Grimmelmann v. Pulte Home Corp., et al, No. 08-1878 (D. Az. May 1, 2009)

In James Bond’s latest outing the poor residents of Bolivia turned to 007 to save the day when a mad man threatened to steal their water supply and sell it back to them at a substantial mark up. Why you might ask would a British super spy waste his time worrying about the price of water in Bolivia?

The District Court for the District of Arizona, had a similar concern when the plaintiff home owners in this case turned to it to save the day when the defendant, home builder, attempted to sell the local water system back to the home owners through higher rates. The home owners called on 00-CAFA for help since it had already paid for the water system once in the purchase price of their homes.

Bond probably wouldn’t have wasted his time helping out the thirsty Bolivians if the bad guy wasn’t already responsible for killing his girlfriend in the last movie. Similarly, the District Court decided that under § 1332(d)(4)(A) it wouldn’t be wasting its time on this case either if the defendant wasn’t already before it in a similar case.

Before finally agreeing to let 00-CAFA save the day, the court had to satisfy itself that this band of water thieves were part of an international ring of villains and not just local hired guns. The court found that because the “primary defendants”, those with direct liability, were not residents of Arizona, § 1332(d)(4)(B) did not apply and it was permitted to take jurisdiction in the case.

Satisfied that it had jurisdiction, the court moved on to hear other motions in the case. But have no fear: CAFA Will Return

By:  Gregory LaBorde