• Adversaries Find Common Ground in Seeking En Banc Rehearing of Eleventh Circuit's Recent CAFA Decision
  • August 27, 2010
  • Law Firm: Hunton Williams LLP - Richmond Office
  • As previously reported here, in July the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision taking a novel approach to jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.  In Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, Inc., the Court found that in addition to the requirements expressly set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), at least one member of a class must allege an individual amount in controversy in excess of $75,000 for original jurisdiction to exist under CAFA.

    In an unusual occurrence, both the appellants and the appellees have now petitioned for rehearing en banc, on the same ground:  that CAFA does not require any single plaintiff to allege an amount in controversy in excess of the jurisdictional minimum set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).  As the plaintiff-appellees point out, the Court’s decision seems to conflate the requirements CAFA imposes on a class action with those CAFA imposes on a “mass action” as defined in 1332(d)(11).  And as the defendant-appellant points out, the decision seems to conflict with both the legislative history and with precedent.

    It remains to be seen whether the Court of Appeals will be swayed by the appellant’s and appellees’ rare show of unity in both requesting rehearing en banc on the same grounds.