Isaac Leon


Prior to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), diversity jurisdiction was the manner used by defendants to remove class action lawsuits to federal court. However, class action plaintiffs were able to overcome federal jurisdiction and remain in certain state courts that were thought to provide certain advantages. Due to this perceived threat of abuse of this procedural vehicle, Congress sought to expand federal jurisdiction for class action lawsuits that may affect interstate commerce and national policy. Generally speaking, CAFA provided federal courts subject matter jurisdiction over class action lawsuits where the amount-in-controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and there is minimal diversity among the proposed class members and defendants. This new amount-in-controversy threshold has been the source of much dispute among litigants. While the Supreme Court of the United States sought to clarify the standard of proof a removing defendant must satisfy in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, nonetheless, an amount-in-controversy dispute still arose in the Tenth Circuit. In Hammond v. Stamps.com, the Tenth Circuit disallowed a remand back to state court. In doing so, it allowed Stamps.com to withhold data relevant to determining who the putative class may encompass. After determining that amount-in-controversy disputes create evidentiary problems at such an early stage of litigation, this Note argues that limited discovery on the narrow issue should have been implemented.

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