On April 7th, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens, a case originating from the Tenth Circuit. In that case, the Court will resolve a circuit split over the pleading standard applicable to determining CAFA removal jurisdiction. The question presented is:
Whether a defendant seeking removal to federal court is required to include evidence supporting federal jurisdiction in the notice of removal, or is alleging the required “short and plain statement of the grounds for removal” enough?
In Dart Cherokee, the lower courts held that the defendant did not satisfy its burden to establish removal jurisdiction under CAFA because, while it alleged the amount in controversy exceeded CAFA’s $5 million dollar floor, it did not attach evidence to its notice of removal to support the allegation.
Our own Paul Karlsgodt described the impact of this case to Law360 this way: “This case will provide another opportunity for the Supreme Court to evaluate barriers to CAFA removal jurisdiction that defendants continue to face in the lower courts, and whether those barriers are reasonable in light of the purposes and plain language of the statute.” We will continue to follow this important case.