282 F.3d 1005 (8th Cir. 2000), 99-3064, Canady v Allstate Insurance Co.

Docket Nº:99-3064, 99-3193, 99-3197
Citation:282 F.3d 1005
Party Name:CYNTHIA E. CANADY, MARVA JEAN SAUNDERS, BOTH PARTIES INDIVIDUALLY AND REPRESENTING A CLASS OF SIMILARLY SITUATED PERSONS; MISCHELLE A. GREER; JIMMY D. HUNT; TAMARA A. HUNT; KIM Y. NICKERSON; ESTHER E. MOTEN; KERRY L. BUTLER; NADINE FARRIS; CHARLES LOCKRIDGE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS. COLEMAN MCCLAIN; EVALIN MCCLAIN; JOHN HAMMONDS; ALMA HAMMONDS; SARA
Case Date:March 13, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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282 F.3d 1005 (8th Cir. 2000)

CYNTHIA E. CANADY, MARVA JEAN SAUNDERS, BOTH PARTIES INDIVIDUALLY AND REPRESENTING A CLASS OF SIMILARLY SITUATED PERSONS; MISCHELLE A. GREER; JIMMY D. HUNT; TAMARA A. HUNT; KIM Y. NICKERSON; ESTHER E. MOTEN; KERRY L. BUTLER; NADINE FARRIS; CHARLES LOCKRIDGE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS.

COLEMAN MCCLAIN; EVALIN MCCLAIN; JOHN HAMMONDS; ALMA HAMMONDS; SARA KENNER; CLARENCE KENNER, INTERVENOR PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS.

v.

ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN ECONOMY INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN STATES INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN STATES PREFERRED INSURANCE COMPANY; FARM BUREAU TOWN AND COUNTRY INSURANCE COMPANY; FARMERS & MERCHANTS INSURANCE COMPANY; FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE; FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY; FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY; LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; MID-CENTURY INSURANCE COMPANY; PACIFIC INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES. PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT. SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY; SHELTER GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY; SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, VIGILANT INSURANCE COMPANY; OLD RELIABLE INSURANCE COMPANY; SEA INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA; SUN INSURANCE OFFICE OF AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.

MARVA JEAN SAUNDERS; CYNTHIA E. CANADY; MISCHELLE A. GREER; COLEMAN DOUGLAS MCCLAIN; EVALIN ELAINE MCCLAIN; KERRY L. BUTLER; KIM YVETTE NICKERSON; TAMARA A. HUNT; JOHN HENRY HAMMONDS; ESTHER ELAINE MOTEN, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

FARM BUREAU TOWN AND COUNTRY INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.

PRUDENTIAL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT.

LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA; AMERICAN ECONOMY INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN STATES PREFERRED INSURANCE COMPANY; FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY; PACIFIC INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY; VIGILANT INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.

MARVA JEAN SAUNDERS; CYNTHIA E. CANADY; MISCHELLE A. GREER; COLEMAN DOUGLAS MCCLAIN; EVALIN ELAINE MCCLAIN; KERRY L. BUTLER; KIM YVETTE NICKERSON; TAMARA A. HUNT; JOHN HENRY HAMMONDS; ESTHER ELAINE MOTEN,

v.

ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY; AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE; FIRE INSURANCE EXCHANGE; MID-CENTURY INSURANCE COMPANY; SHELTER GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY; SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY; STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.

Nos. 99-3064, 99-3193, 99-3197

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 13, 2000

March 8, 2002

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

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Before McMILLIAN and Heaney, Circuit Judges, and Bogue,1 District Judge.

McMILLIAN, Circuit Judge.

This matter began in 1996 with a class action complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri by a group of homeowners in minority neighborhoods seeking federal class action certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The original plaintiffs alleged that several insurance companies had violated the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, and 1871, 42 U.S.C. § § 1981, 1982 and 1985(3), and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., by engaging in discriminatory redlining practices.2 See Canady v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 96-0174 (W.D. Mo. June 19, 1997) (Canady I) (Gaitan, J.), aff'd, 162 F.3d 1163 (1998) (per curiam), cert. denied, 119 S.Ct. 871 (1999). The district court denied class certification, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed. See Canady v. Allstate Ins. Co., 162 F.3d 1163 (1998) (per curiam) [hereinafter "Canady I Appeal"]. Essentially the same group of homeowners [hereinafter "appellants"], in various combinations, subsequently filed related litigation in both federal and Missouri state court.

On the present appeal, one of the original defendants moved to enjoin appellants from relitigating in Missouri state court certain issues previously decided by this court. The United States District Court3 for the Western District of Missouri issued a final order in favor of the insurance companies, permanently enjoining appellants from prosecuting any action against multiple, unrelated defendants in any court based upon the same allegations as those raised in the prior district court ruling on the matter. See Canady v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 96-0174 (W.D. Mo. June 24, 1999) (Canady II). As a consequence of the injunction, the district court dismissed two state court cases with prejudice and denied all pending federal motions as moot. See Saunders v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 99-0137 Page 1011

(W.D. Mo. June 28, 1999); Saunders v. Farm Bureau Town & Country Ins. Co., No. 99-0139 (W.D. Mo. June 28, 1999).

For reversal, appellants argue that the district court (1) violated the Anti-Injunction Act by enjoining prosecution of state law claims in state court arising from the same issues as a case dismissed without prejudice in federal court, (2) violated the All Writs Act by enjoining prosecution of state law claims in state court when the risk of harm to appellants outweighed the risk of harm to appellees, and (3) erred in exercising federal subject matter jurisdiction over a class action complaint based strictly on state law claims, with non-diverse parties, and seeking damages below the jurisdictional minimum of $75,000. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the order of the district court.

Background

On February 14, 1996, sixteen individual plaintiffs brought a class action against twenty-three insurance companies in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, seeking class action certification for their claims pursuant to the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, and 1871, 42 U.S.C. § § 1981, 1982 and 1985(3), and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. These plaintiffs alleged that the insurance companies discriminated against a class of homeowners in minority neighborhoods by their redlining practices, which damaged the homeowners indirectly by making homeowners' insurance either unavailable, prohibitively expensive, or qualitatively worse for houses located in "high risk" minority neighborhoods, which resulted in lower property values for homes located in those neighborhoods.

On June 19, 1997, after three months of discovery, the district court denied the motion for class certification on the grounds that (1) the proposed class definition of "neighborhood" as measured by postal zip code was overbroad, because no evidence indicated that every person living in a predominantly minority zip code suffered injury in fact; (2) the claims failed to fulfill the commonality and typicality requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), because there was no single defendant or several defendants acting in concert; and (3) plaintiffs did not have standing to bring suit against multiple, unrelated insurance companies in the absence of an alleged conspiracy. See Canady I. The district court dismissed the complaint without prejudice, leaving each individual plaintiff in the proposed class free to refile against each defendant or defendants with whom he or she could assert direct injuries.

The Canady I plaintiffs appealed, and this court affirmed the district court's dismissal of their complaint on July 6, 1998. See Canady I Appeal, 162 F.3d at 1163. In August 1997, several of the original plaintiffs, in various combinations, filed ten new similar class action complaints in federal court against individual insurance companies or groups of related insurance companies. These complaints asserted essentially the same claims as in Canady I4 and were stayed pending the outcome of this appeal.5

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On January 19, 1999, ten of the original plaintiffs from Canady I filed two new class actions in Missouri state court, see Saunders v. Allstate Ins. Co., et al., No. 99-CV-0632 (Mo. Cir. Ct. Jackson County filed Jan. 19, 1999) (class action petition); Saunders v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co., et al., No. 99-CV-0633 (Mo. Cir. Ct. Jackson County filed Jan. 19, 1999) (class action petition) (collectively "Saunders"), based on the same factual allegations as Canady I, but only alleging violations of the Missouri Human Rights Act, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 213.040 et seq. These plaintiffs are the appellants in the present appeal. Each action named nine defendants from the Canady I action, totaling eighteen different defendants, with one non-diverse defendant in each action. The defendants immediately removed the two state actions to federal court on the basis of diversity, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). Each defendant filed motions to sever appellants' claims against them from those against the other defendants and to consolidate the severed claims with their respective claims in the ten refiled actions of August 1997 currently pending in federal court. Appellants then filed a motion to remand the removed actions to state court, and declined to respond to the motions to sever and consolidate on the ground that the federal court lacked jurisdiction to rule on those motions.

On February 15, 1999, appellee Liberty Mutual Insurance Company filed a motion in federal court to permanently enjoin appellants from proceeding in a state court action against it pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, on the ground that appellants cannot prosecute claims that were already adjudicated and conclusively rejected in this court's prior ruling in Canady...

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