Fund Liquidation Holdings LLC v. Bank of America Corp., No. 19-2719 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Article III is satisfied so long as a party with standing to prosecute the specific claim in question exists at the time the pleading is filed. If that party (the real party in interest) is not named in the complaint, then it must ratify, join, or be substituted into the action within a reasonable time. Only if the real party in interest either fails to materialize or lacks standing itself should the case be dismissed for want of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Two Cayman Islands investment funds filed a class action in 2016, alleging that numerous banks had conspired to manipulate certain benchmark interest rates. A year later, the banks discovered that the two plaintiff funds had been dissolved years earlier, and that the case was actually being prosecuted by a separate entity, Fund Liquidation. Fund Liquidation maintains that it was assigned the dissolved entities' claims, but the district court dismissed the case with prejudice.
The Second Circuit vacated, concluding that although the dissolved funds lacked standing at the time the case was commenced, Article III was nonetheless satisfied because Fund Liquidation, the real party in interest, has had standing at all relevant times and may step into the dissolved entities' shoes without initiating a new action from scratch. The court explained that its precedent and Article III does not require application of the nullity doctrine. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings.