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Citizenship under CAFA: Key Recent Decisions From the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits

Client Updates
Within the past year, the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits have interpreted the scope of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005’s (“CAFA”) provisions governing when and how plaintiffs can establish citizenship to invoke the “local controversy” exception to CAFA jurisdiction. In particular, in Mason v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, the Sixth’s Circuit became the first circuit to apply a rebuttable presumption of domicile—and therefore citizenship—based on residency for purposes of CAFA’s local controversy exception. In another key decision, the Ninth Circuit held in Broadway Grill v. Visa that a plaintiff may not amend its complaint after removal for the purpose of defeating CAFA jurisdiction, and joined with other circuits in emphasizing that diversity of citizenship for CAFA purposes is determined by the pleadings at the time of removal. These decisions have significant implications for both plaintiffs and defendants alike.

For a full analysis of the implications of these decisions, click here.


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