Mississippi brought six parens patriae actions alleging inappropriate charges for credit card “ancillary services” in violation of state law. Defendants removed under CAFA and on the ground of complete preemption, and the district court denied remand. Hood v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Dec. 2, 2013). The Fifth Circuit reversed. As to CAFA, it found that defendants (who have the burden) did not establish that any plaintiff had a claim of $75,000 – especially when Mississippi offered evidence that the average yearly charge at issue was around $100. The Court also observed that the defendants likely had similar information in their records. The Court acknowledged that federal usury laws have the effect of complete preemption, but found that the charges at issue in these cases could not be characterized as “interest” within the meaning of those laws.
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