Hoffer v. Cooper Wiring Devices, Inc., No. 1:06cv763, 2007 WL 2891401 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 28, 2007).

In this short and sweet opinion, the Northern District of Ohio considered what to do with a case filed in federal court as a class action under CAFA after it dismissed it as a class action. Faced with no Sixth Circuit precedent and a split in other circuits over whether the court retains or loses subject matter jurisdiction in this situation, this court decided that in the particular factual situation presented, it lost jurisdiction. The court was careful to limit its holding to the specific facts of this case, so we’ll lay them out for you.

After the plaintiff flied his complaint, the defendant moved to dismiss all of the claims except for an individual claim for violation of an Ohio statute. 

The court granted the defendant’s motion, so only one lonely claim, under state statute, on behalf of the lone plaintiff, remained. For the plaintiff to assert a class action claim for violation of that particular statute, Ohio law required there to be a substantial similarity between the alleged violation and a practice “previously declared deceptive by either a rule promulgated by the Attorney General or a court decision that was publicly available when the alleged violation occurred.” 

The plaintiff conceded that no such rule or court decision existed, so there was no “reasonably foreseeable possibility” of a class being certified in the future. As such, the plaintiff was left with his single statutory claim, which carried a maximum possible recovery of a whopping $200.

Based on that, the court determined that under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3), it was required to dismiss the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, since the plaintiff could never satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement.