville Ry., Inc., 12-00818, 2013 WL 5273773 (W.D. Ky. Sept. 17, 2013) In this case, a Kentucky district court held that defendants in a putative class action arising out of a train derailment satisfied their burden of establishing CAFA’s minimal-diversity and amount-in-controversy requirements.  The court also found that, because two thirds […]

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Dissent in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens Paves Way For Third Supreme Court CAFA Decision

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Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 730 F.3d 1234 (10th Cir. 2013), cert. granted, 134 S.Ct. 1788, 188 L.Ed. 2d 757 (2014)  In this appeal, four circuit judges – Judges Hartz, Kelly, Tymkovich, and Phillips – dissented from the Tenth Circuit’s refusal to grant rehearing with respect to a Tenth Circuit panel’s previous […]

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Approved Settlement of Federal and State Wage Claims Did Not Implicate CAFA

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Juvera v. Salcido, 2013 WL 6628039 (D. Ariz. Dec. 17, 2013) A District Court in Arizona granted approval to a $157,000 settlement holding that the Settlement Agreement reflected a fair and reasonable resolution of wage issues in the action. Current and former cashiers who were employed with the defendants brought this action alleging violations of […]

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Defendant’s Amount In Controversy Award Scrutinized for Time Barred and Other Inapplicable Damage Claims

Posted in Case Summaries, Uncategorized

Smith v. Lux Retail North America, Inc., 2013 WL 2932243 (N.D.Cal. June 13, 2013) In calculating damages, the defendant in this action had added damages that were outside the statute of limitations and otherwise inapplicable.  Rejecting the defendant’s calculations, a District Court in California remanded the action to state court.

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