DALE DORAN, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiff, Appellant, MICHAEL J. COAKLEY, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated; MARK MORIARITY, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
J. P. NOONAN TRANSPORTATION, INC.; CLANCY TRANSPORTATION, INC.; J. PETER NOONAN, SR.; J. PETER NOONAN, JR.; CHRISTOPHER NOONAN; PAUL NOONAN, Defendants, Appellees.
FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. William G. Young, U.S. District Judge]
A. Cohen, with whom The Basil Law Group, P.C., John A.
Kiernan, Michael D. Chefitz, and Bonner, Kiernan, Trebach
& Crociata, LLP were on brief, for appellant.
Geoffrey P. Wermuth, with whom Kathryn M. Murphy and Murphy,
Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP were on brief, for appellees.
Lynch, Baldock, [*] and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
KAYATTA, Circuit Judge.
district court in this case entered an interlocutory order
dismissing most but not all of plaintiffs' claims. At
plaintiffs' urging, the district court then remanded the
case to the state court from which it was removed. One of the
plaintiffs thereafter filed a notice appealing the remand
order, followed by a brief devoted to challenging the
interlocutory order that dismissed most of his claims. For
the following reasons, our rules and precedent require that
we deem plaintiff's right to embark on this appellate
recite the facts of this case briefly, drawing primarily from
the undisputed facts contained in the record and
plaintiff's opening brief.
Dale Doran is a professional truck driver who was previously
employed by defendant J. P. Noonan Transportation, Inc.
("JPN"). JPN is a Massachusetts-based corporation
and federally authorized motor carrier that transports
petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and home
heating oil throughout the northeastern United States. During
his at-will employment for JPN, Doran worked out of JPN's
terminal in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Doran typically drove
fourteen hours per day without taking any paid breaks. Doran
claims that under the terms of an oral contract with JPN, he
was to be paid 30% of the "gross revenue" earned by
the truck each day. From 2009 to 2014, JPN charged a
"fuel surcharge" to many of its customers to
account for "rapidly fluctuating changes" in the
cost of the fuel used by the delivery trucks. Doran delivered
loads for JPN for which JPN charged the fuel surcharge. He
did not receive any portion of these surcharges.
19, 2015, Doran and two other named plaintiffs filed a
putative class action suit against defendants in
Massachusetts Superior Court, raising a variety of statutory
and common law claims. Defendants successfully sought removal
of the suit to the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts pursuant to the removal provision
of the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), 28
U.S.C. § 1453.
February 26, 2016, the district court granted without written
explanation defendants' motion for summary judgment as to
all of plaintiffs' statutory claims and all but one of
plaintiffs' common law claims. Shortly thereafter, the
district court issued an order in which it determined that
"the jurisdictional amount is measured as of the time of
removal, and that '[e]vents subsequent to removal that
reduce the amount in controversy do not divest a federal
court of CAFA jurisdiction.'" Accordingly, the court
concluded that it continued to retain "original
jurisdiction over this action" even though its grant of
partial summary judgment reduced the amount in controversy
below $5, 000, 000. The court went on to conduct a trial on
Doran's remaining common law claim, which resulted in a
jury verdict for JPN.
March 24, 2016, the district court held a status conference.
Noting that it had a "jurisdictional" question, the
court stated that it "had little trouble with how the
Court's jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act
played out against the original scope of [plaintiffs']
complaint because it's a putative class action and
[plaintiffs] had all those [statutory] claims . . . for which
[they] could get attorneys fees and the like." The court
then observed that "most of [plaintiffs' claims]
went by the boards, " but that plaintiffs "have a
right to appeal."
court proceeded to reiterate that it had "no doubt"
not only that it "had jurisdiction over the complaint as
originally crafted, " but also that it "had
supplementary jurisdiction to take the next step and indeed
[it] ha[s] supplementary jurisdiction to follow this thing
through to conclusion." However, the court expressed
concern insofar as the court was "going to have to have
a run-up to ...