Bank’s attempt to avoid CAFA jurisdiction in overdraft class action rejected

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 by Steve Larson

Judge James Lawrence King of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently concluded that the Court had subject-matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) over putative class claims against United Bank, a West Virginia bank, despite the submission of some proof by the defendant that the three exceptions to CAFA applied.  In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 09-MD-2036-JLK (S.D. Fla. July 25, 2012). 

Explaining that Congress intended CAFA jurisdiction to be construed broadly, the court found that the defendant had not met the burden of establishing the citizenship of the putative class, despite the submission of a declaration that 92% of putative class members had West Virginia addresses and census data showing that most West Virginians intended to remain in West Virginia. The court, however, indicated that the issue could be revisited at class certification or summary judgment once additional information was developed.