Commentary and analysis of which party carries the burden of proof in establishing federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). Congress enacted CAFA in 2005 to create new federal diversity jurisdiction especially for class actions. In order to gain access to federal court, the proponents of a class action must demonstrate diversity of citizenship between the class claimants and the defendants, that there are at least 100 members in the class, and that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). To satisfy these requirements, the proponents needs only to show minimal diversity among the parties, and may aggregate the claimants’ damages to reach the $5 million amount-in-controversy threshold. In addition, the CAFA statutory scheme created new removal jurisdiction for class actions filed in state courts. 28 U.S.C. § 1453. This article discusses the allocation of the burden of proof to establish good federal class action diversity jurisdiction for class action originally filed in federal court under CAFA, and cases removed to federal court under the new CAFA removal provision. Federal district courts have reached conflicting decisions concerning which party carries the burden of proof to establish CAFA jurisdiction.
Linda S. Mullenix, Complex Litigation: CAFA Proof Burdens, National Law Journal, Dec. 19-26, 2005, at 12.