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1.7.5 Forum Selection and CAFA Removal

Chapter 2, infra, discusses the jurisdiction of the state and federal courts over consumer class actions. In many consumer class actions, federal court jurisdiction flows from the alleged violation of a federal statute. The federal diversity statute also applies to class actions when the named plaintiff’s claims exceed $75,000 and there is complete diversity between the named plaintiff(s) and the defendants.90 In addition, under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA),91 federal court jurisdiction exists over most class actions in which any one member of a class (named or not) has diverse citizenship from any one defendant, provided that the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.92 This provision gives plaintiffs access to federal courts for some cases that previously could only have been filed in state court. On the other hand, it also gives defendants new rights to remove certain cases to federal court that previously could not have been removed. The jurisdictional provisions in CAFA are discussed in detail in Chapter 2, infra.93 Section 2.1, infra, discusses the reasons a plaintiff class may prefer to litigate the case in federal court or, alternately, in state court.

Footnotes

  • 90 {88} 28 U.S.C. § 1332. See § 2.3, infra.

  • 91 {89} Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (Feb. 18, 2005), codified at 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1453, 1711–1715.

  • 92 {90} 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).

  • 93 {91} In addition, Public Citizen Litigation Group has published an excellent and detailed summary of CAFA. It is available at www.citizen.org.