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Supreme Court Permits Removal under CAFA Without Proof of Amount in Controversy

— December 17, 2014

The Supreme Court overruled the Tenth Circuit in finding that a petition for removal to the federal courts under  the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005  (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(d)(A)-(C), was sufficient. The Court found that under CAFA, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over class actions if the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, a party seeking removal need only include a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the threshold amount.

@SupremeCourtHaiku summed up the opinion in 140 characters and seventeen syllables.

This decision  may alarm class and mass action attorneys who frequently seek to avoid removal to Federal courts.  However, with Federal courts increasingly dealing with complex mass tort and class actions, the Federal courts’ willingness to provide accessibility to information and electronic filing through PACER and CM/ECF, and the wide availability of applicable Federal and local rules, the Supreme Court’s finding is not surprising. Indeed, in reviewing the orders coming out of the JPML’s December hearings, it is interesting to note the willingness of Plaintiffs to consolidation into MDLs in the Federal courts, and the opposition by certain Defendants.


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