A state AG’s parens patriae action is not a “mass action” under the Class Action Fairness Act

Says the Supreme Court this morning. No surprise there. Here's the first paragraph of Justice Sotomayor's unanimous opinion:

Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA or Act), defendants in civil suits may remove “mass actions” from state to federal court. CAFA defines a “mass action” as “any civil action . . . in which monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly on theground that the plaintiffs’ claims involve common questions of law or fact.” 28 U. S. C. §1332(d)(11)(B)(i). The question presented is whether a suit filed by a State as the sole plaintiff constitutes a “mass action” under CAFA where it includes a claim for restitution based on injuries suffered by the State’s citizens. We hold that it does not. According to CAFA’s plain text, a “mass action” mustinvolve monetary claims brought by 100 or more personswho propose to try those claims jointly as named plaintiffs. Because the State of Mississippi is the only named plaintiff in the instant action, the case must be remanded to state court.

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