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Copper Sands Homeowners Association, Inc., et al v. Copper Sands Realty

March 16, 2011

COPPER SANDS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COPPER SANDS REALTY, LLC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gloria M. Navarro United States District Judge

ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is Plaintiffs Copper Sands Homeowners Association, et al.‟s Motion to Remand to State Court (ECF No. 23). Defendants Robert Colucci, Copper Sands Realty, LLC, Dario Deluca ("CSR Defendants") filed a Response (ECF No. 39), as did Defendant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. ("Countrywide") (ECF No. 40) on May 21, 2010. Plaintiffs filed their Replies (ECF No. 43 & 44) on June 1, 2010.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs‟ Motion to Remand to State Court (ECF No. 23) is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

This action is based on alleged misconduct in the conversion, sale and financing of a condominium project. Plaintiffs are unit owners of the condominium project, and their ‟s association. The developer of the condominiums was Defendant Copper Sands Realty, LLC, which was managed by Defendants Robert Colucci and Dario Deluca. The Second Amended Complaint names 31defendants in total who were involved in some aspect of the conversion of the property including, the sale and financing of the condominiums, the appraisal Countrywide is one of the named defendants added in the Second Amended Complaint. This action was commended in Nevada state court and was removed by Countrywide to this Court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. §1332(d). (ECF

DISCUSSION

Legal Standard

Generally complete diversity is required for class actions. However, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") in 2005 to broaden federal jurisdiction to assure fair and prompt recoveries for class members with legitimate claims; [to] restore the intent of the framers ... by providing for Federal court consideration of interstate cases of national importance under diversity jurisdiction; and [to] benefit society by encouraging innovation and lowering consumer prices." CAFA, Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 5 (2005). Section 1332(d)(2) of CAFA grants district courts original jurisdiction when there are at least 100 class members in all proposed plaintiff classes, the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and there is minimal diversity between the See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2)(a)--(c) and (d)(5)--(6).

While the CAFA broadens federal jurisdiction for class action suits, there are exceptions to the rule. The "local controversy exception" requires a federal court to decline jurisdiction if more than two-thirds of the class members and at least one defendant are "citizens" of that state, and the alleged wrongdoing occurred there; significant relief" is being sought from the local defendant whose alleged conduct forms significant basis" for plaintiffs‟ claims; and no other class action has been filed within the past 3 years on behalf of the same persons against any defendant asserting the same or similar factual allegations. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4)(A).

The "home-state controversy exception" provides that a federal court must also decline jurisdiction over a "minimal diversity" class action if two-thirds or more of the class members and the primary defendants are citizens of the state in which the action originally filed. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4)(B).

Finally, a federal court may decline jurisdiction "in the interest of justice" in cases where more than one-third but less than two-thirds of the proposed class members and the primary defendants are citizens of the state in which the action was originally filed. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(3). In exercising its discretionary abstention, a federal court must (A) whether the claims asserted involve matters of national or interstate interest;

(B) whether the claims asserted will be governed by laws of the State in which the action was originally filed ...


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