9th Cir: Remand (Not Dismissal) Proper If Plaintiff Lacks Standing

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In Polo v. Innoventions International, the Ninth Circuit recently issue an opinion requiring district courts to remand, rather than dismiss, cases where the named plaintiff is deemed to lack standing.

The plaintiff had initiated the suit in California state court and alleged four class claims, including a CLRA claim. After removing the case, the defendant sought to “pick off” the named plaintiff by providing her with a full refund. The district court held that as a result, the plaintiff lacked Article III standing, granted summary judgment in defendant’s favor, and dismissed the case.

The Ninth Circuit did not address whether the district court was correct in holding that the refund deprived plaintiff of standing – though the court did drop a footnote suggesting the holding was “questionable.” (Compare Chen v. Allstate Insurance Co.). However, the Ninth Circuit did hold that “upon determining that it lacked jurisdiction, the district court should have remanded the case to state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)” rather than dismissing it. As the court explained:

the district court generally must remand the case to state court, rather than dismiss it. Bruns v. Nat’l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir.

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