Tagged: Burden of Proof on Removal
The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens, to resolve a circuit split over the evidentiary standard for determining removal jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Specifically, the Court will consider “[w]hether a defendant seeking removal to federal court is required to include evidence supporting federal jurisdiction in the notice of removal, or is alleging the required ‘short and plain statement of the grounds for removal’ enough?”
Recently, in South Florida Wellness, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a class action complaint seeking only declaratory relief may be removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), because the class members would be eligible to recover more than $5 million — the “amount in controversy” threshold for federal jurisdiction under CAFA — if such relief were granted. Central to the court’s holding was that the “amount in controversy” is an estimate of the value of what is at stake in the litigation, and not a precise measurement of plaintiffs’ likely recovery. In affirming the removal of a complaint seeking only declaratory relief under CAFA, the Eleventh Circuit offered useful insight on the burden of proof for “amount in controversy” purposes.