Complex Litigation: CAFA and Retroactivity

Vol. 28 Nat'l L.J. 12 (Oct. 17, 2005)

The University of Texas School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series Number 433

5 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2013

Date Written: October 17, 2005


Commentary and analysis of the problem of retroactive application of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). Congress enacted CAFA in 2005 to create new federal diversity jurisdiction especially for class actions. In order to gain access to federal court, the proponents of a class action must demonstrate diversity of citizenship between the class claimants and the defendants, that there are at least 100 members in the class, and that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). To satisfy these requirements, the proponents needs only to show minimal diversity among the parties, and may aggregate the claimants’ damages to reach the $5 million amount-in-controversy threshold. In addition, the CAFA statutory scheme created new removal jurisdiction for class actions filed in state courts. 28 U.S.C. § 1453. This article discusses the problem created by class actions that plaintiffs filed before enactment of CAFA in 2005, but pending class certification or subsequently amended. The issue centers on the question whether a post-CAFA amendment of a class action complaint commences a new lawsuit which then brings the action within the scope of CAFA’s provisions, rather than pre-existing class action principles in place before 2005.

Keywords: Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, CAFA, CAFA retroactivity, 28 U.S.C. 1332(d), 28 U.S.C. 1453, class certification requirements, amended class complaints

Suggested Citation

Mullenix, Linda S., Complex Litigation: CAFA and Retroactivity (October 17, 2005). Vol. 28 Nat'l L.J. 12 (Oct. 17, 2005). Available at SSRN:

Linda S. Mullenix (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1375 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics