659 F.3d 842 (9th Cir. 2011), 11-16862, Washington v. Chimei Innolux Corp.

Docket Nº:11-16862.
Citation:659 F.3d 842
Opinion Judge:THOMAS, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:WASHINGTON State; The People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of the State of California, as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing in the state; The State of California; Alameda County; City of Long Beach; City of Los Angeles; City of Oakland; City of San Diego; City and County of San Francisco;
Attorney:John M. Grenfell and Jacob R. Sorenson; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, San Francisco, CA, for appellant Sharp Corporation. Christopher B. Hockett and Neal A. Potischman; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Menlo Park, CA, for appellant Chimei Innolux Corporation, Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., a...
Judge Panel:Before: SIDNEY R. THOMAS and N. RANDY SMITH, Circuit Judges, and SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., Chief District Judge.[*]
Case Date:October 03, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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659 F.3d 842 (9th Cir. 2011)

WASHINGTON State; The People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of the State of California, as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing in the state; The State of California; Alameda County; City of Long Beach; City of Los Angeles; City of Oakland; City of San Diego; City and County of San Francisco; City of San Jose; Contra Costa County; Corona-Norco Unified School District; Elk Grove Unified School District; Fresno County; Fresno Unified School District; Garden Grove Unified School District; Kern County; Los Angeles County; Los Angeles Unified School District; Oakland Unified School District; Orange County; Sacramento County; San Diego City Unified School District; San Francisco Unified School District; San Joaquin County; San Juan Unified School District; San Mateo County; 18753 Santa Clara County; Santa Barbara County; Sonoma County; Sweetwater Union High School District; Tulare County; Ventura County; The Regents of the University Of California, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

CHIMEI INNOLUX CORP.; Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc.; CMO Japan Co., Ltd.; Epson Imaging Devices Corporation; Hitachi, Ltd.; Hitachi Displays, Ltd.; Hitachi Electronics Devices (USA), Inc.; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.; Samsung Electronics America, Inc.; Sharp Corporation; Sharp Electronics Corporation; Toshiba Corporation; Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc.; Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.; Toshiba Mobile Display Technology Co., Ltd., fka Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd.; Epson Electronics America, Inc., Defendants-Appellants.

No. 11-16862.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

October 3, 2011

Argued and Submitted Sept. 13, 2011.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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John M. Grenfell and Jacob R. Sorenson; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, San Francisco, CA, for appellant Sharp Corporation.

Christopher B. Hockett and Neal A. Potischman; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Menlo Park, CA, for appellant Chimei Innolux Corporation, Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., and CMO Japan Co., Ltd.

Melvin R. Goldman, Stephen P. Freccero, Derek F. Foran, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco, CA, for appellant Epson Imaging Devices Corp. and Epson Electronics America, Inc.

Kent M. Roger and Herman J. Hoying; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, San Francisco, CA, for appellants Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., and Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc.

Simon J. Frankel and Jeffrey M. Davidson, Covington & Burling LLP, San Francisco, CA, for appellants Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., and Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Bijal Vakil, Palo Alto, CA; Christopher M. Curran and Kristen J. McAhren, Washington, D.C., and John H. Chung, New York, NY, White & Case LLP, for appellants Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd., Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., and Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.

Kamala Harris, Attorney General, State of California, and Kathleen E. Foote, Senior Asst. Atty. Gen., Esther H. La, and Adam Miller, Deputy Attorneys General, San Francisco, CA, for appellee Attorney General of the State of California.

Robert M. McKenna, Attorney General, State of Washington, and Jonathan A. Mark, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Brady R. Johnson, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Seattle, WA, for appellee Attorney General of Washington.

Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, State of Idaho, and Brett T. DeLange, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, ID, for amicus curiae States of Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Susan Illston, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. Nos. 3:10-cv-05212-SI, 3:10-cv-05711-SI.

Before: SIDNEY R. THOMAS and N. RANDY SMITH, Circuit Judges, and SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., Chief District Judge.[*]

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OPINION

THOMAS, Circuit Judge:

This appeal presents the question, inter alia, of whether parens patriae actions filed by state Attorneys General constitute class actions within the meaning of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (" CAFA" ), Pub.L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (codified at 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1453, 1711-15). We conclude that they do not, and we affirm the remand order entered by the district court.

I

The Attorneys General of Washington and California filed parens patriae actions in their states' courts alleging that Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix the prices of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (" TFT-LCD" ) panels, and that state agencies and consumers were injured by paying inflated prices for products containing TFT-LCD panels.

The complaints allege that between 1998 and 2006, Defendants engaged in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels in violation of state antitrust laws, which resulted in higher prices for state agencies and citizens purchasing products containing TFT-LCD panels.1

The Attorney General of Washington, in the name of the state and as parens patriae on behalf of state citizens, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Defendants in state court. The Attorney General's complaint in this litigation alleges violations of the Act and seeks: (1) declaratory and injunctive relief; (2) civil penalties; (3) and damages and restitution " to the State of Washington on behalf of its state agencies and consumers." The consumers are Washington residents who purchased finished products, such as televisions and cell phones, containing TFT-LCD panels.

The Attorney General of California filed a similar complaint in state court, as parens patriae on behalf of California residents. The California Attorney General's complaint alleges statutory violations and unjust enrichment and seeks: (1) declaratory and injunctive relief; (2) civil penalties; and (3) restitution and treble damages for state agencies, municipalities, and California residents who purchased finished products containing TFT-LCD panels.

Defendants removed the California action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and the Washington action to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleging federal jurisdiction under CAFA. Specifically, Defendants alleged that consumers were the real parties in interest for the monetary relief claims, and that therefore the States' parens patriae claims were disguised class actions removable under CAFA.

Both California and Washington moved to remand to their respective state courts, contending that removal under CAFA was improper. The district court granted both States' motions to remand. This timely appeal followed.

We review the question of whether these actions were properly remanded to the State courts from which they were removed de novo. Patel v. Del Taco, Inc., 446 F.3d 996, 998 (9th Cir.2006); Providence Health Plan v. McDowell, 385 F.3d 1168, 1171 (9th Cir.2004). Similarly, we

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review the " construction, interpretation, or applicability" of CAFA de novo. Bush v. Cheaptickets, Inc., 425 F.3d 683, 686 (9th Cir.2005).

II

A federal court has jurisdiction over a civil case initiated in state court and removed by the defendant to federal district court if the case originally could have been brought in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441; Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., 546 U.S. 132, 134, 126 S.Ct. 704, 163 L.Ed.2d 547 (2005).

Congress enacted CAFA to " ‘ curb perceived abuses of the class action device which, in the view of CAFA's proponents, had often been used to litigate multi-state or even national class actions in state courts.’ " United Steel v. Shell Oil Co., 602 F.3d 1087, 1090 (9th Cir.2010) (quoting Tanoh v. Dow Chem. Co., 561 F.3d 945, 952 (9th Cir.2009)). CAFA vests a district court with original jurisdiction over " a class action" where: (1) there are one-hundred or more putative class members; (2) at least one class member is a citizen of a state different from the state of any defendant; and (3) the aggregated amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, exclusive of costs and interest. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2), (5)(B), (6).

CAFA authorizes the removal of class action lawsuits from...

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