In Preston v. Tenet Healthsystems Memorial Medical Center, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (5th Cir. Apr. 25, 2007), the Fifth Circuit examined the term "citizen" for purposes of CAFA's "home state" and "local controversy" exceptions: "The underlying facts of this lawsuit and the reason for the parties contesting the citizenship issue emanate from a common origin of circumstances: the unmerciful devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina." Slip op. at 18.
The Fifth Circuit talked at length about the kinds of evidence that can be used to prove citizenship for CAFA purposes. It then affirmed the district court's remand order:
We recognize that Congress crafted CAFA to exclude only a narrow category of truly localized controversies, and the exceptions provide a statutory vehicle for the district courts to ferret out the “controversy that uniquely affects a particular locality to the exclusion of all others.” Evans [v. Walter Indust., Inc.], 449 F.3d [1159,] 1164 [(11th Cir. 1996)]. This particular Hurricane Katrina case symbolizes a quintessential example of Congress’ intent to carve-out exceptions to CAFA’s expansive grant of federal jurisdiction when our courts confront a truly localized controversy. Based on the medical records, affidavits, and attending factual circumstances, we determine that the district court did not clearly err in finding that one-third of the class members were citizens of Louisiana at the time of filing suit. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment.
Id. at 30. (Via Decision of the Day.)