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CAFA Law Blog

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

Plaintiff Must Present Persuasive Substantive Evidence To Establish The Citizenship Of The Class Members

Posted in Case Summaries

Nichols v. Chesapeake Operating LLCNo 5:16-cv-01073-M (W.D. Ok. Sept. 13, 2017).

In this action, a district court in Oklahoma denied the plaintiff’s motion to abstain under the home-state mandatory abstention exception to CAFA finding that the plaintiff cannot rely solely on the allegations in his class action petition to establish that two-thirds or more of the members of the proposed class are citizens of Oklahoma, but must make some minimal evidentiary showing of the citizenship of the proposed class.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action for breach of lease, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, deceit and constructive trust against the defendants in the state court of Beaver County, Oklahoma. The class claims related to royalty payments for gas and its constituents.

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CAFA’s Amount in Controversy Could Not be Aggregated When Each Plaintiff’s Claims Are Wholly Unrelated to the Claims of the Other and When the Defendants Are Not Jointly Liable

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Castillo v. Western Range Ass’n, 2017 WL 1364584 (D. Nev. April 13, 2017).

In dismissing a wage-and-hour class action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada held that the CAFA’s amount-in-controversy requirement cannot be aggregated when each plaintiff’s claims are wholly unrelated to the other and when the defendants are not jointly liable.

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Only Disputed Sums Of Money Is Counted In Assessing Amount In Controversy

Posted in Case Summaries

Scott v. Credico (USA) LLC, et al., 2017 WL 4210994 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 22, 2017).

In this case, while remanding a case to the state court, a district court in California found that gross wages, paid and unpaid, should not be used in the amount in controversy calculation when the plaintiff seeks recovery of only unpaid wages.

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Allegations that Many Class Members Reside Out of State Satisfies Requirement for “Short and Plain Statement” in Notice of Removal

Posted in Case Summaries

Gibson v. Continental Resources, Inc. Case No. 5:15-cv-00611-M, (W.D. Okla. Oct. 8, 2015).

This order concerned a motion to remand a case to state court based on the plaintiff’s assertions that the defendant had not filed a sufficient removal notice.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action alleging that the defendant failed to make proper payments owed to her and the class members on royalty interests in oil wells. The defendant removed this case to federal court alleging jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d) and 1452. In its notice of removal, defendant stated that “hundreds” of royalty owners have out-of-state addresses, as its basis for establishing diversity of citizenship. Further, the defendant contended that the number of class members exceeded 100 and the alleged damages were in excess of $10 million. Continue Reading

CAFA Is Not The Exclusive Means For Establishing Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Class Actions

Posted in Case Summaries

Jessica Casey, et al., v. Roger Denton, et al., 2017 WL 3461363 (S.D. Ill. Aug. 11, 2017).

In this action, while denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a district court in Illinois found that CAFA is not the exclusive means for establishing subject matter jurisdiction over class actions, and that 28 U.S.C. § 1331 original jurisdiction, and § 1332 CAFA jurisdiction, are two alternative bases for removal.

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A Mass Action Must Involve Monetary Claims Brought By 100 Or More Persons Who ‘Propose To Try Those Claims Jointly’ As Named Plaintiffs

Posted in Case Summaries

Loretta_Little_et_al_v_Pfizer_Inc_et_al., 2017 WL 3412300 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2017).

In this action involving claims from the plaintiffs in several lawsuits, the United States District Court, Northern District of California (the “District Court”), while remanding the cases to state court, found the plaintiffs have the ability to avoid jurisdiction by filing separate complaints naming less than 100 plaintiffs and by not moving for or otherwise proposing joint trial in the state court. The District Court further held a proposal for a joint trial made by one plaintiff cannot in effect bind another plaintiff if he or she has not made a proposal for a joint trial.

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Subject Matter Jurisdiction Can Be Challenged At Any Time And It Is Not Subject To The Thirty-Day Time Limit Required by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)

Posted in Case Summaries

Marciela_Reyes_v_Carehouse_Healthcare_Center_LLC_et_al., 2017 WL 2869499 (C.D. Cal. July 5, 2017).

In this action, while denying Plaintiff Maricela Reyes’ (“Plaintiff”) motion to remand, the United States District Court, Central District of California (the “District Court”), held a motion to remand challenging subject matter jurisdiction can be filed at any time, and such motions are not subject to the thirty-day time limit required by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

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Plaintiffs Can Avoid Mass Action Jurisdiction Under CAFA By Artificially Splitting Cases Into Groups of Fewer Than 100 Plaintiffs

Posted in Case Summaries

Jordan v Bayer Corporation, 2017 WL 1909059 (E.D. Mo. May 10, 2017).

In granting plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a Missouri District Court held that the Class Action Fairness Act did not apply where state court plaintiffs with common claims against a common defendant filed separate cases with fewer than 100 plaintiffs each to avoid federal jurisdiction under CAFA, where there was nothing in any case’s record that the plaintiffs proposed to try their separate cases jointly.

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Failure to Rebut Evidence in Support of Motion to Remand Is Fatal

Posted in Case Summaries

Stoddard v. Oxy USA Inc., 2017 WL 3190354 (D. Kan. July 27, 2017).

In denying a plaintiff’s motion to remand, a district court in Kansas held that the defendant proved by the preponderance of the evidence that jurisdiction was proper after the plaintiff failed to present any evidence rebutting the defendant’s supporting affidavit. Continue Reading

Defendants Can Draw Reasonable Inferences From a Complaint, But Their Estimated Amount in Controversy Cannot Be Pulled Out of “Thin Air”

Posted in Case Summaries

Rutledge_v_Healthport_Technologies, LLC, 2017 WL 728375 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 24, 2017)

To satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement for CAFA jurisdiction, defendants may draw reasonable inferences from the complaint, but the defendants still need to be a concrete basis for their estimate. Continue Reading