In this action, the District Court of New Jersey adopted a magistrate’s recommendation which granted the plaintiff’s motion to remand the case back to state court. The plaintiff brought a class action in a state court of New Jersey seeking to recover wages for a class of employees of defendant (which was an interstate trucking company) who were allegedly misclassified as independent contractors. The defendant removed the action asserting that the District Court had jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). The plaintiff thereafter filed a motion to remand. The magistrate judge recommended remand, concluding that the defendant had failed to prove that the plaintiff could recover the requisite amount in controversy for CAFA jurisdiction (five million dollars). In addition, the magistrate judge recommended remand pursuant to CAFA’s discretionary home state exception. The defendant thereafter filed objections to the magistrate judge’s recommendations.
Scott v. Cricket Communications, LLC, 15-03330-GLR (D. Md. March 30, 2018)
Reiterating that a court will not protect a party from the adverse consequences of its own voluntary acts, a District Court in Maryland denied a second motion to remand where an amended complaint cured defects it had previously identified.
Plaintiff brought a putative class action in state court on behalf of himself and a class of Maryland citizens alleging that Defendant sold him and the class phones it knew were obsolete at the time of the sale. Defendant removed the case, but an initial motion to remand was granted on the basis that it had not proven the necessary amount in controversy. Cricket had sought to establish the amount by submitting evidence as to phones sold to Maryland customers, but because it had not actually established the citizenship of those customers, the District Court held that it had not met its burden. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit remanded the matter for the District Court to make a finding of fact as to the citizenship of the Maryland class, and thus as to the amount in controversy.…
Continue Reading Unintended Consequences: Careful How You Amend
McAllister v. The St. Louis Rams, LLC, No. 4:16-cv-00172 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 12, 2018).
In this action, while remanding a case to state court, a district court in Missouri found that the plaintiffs’ burden of proof, as the party invoking the local controversy exception, is by a “preponderance” or more than 50% of the evidence.
Robertson v. Sun Life Financial, 2:17-cv-02148-SSV-JVM (E.D. La. Jan. 22, 2018)
In this action, a Louisiana District Court denied a motion to remand, finding that the Plaintiff’s generic demand for damages from a “local” defendant was insufficient to justify remanding the case pursuant to CAFA’s Local Controversy exception.…
Continue Reading Generic Demand For Damages Does Not Justify Local Controversy Exception to CAFA
Pattison v. Omnitrition International, Inc. No. 2:17-cv-01454 (W. D. Wa. Jan. 5, 2018).
In this action, while granting the defendants’ motion for reconsideration of the order remanding the matter to state court, a District Court in Washington found that the defendants’ declarant was not required to attach underlying documentation to support her statements, as her…
White Knight Diner, LLC v. Arbitration Forums, Inc. No. 4:17-cv-02406 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 12, 2018).
In this action, while denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a District Court in Missouri found that the plaintiffs could meet their burden under the CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception by presenting evidence of citizenship or by defining the class to…
Walsh v. Defenders, Inc, 2018 WL 555690 (D.N.J. Jan. 25, 2018).
On a motion for reconsideration, a District Court in New Jersey reversed an earlier ruling denying a motion to remand based on the “local controversy” exception to CAFA. The Court held that, in order to defeat diversity, the local-controversy test does not require…
Kenny v Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., 2018 WL 650998 (9th Cir. Feb. 1, 2018).
In this action, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) found that a district court lacks authority to sua sponte remand an action unless there is a defect in subject matter jurisdiction. Additionally, the defendants’ demurrer did not constitute a waiver of their right to removal.
Plaintiff Kris Kenny (“Plaintiff”) brought a putative class action in the Superior Court of California (the “State Court”) challenging Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.’s (“Defendants”) policy that required employees who had suffered workplace-related injuries to submit to drug and/or urine testing.…
Continue Reading Sua Sponte Remand By District Court Only Appropriate When Based On A Defect In Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Sanchez v. Ameriflight, LLC, 2018 WL 654170 (9th Cir. Feb. 1, 2018).
Here, the Ninth Circuit found that where parties were not diverse at the onset of the action, a post-filing change in citizenship cannot cure the original defect in diversity jurisdiction.
David Sanchez (“Plaintiff”), a California resident and former Ameriflight, LLC (“Ameriflight”) cargo pilot, brought a putative class action in the Superior Court of the State of California alleging that Ameriflight improperly paid wages in violation of the California Labor Code and the California Business and Professions Code. Ameriflight is an interstate air cargo carrier with operations in more than 10 states, organized under Nevada law, with its headquarters in Texas. However, at the time Plaintiff filed suit, Ameriflight was headquartered in California.…
Continue Reading Post Filing Change In Citizenship Does Not Satisfy Minimum Diversity Requirement Under CAFA
Allred v. Kellogg_Company, et al., 2018 WL 332904 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2018).
A California district court denied the plaintiff’s motion to remand, holding that the statistical assumptions used in the defendant’s amount-in-controversy calculation were permissible under the circumstances.…
Continue Reading Statistical Assumptions, if Based in Reason, May be Used to Prove That CAFA’s Amount-In-Controversy Requirement Has Been Satisfied