Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 11th Circuit Creates A Removable Feast?


Continuing with our literary theme, today is Ernest Hemingway's birthday!

Also, the 11th Circuit really went astray with its latest CAFA ruling:
We hold that in a CAFA action originally filed in federal court, at least one of the plaintiffs must allege an amount in controversy that satisfies the current congressional requirement for diversity jurisdiction provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Such a conclusion is compelled by the language of § 1332 as well as the general principle that federal courts are tribunals of limited jurisdiction whose power to hear cases must be authorized by the Constitution and by Congress.
I love Judge Tjoflat, and the decision has some surface appeal, but it is almost assuredly wrong.

Although the Court looked for an express statement that section 1332(a) did not apply in CAFA cases and could not find it, there is also nothing stating that the requirements of (a) do apply.

Further, there is no reasoned basis for restricting the result to original jurisdiction cases as opposed to removed cases. Thus, removed cases presumably must meet the same requirements as a class case with "original jurisdiction."

Finally, the citation to the Ninth Circuit case (Abrego) is inapposite, as that case involved a "mass" action, not a "class" action. CAFA expressly restricts removal jurisdiction for mass actions to those plaintiffs who meet the $75k requirement.

But doesn't the contrast between that explicit reference and the silence in the provisions relating to class actions indicate that the 11th Circuit got this one severely wrong?

I'm gonna go re-read Papa's Death in the Afternoon again.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

judicial activism.... from the conservative side of things. judge T doesn't want these cases in fed court. he thinks they are above them. and he may be right. But that is not what congress thought (many of them republicans) in cafa. Why have cafa if the 75k threshold was still an issue. they knew that!

Anonymous said...

My vote for worst opinion of the year. A middle finger in the face of a Congressional mandate.

Anonymous said...

SFL: Excellent riff on the title "Movable Feast". Homerun.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Thanks. The opinion is a head scratcher.

Christopher said...

Tjoflat, whom I do not love, is a raging idiot and egomaniac and has had his hand in some of the worst, most baffling opinions in the country.