The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Timing for CAFA Removal

On an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit held that a defendant may remove a matter to federal court at any time that its own investigation reveals grounds for removal, provided that such grounds were not previously apparent from pleadings or other documents provided by plaintiff.  See Roth v. CHA Medical Center, L.P. (http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0613//13-55771).  Plaintiff contended that the thirty day periods described in 28 U.S.C. section 1446(b)(1) and (b)(3) established the only time periods in which a defendant could remove a class action from state to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).  The decision gives defendants substantial flexibility in deciding when to remove when the grounds for removal are not apparent from the complaint, but rather by defendant's own investigation.