This Comment explores whether lawsuits brought by state attorneys general on behalf of state citizens, often called parens patriae actions, can be removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). To be removable under CAFA, a parens patriae action must be either a class action or a mass action as CAFA defines these terms. Even if the action is a mass action, it may fall within a mass action exception for actions brought on behalf of the general public, in which case CAFA would not provide federal courts with jurisdiction. Given that CAFA defines a class action as “any civil action filed under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or similar State statute or rule of judicial procedure,” there is little dispute that CAFA applies when an attorney general brings a class action under a state’s normal class action procedures. This Comment focuses on attorney general lawsuits brought directly under other state statutes or under an attorney general’s common law authority.
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