District Judge Leonard Wexler
Richins and co-plaintiff Okano were alums of Hofstra University School of Law. Their purported class suit—asserting claims for fraud, misrepresentation and violation of New York General Business Law §349—alleged Hofstra Law’s publication of misleading, deceptive information about graduate employment rates and salaries, allowed the school to inflate tuition rates, damaging plaintiffs and the class. The complaint, alleging only state law causes of action, was removed to federal district court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Noting the requirements for federal diversity jurisdiction under CAFA articulated in Anirudh v. CitiMortgage, district court granted plaintiffs remand. Hofstra Law did not take issue with plaintiffs’ data and mathematical calculations showing that more than two-thirds of the plaintiff class were New York citizens. Further, requirements for mandatory remand under 28 USC §1332(d)(4) were also present. Plaintiffs and the “primary defendants” are New York citizens. Also, the six factors enumerated in 28 USC §1332(d)(3) rendered discretionary remand appropriate. The court observed that even if it had not ordered mandatory remand, it would hold discretionary remand appropriate.