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Burgess v. Universal City Development Partners, Ltd.

Plaintiff Shaeda Burgess filed a case in Florida state court, and the defendant removed the case to federal district court. The district court then dismissed the case under the “first-filed doctrine,” on the ground that Burgess had earlier invoked federal-question jurisdiction to file a case in the district court raising the same claims against the same defendant and that case was still pending. Burgess, however, had filed the second case in the state court because of substantial doubts over whether her first-filed case was subject to federal jurisdiction—doubts that were confirmed when the court of appeals ruled in Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., 979 F.3d 917 (11th Cir. 2020) (en banc), that allegations substantially identical to Burgess’s are insufficient to establish Article III standing. Under the holding in Muransky, the district court had neither original jurisdiction over the first case nor removal jurisdiction over the second case.

Burgess appealed the dismissal of the second case, and Public Citizen filed an amicus brief supporting her appeal. The brief argues that the district court erred in dismissing the case and should instead have waited until Muransky resolved the issue of standing, and then dismissed the first case and remanded the second to state court. After Public Citizen filed its brief, the appeal was dismissed with consent of both parties.