210 F.3d 384 (9th Cir. 2000), 98-15953, National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees v. Southland Corp.
|Citation:||210 F.3d 384|
|Party Name:||NATIONAL COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES; Joseph Saraceno; Joseph Galea; Tariq Khan, Plaintiffs, 7-ELEVEN OWNERS; Gene Villagrana; Candace Alberts; Gary Tucker, Intervenors, Ginger WATSON; Ray Riggers, Objectors-Appellants, v. THE SOUTHLAND CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee.|
|Case Date:||January 20, 2000|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
D.C. No. CV-95-00207-CW
This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)
Argued and Submitted Nov. 3, 1999.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, District Judge, Presiding.
Before HUG, Chief Judge, WARDLAW, Circuit Judge, and TEVRIZIAN, 2 District Judge.
This is an appeal from an order approving a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by franchisees of 7-Eleven convenience stores against the Southland Corporation ("Southland"). Appellants Ginger Watson and Ray Riggers, class members who object to the settlement ("Objectors"), argue that the district court abused its discretion by approving the settlement. We have jurisdiction to review the final order of the district court under 28 U.S.C.§ 1291, and we affirm. Because the parties are familiar with the factual and procedural history of the case, we will not repeat it here except as necessary to explain the disposition.
I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Plaintiffs allege subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) due to diversity of citizenship and because the amount in controversy for each member of the class exceeds $50,000, the applicable jurisdictional minimum. 3 When a claim is made in good faith, "[i]t must appear to a legal certainty that the claim is really for less than the jurisdictional amount" to justify dismissal. Budget Rent-A-Car, Inc. v. Higashiguchi, 109 F.3d 1471, 1473 (9th Cir.1997) (alteration in original) (quoting St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 289 (1938) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Here it appears that the disputed release provision in the 7-Eleven franchise agreement could undermine the value of each class member's franchise by a sufficient amount to meet the $50,000 minimum requirement. Plaintiffs also properly allege complete diversity of citizenship. Therefore, we are satisfied that the district court had diversity jurisdiction over this action. See Blue Ridge Ins. Co. v. Stanewich, 142 F.3d 1145, 1148 (9th Cir.1998).
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