Thursday, January 19, 2006

E.D. Ark. Rejects Argument that Amended Complaint "Commences" Action under CAFA

Per Smith v. Collinsworth,Slip Copy, 2005 WL 3533133 (E.D. Ark. Dec 21, 2005):

The Complaint was filed on October 8, 2004, in the Circuit Court of Saline County, Arkansas, alleging that Plaintiffs represented a class of similarly situated consumers in the State of Arkansas. An Amended Complaint was filed in the same court on September 7, 2005.
. . .
The Amended Complaint added facts and expanded the class, and it eliminated many of the causes of action alleged in the first Complaint.
. . .
State procedural law governs cases originating in state court until they are removed to federal court. [Under] Arkansas procedure . . . an action is commenced when a complaint is filed. In this case, the complaint that "commenced" this action was filed long before CAFA became law.
. . .
Defendants rely on Seventh Circuit cases that hold, if an amended complaint does not relate back to the original complaint, the action may be removed to federal court, even though the original complaint was filed before CAFA was enacted.
. . .
Defendants also argue that the additional facts alleged by Plaintiffs, and the addition of the class members, do not "relate back" to the original complaint under Rule 15(c). Therefore, Defendants contend, the Amended Complaint is removable. I am persuaded by Weekley that, in view of the simple directive in ยง 9 of CAFA, whether an amended complaint relates back is irrelevant. However, even if the relation back analysis applies, Defendants' attempt to remove this action would still fail.


Post a Comment

<< Home