Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, Docket No. 15-1439

Securities: Jurisdiction: Class actions: Removal (state to federal):

This case presents two questions about the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA), 112 Stat. 3227. First, did SLUSA strip state courts of jurisdic­tion over class actions alleging violations of only the Secu­rities Act of 1933 (1933 Act), 48 Stat. 74, as amended, 15 U. S. C. §77a et seq.? And second, even if not, did SLUSA empower defendants to remove such actions from state to federal court? We answer both questions no.

The petitioners in this case are Cyan, a telecommunica­tions company, and its officers and directors (together, Cyan). The respondents are three pension funds and an individual (together, Investors) who purchased shares of Cyan stock in an initial public offering.

(…) Complaint alleges that Cyan’s offering documents con­tained material misstatements, in violation of the 1933 Act. It does not assert any claims based on state law.

We granted Cyan’s petition for certiorari, 581 U. S. ___ (2017), to resolve a split among state and federal courts about whether SLUSA deprived state courts of jurisdiction over “covered class actions” asserting only 1933 Act claims.

(…) By its terms, §77v(a)’s “except clause” does nothing to deprive state courts of their jurisdiction to decide class actions brought under the 1933 Act. And Cyan’s various appeals to SLUSA’s purposes and legislative history fail to overcome the clear statutory language. The statute says what it says—or perhaps better put here, does not say what it does not say. State-court jurisdiction over 1933 Act claims thus continues undisturbed.

(…) This Court has emphasized that SLUSA’s operative provisions (including its state-law class-action bar, see §77p(b)) apply to only “transactions in covered securities”: The statute “ex­presses no concern” with “transactions in uncovered securities”—precisely because they are not traded on national markets. Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, 571 U. S. 377, ___ (2014) (slip. op., at 9) (…) Those securities, the Court explained, are “primarily of state concern,” and SLUSA “maintains state legal authority” to address them. Chadbourne, 571 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 13).

(…) The 1934 Act regulates all trading of securities whereas the 1933 Act addresses only securities offerings. See Blue Chip Stamps, 421 U. S., at 752 (characterizing the 1933 Act as “a far narrower statute”).

(U.S.S.C., March 20, 2018, Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, Docket No. 15-1439, J. Kagan, unanimous)

SLUSA ne retire nullement la compétence des cours des états de connaître des actions de classe n'invoquant que la violation de la loi de 1933 (Securities Act of 1933).

En outre, SLUSA ne confère pas à la défenderesse le droit d'obtenir le transfert de la procédure en faveur d'une cour fédérale.

En l'espèce, la demande alléguait que l'offre publique initiale de papiers-valeurs contenait des indications matérielles de nature à induire l'investisseur en erreur, en violation de la loi de 1933. La demande ne formulait pas de prétentions basées sur le droit étatique.

(Le cadre de la loi de 1933 (ne réglemente que les offres publiques) est plus restreint que celui de la loi de 1934 (règlemente aussi les transactions postérieures à l'offre publique initiale)).

(SLUSA ne s'applique pas aux papiers-valeurs qui ne sont pas échangés sur le marché national, c'est le droit des états qui s'applique ici).

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