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Beware The Allure Of A Federal Forum

Mocek v. AllSaints
Attorney’s fees granted – AllSaints allegedly printed the first six and last four digits of plaintiff’s credit card number on her receipt. Plaintiff filed suit in Cook County court, and AllSaints moved to have the case removed to federal court. Upon removal, AllSaints filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (no concrete harm under Spokeo). Plaintiff countered with a motion to remand and a request for attorney’s fees.

The court found the case never belonged in federal court, and both parties’ motions agreed on this point. Therefore, as all were in agreement the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, no Article III analysis was necessary, and a remand to state court was in order.

On plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees, the court found defendant’s strategy of asserting – then immediately disavowing – federal jurisdiction unnecessarily prolonged the proceedings. With both sides arguing against federal jurisdiction, it should have been obvious to defendant the only possible outcome was a remand to state court. Therefore, defendant lacked an objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal, and plaintiff was entitled to recover the $58,112.50 in attorney’s fees incurred as a result of removal.
[N.D. Ill; 1:16-cv-08484]
jbho: Spokeo doesn’t necessarily make cases go away, it just keeps them out of federal court.

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