In December, we wrote about the recent Supreme Court decision in Owens v. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. In Owens, the Court held that class action defendants need not provide evidentiary submissions in support of their notice of removal of a case from state to federal court. Rather, they need only include in their notices a “plausible allegation” that the amount in controversy exceeds the $5 million jurisdictional threshold set forth in the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).
In so holding, the majority relied on the wording of the removal statute itself, which merely requires a “short and plain statement” setting forth a good-faith basis supporting removal. The Court’s decision thus set forth for corporate class action defendants the minimum requirements their notices of removal must contain. The Court, however, neither held nor addressed whether a “plausible allegation” will sustain the removing defendants’ evidentiary burden of proof where the class action plaintiffs contest whether the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.