about the group
appellate attorneys
docket reports
oral arguments
news on
11 February 2010

Seventh Circuit Sides with Eleventh Circuit, Rules that Federal Jurisdiction Under the Class Action Fairness Act Is Not Dependent on Class Certification

In Cunningham Charter Corp. v. Learjet, Inc., __ F. 3d __, 2010 WL 199627 (7th Cir. Jan. 22, 2010), the Seventh Circuit has ruled that federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(5), does not depend on whether the class is certified. In so holding, the Seventh Circuit joins the Eleventh Circuit’s view in Vega v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 564 F.3d 1256 (2009), and tacitly rejects the Second Circuit’s position in County of Nassau v., 577 F.3d 89 (2d Cir. 2009).

In Cunningham, the Seventh Circuit panel reversed a district court’s order remanding a putative class action to state court. The district court had reasoned that its denial of the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification eliminated federal jurisdiction under CAFA. In an opinion authored by Judge Posner, the panel explained that such a remand would run afoul of “the general principle that jurisdiction once properly invoked is not lost by developments after a suit is filed.” The panel noted, however, that if the plaintiff’s class allegations were completely frivolous, the district court could remand on that ground. 

When the class allegations are not frivolous, however, the panel explained that remand could undermine the policies underlying CAFA. If, after remand, the state court were to grant a renewed motion to certify the class, Congress’s intent to have such lawsuits proceed in federal court under the federal rules would be undermined. To be sure, if the state court were to certify a class, the case would then become removable under CAFA. But because “litigation is not ping-pong,” the panel reasoned that retaining federal jurisdiction over these cases is more efficient than shuttling them back and forth between state and federal court.  

For inquiries related to this alert, please contact its authors, Evan Tager, Archis Parasharami, or Kevin Ranlett.

Learn more about our Consumer Litigation & Class Actions practice, or contact John Nadolenco, Lucia Nale, or Archis Parasharami.

Learn more about our Supreme Court & Appellate practice, or contact Lauren Goldman, Jeffrey Sarles, or Evan Tager.

[ Go Back ]

© 2015. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved. --  Legal Notices | Attorney Advertising

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the “Mayer Brown Practices”). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. “Mayer Brown” and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.