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Citibank, N.A. v. Jackson

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

October 10, 2017

CITIBANK, N.A. Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE W. JACKSON, Defendant. GEORGE W. JACKSON, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
HOME DEPOT, USA, INC. and CAROLINA WATER SYSTEMS, INC. Third-Party Defendants.

          ORDER

          GRAHAM C. MULLEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Third-Party Defendant's Motion for Stay of Remand Order Pending Appeal (Doc. No. 45). For the reasons set forth below, this Motion is hereby GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Jackson was sued by Plaintiff Citibank, N.A. to collect an allegedly outstanding debt for a water filtration system purchased by Jackson from Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (“Home Depot”) and Carolina Water Systems, Inc. (“CWS”). Jackson answered and filed a third-party class action complaint, alleging that Home Depot and CWS had a scheme of misleading customers about the alleged dangerousness of their water and subsequently selling them unnecessary water filtration systems.

         Citibank, N.A. voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against Jackson on September 23, 2016, and Home Depot removed the remaining class action lawsuit to federal court on October 12, 2016. On October 28, 2016, Home Depot filed a Motion to Realign the Parties (Doc. No. 14). On November 8, 2016, Jackson filed a Motion to Remand to State Court (Doc. No. 23). This Court granted the Motion to Remand, finding lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and denied the Motion to Realign the Parties on March 21, 2017. Home Depot timely filed a petition for permission to appeal this Court's Remand Order under 28 U.S.C. § 1453 and subsequently filed this Motion for Stay of Remand Order Pending Appeal.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Jurisdiction

         The first issue for the Court is whether it has the authority to stay its remand order when it has previously determined that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case. Ordinarily, when a district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a case, it must be remanded, and such remand is not appealable. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), (d) (2012); Things Remembered, Inc. v. Petrarca, 516 U.S. 124, 127-28 (“As long as a district court's remand is based on . . . lack of subject-matter jurisdiction . . . a court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to entertain an appeal of the remand order under § 1447(d).”).

         However, 28 U.S.C. § 1453(c) carves out a limited exception to § 1447(d), allowing courts of appeals to accept an appeal from a district court order granting or denying a motion to remand a class action if application is made to the court of appeals within ten days of the remand order. Other courts addressing this issue have exercised limited jurisdiction over motions to stay remand orders on the basis of the § 1453(c) exception. See, e.g., Manier v. Medtech Products, Inc., 29 F.Supp.3d. 1284, 1287 (S.D. Cal. 2014) (“The Court finds that it is appropriate for the Court to address a motion to stay pending appeal of a remand order as Congress has specifically allowed these remand orders to be appealable.”); W.Va. ex rel. Morrisey v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 3:13-2546, 2013 WL 12182097 at *1 (S.D. W.Va. June 16, 2013) (assuming, without deciding, the existence of jurisdiction); Dalton v. Walgreen Co., No. 4:13cv603, 2013 WL 2367837 at *1 (E.D. Mo. May 29, 2013) (“To hold that a district court lacks the limited jurisdiction to stay its remand order in a CAFA case would render the statutory right to appeal a CAFA remand order hollow.”); Lafalier v. Cinnabar Serv. Co., 2010 WL 1816377 at *1 (N.D. Okla. Apr. 30, 2010) (“The Court finds that it has the limited authority to reopen this case and stay its remand order, because appellate review of the Court's remand order is not barred by § 1447(d).”).

         Here, Home Depot filed its petition for review under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) with the Fourth Circuit on March 31, 2017, within the statutory time frame. Given that Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a)(1) requires litigants to first seek a motion to stay in district court for any appealable order and the Remand Order in this case is appealable, this Court finds that it has the limited jurisdiction to rule on Home Depot's Motion for Stay.

         B. Standard of Review

         A judicial stay pending appellate review is “an exercise of judicial discretion, and the propriety of its issue is dependent upon the circumstances of the particular case.” Niken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433 (2009) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “The party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion.” Id. at 434.

         There are four factors a court must consider in deciding whether or not to grant a stay: “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987). The first two factors are the “most critical.” Niken, 556 U.S. at 434.

         C. ...


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