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 a showing of predominance, i.e., that the local defendant’s conduct forms a more significant basis for the claims asserted than the conduct of the other defendants, but merely a showing that the local defendant’s actions formed a significant basis for the claims asserted.

Based in part on new evidence obtained during class discovery, the Court agreed that plaintiff could now establish that the local defendant’s conduct formed a significant basis of the claims asserted by the putative class. Specifically, the Court noted that 35.3% of the entire class entered into the allegedly unlawful contracts with the local defendant and thus had claims arising directly from the local defendant’s conduct. Although this evidence also showed that 64.7% of the class had claims arising from the foreign defendant’s conduct, the Court acknowledged that plaintiff need not demonstrate that the claims against the local defendant predominated over the other defendants; rather, to invoke the exception, the plaintiff must show that the local defendant’s conduct was a significant – defined as ‘important, notable’ – basis for the claims asserted.

Accordingly, the District Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and remanded the action to the state court.

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

Carter, et al., v. Westlex Corporation, et al., 2016 WL 1397648 (5th Cir. April 8, 2016).

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order retaining jurisdiction over an action where the defendants established by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount-in-controversy exceeded CAFA’s $5 million jurisdictional threshold.

Continue Reading A Challenge to Defendants’ Calculation of the Amount-in-Controversy Requires More than Mere Criticism of Evidence

Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., 2016 WL 1359048 (6th Cir. April 6, 2016).

The Sixth Circuit held that the 30-day removal period under CAFA does not begin if the plaintiff does not serve the defendant with an amended complaint, motion, other paper etc. from which a defendant can figure out that the amount-in-controversy exceeds CAFA’s jurisdictional threshold. The Sixth Circuit further held that if a defendant can determine from the documents served by the plaintiff that the amount-in-controversy could exceed $5 million, the defendant is not obligated to do so, unless the document is apparent.

Continue Reading 30-Day Time Period for Removing Case Pursuant to 1446 Only Begins to Run when Amount-In-Controversy Is Apparent

Calmes v. Boca West Country Club, 2017 WL 4621112 (S.D. Fl. Oct. 16, 2017).

A district court in Florida dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) finding that the plaintiff did not satisfy his burden to establish that there were diverse class members or that the amount in controversy exceeded $5,000,000.

Continue Reading Unsupported Allegations That Diverse Class Members Exist Are Insufficient To Establish CAFA Jurisdiction

State of New Hampshire v Purdue Pharma, et al., 2018 WL 333824 (D.N.H. Jan. 9, 2018).

In this action a New Hampshire district court found that a parens patriae case was not sufficiently similar to a class action brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 so as to justify removal under CAFA.

Continue Reading A Parens Patriae Action Is Not Removable Under CAFA

Carter_v_CIOX_Health_LLC, 2017 WL 2334886 (W.D.N.Y. May 30, 2017).

When denying a defendant’s request to remand a putative class action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA, a district court in New York educates the parties on the origins, purposes, and applicability of the local controversy exception and explains when the “no other action” element of the local controversy exception applies and why it exists. Continue Reading District Court Provides Primer on the Origins of Local Controversy Exception and Explains the Purpose of “No Other Class Action” Element of the Exception

Shelby v. Oak River Insurance Company, 2017 WL 6026672 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 5, 2017).

In this action, while denying the plaintiff’s motion to remand, a district court in Missouri found that the plaintiff’s tactics to avoid removal by being less than candid as to whether the case is a class action, influences the Court to not exercise its discretion to remand under the “interests of justice” exception.

Continue Reading Plaintiff’s Use of Questionable Tactics to Avoid Remand Backfires and Court Declines to Apply CAFA’s “Interests of Justice” Exception