Mondragon v. Capital One

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-27-2013
  • Case #: 13-56699
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Clifton for the Court, Circuit Judges Goodwin and Fisher
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Class Action Fairness Act, in order to support a finding that two-thirds of plaintiff class members are actually local state citizens there needs to be actual facts; however, an inference in determining citizenship of a prospective plaintiff class may be adequate so long as the definition of the class limits the class to the state in question.

Jose Mondragon filed a class action against Capital One Auto Finance and Ron Baker Chevrolet in San Diego County Superior Court to remedy supposed violations of the California law relating to automobile finance contract disclosures. Capital One sought removal to the US District Court for the Southern District for California under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), and were successful in their efforts. Quickly thereafter, Mondragon moved to remand the action back to state court via the local controversy exception of CAFA, which allows for actions to be remanded to state court when “greater than two-thirds of the members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate are citizens of the State in which the action was originally filed.” In his motion for remand, Mondragon presented no actual evidence and solely relied on arguing that the court could infer from his proposed class definitions that the action met the requirements of the local controversy exception, which the district court did and ordered remand. Capital One filed this appeal to the remand order. The Ninth Circuit held that in order to support a finding that two-thirds of plaintiff class members are actually local state citizens there needs to be actual facts, however, an inference in determining citizenship of a prospective plaintiff class may be adequate so long as the definition of the class limits the class to the state in question. VACATED and REMANDED.

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