Visendi v. Bank of America

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-23-2013
  • Case #: 13-16747
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge M.D. Smith, Jr. for the Court; Circuit Judges D. Nelson and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

A multi-plaintiff lawsuit is subject to removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, and the federal court will retain jurisdiction even if the plaintiffs are misjoined.

Over one hundred named plaintiffs (“Plaintiffs”) brought an action against 25 financial institutions alleging “deceptive mortgage lending and securitization practices.” The Plaintiffs originally brought suit in state court and proposed a joint trial. Bank of America Corporation and Bank of America, N.A. (together “Bank of America”) removed the case to federal court in reliance on the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). After the Plaintiffs amended their complaint, Bank of America moved to dismiss, arguing that the Plaintiffs failed to state a claim. The district court denied Bank of America’s motion to dismiss and remanded the case back to state court after concluding that it lacked jurisdiction under CAFA. Bank of America filed a timely appeal. In support of the district court’s ruling, the Plaintiffs argued on appeal that CAFA was not applicable for a variety of reasons. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court was improper in its ruling because this action was a “prototypical” case subject to removal under CAFA. Because there were more than one hundred named plaintiffs and because the action was originally proposed as a joint trial in state court, this action was properly removed to federal court. The district court’s post-removal decision that the Plaintiffs were not correctly joined was not relevant to the jurisdiction of the court because at the time of removal the Plaintiffs had proposed a joint trial. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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