In Mondragon v. Capital One Auto Finance, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Nov. 27, 2013), the Ninth Circuit considered the "local controversy" exception to federal jurisdiction under CAFA, and reversed the district court's remand order.
This passage is from the introduction:
We conclude that there must ordinarily be facts in evidence to support a finding that two-thirds of putative class members are local state citizens, which is one of the local controversy exception’s requirements, if that question is disputed before the district court. A pure inference regarding the citizenship of prospective class members may be sufficient if the class is defined as limited to citizens of the state in question, but otherwise such a finding should not be based on guesswork. In reaching this conclusion, we join the other circuits that have considered the issue.
Slip op. at 4 (emphasis added). The court held that defining the class as all persons who "purchased a vehicle in California for personal use to be registered in the State of California" was not enough to support an evidentiary inference that two-thirds of the class members were California citizens, as the "local controversy" exception requires. Id. at 8-12. The panel remanded to allow the plaintiff an opportunity to prove, as an evidentiary matter, that the exception applied. Id. at 12-14.
The opinion did not address whether the plaintiff could simply opt to amend the class definition to include only California citizens.