June 20, 2013 Articles

CAFA Jurisdiction after Class-Certification Denial

Courts appear to be reaching a consensus that denial does not destroy CAFA jurisdiction.

By Matthew Stein and Aaron T. Morris

One of the great mysteries of our time is if a court retains subject-matter jurisdiction conferred by CAFA, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2) (often referred to, including here, as “CAFA jurisdiction”) after class certification is denied or the plaintiff indicates that no class-certification motion will be filed (by withdrawal of the class allegations, or otherwise).

After some disagreement (see Samuel v. Univ. Health Servs., 805 F. Supp. 2d 284, 287 & n.3 (E.D. La. 2011)), courts appear to be reaching a consensus that class-certification denial does not destroy CAFA jurisdiction.  The Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have all reached this conclusion, and no circuit has held the contrary. See Burdette v. Vigindustries, Inc., No. 10-1083-JAR, 2012 WL 5505095, at *2 & n.15 (D. Kan. Nov. 13, 2012); Samuel, 805 F. Supp. 2d at 287; Buetow v. A.L.S. Enters., Inc., 650 F.3d 1178, 1182 n.2 (8th Cir. 2011). This is still an emerging consensus, however, as demonstrated by decisions by courts outside those circuits, which have dismissed or called for briefing on the issue. See Spelman v. Bayer Corp., C/A No. 7:10-91-TMC, slip op. at 11 (D.S.C. Dec. 17, 2012) (stating without analysis that, “[a]s Plaintiff’s motion for class certification is denied, the court no longer has jurisdiction under [CAFA, 28 U.S.C.] § 1332(d)(2)(A),” and dismissing); P.R. Coll. Of Dental Surgeons v. Triple S Mgmt. Inc., — F. Supp. 2d —, 2013 WL 1010684, at **13–14 (D.P.R. Mar. 13, 2013) (denying class certification and ordering the parties “to brief the question whether jurisdiction still exists under CAFA following this order”).

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