Reyes v. Dollar Tree Stores

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-01-2015
  • Case #: 15-55176
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Hurwitz for the Court; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

Subject matter will exist when a state court's class certification creates a new occasion for removal and permits a second removal, which is timely if filed within thirty days of the class certification.

Richard Reyes filed an action against Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”) for denying employees rest breaks. Dollar Tree removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") in December 2012. Reyes moved for remand, contending the amount in controversy was not greater than $5,000,000, and therefore insufficient to establish jurisdiction. The district court granted the motion to remand based on its finding that the amount in controversy was insufficient due to the limiting language of the putative class within the complaint. In 2004, a broader class was certified by a California superior court, which increased the amount in controversy to greater than $5,000,000. Dollar Tree removed following the certification, but the district court found the removal to be untimely because it included an identical definition of the classes that were subject to the initial removal. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that “[b]ecause Dollar Tree offer[ed] an ‘unchallenged, plausible assertion’ that the jurisdictional requirements of CAFA are met, the district court has subject-matter jurisdiction.” The panel also held that the second removal was timely because it was filed within thirty days of the case becoming removable. REVERSED and REMANDED with Instructions.

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