Ninth Circuit Court expands period in which defendants can remove a case to federal court

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court's remand to state court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of a wage-and-hour class action when it rejected an interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1) and (b)(3) that says defendants can remove a case to federal court "only during the two thirty-day periods specified in those subsections," which are "thirty days after a complaint has been filed or within that same time frame after plaintiffs provide defendants with a document with facts supporting the removal of the case."

In Amy Roth et al. v. CHA Hollywood Medical Center et al., the Ninth Circuit found that these two time periods "operate as limitations on the right to removal rather than as authorizations to remove" and that they "do not otherwise affect the time during which a defendant may remove" under the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441.

The Ninth Circuit concluded that when 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446 are read together, a defendant may remove a case outside the two thirty-day periods under 28 U.S.C. § 1446 as long as one of the two thirty-day periods is not triggered.  For more, read the full opinion.

Class Action Fairness Act, Federal Class Action Law, Other Jurisdictions