Spillman v. RPM Pizza, Inc., Nos. 10-349-BAJ-SCR, 10-592-BAJ-SCR, 2010 WL 4790904 (M.D. La. Oct. 26, 2010).
A Magistrate Judge in Louisiana recommended denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand holding that CAFA does not require that at least one member of the putative class have a claim with an amount in controversy of at least $75,000.
The plaintiff filed a class action suit in the District Court against the defendant, Domino’s Pizza, alleging claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Three months prior to this suit, the plaintiff had filed essentially the same suit in state court styled as a ‘class action petition for damages, statutory penalties, and injunctive relief.’
The defendant promptly removed the state court class action to the District Court, asserting diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and CAFA–1332(d).
The District Court then consolidated the state court action with this suit. The plaintiff moved to remand the state court action, and the Magistrate Judge denied the motion.
The plaintiff did not contest that the general jurisdictional requirements of CAFA found in § 1332(d)(2) were satisfied at the time of removal, but argued that no individual putative class member’s claim met the $75,000 amount in controversy requirement for subject matter jurisdiction under § 1332(a).
The plaintiff acknowledged that in the Fifth Circuit there is no separate requirement in class action cases brought under the TCPA that at least one member of the proposed class have a claim with an amount in controversy of at least $75,000, the amount in controversy needed when CAFA does not apply, Gene & Gene, L.L.C. v. BioPay, LLC, 541 F.3d 318, 324 (5th Cir.2008), appeal after remand, 2010 WL 4137737 (Oct. 22, 2010). (Editors’ Note: See the CAFA Law Blog analysis of Biopay posted on January 15, 2009).
Relying on the Eleventh Circuit decision in Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, 611 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir.2010) (Cappuccitti I), however, the plaintiff argued that at least one member of the proposed class must meet the $75,000 jurisdictional requirement in § 1332(a). (Editors’ Note: See the CAFA Law Blog analysis of Cappuccitti I posted on July 22, 2010.).
The Court noted that the decision in Cappuccitti I was vacated by the panel which decided it, Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, 2010 WL 4027719, at *2 (11th Cir. Oct. 15,2010) (Cappuccitti II). (Editors’ Note: See the CAFA Law Blog analysis of Cappuccitti II posted on October 18, 2010.).
Cappuccitti II held that subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA in class action cases does not require that a putative class member meet the amount in controversy requirement in § 1332(a). Consequently, the Court found that Cappuccitti I no longer supported the plaintiff’s argument.
The Court, therefore, concluded (as has virtually everyone else in the universe) that there was no basis upon which to grant the plaintiff’s motion to remand.