Yeazell, pp. 251-259: Removal


The statute that deals with removal from state court to federal court is 28 U.S.C. § 1441.


Notes and Problems


1.     The federal courts don’t have original jurisdiction, so you can’t remove.

2.     The defendant could remove, although they probably wouldn’t need to because the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright matters and the state court will probably dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

3.     This is a classic removal situation under federal question jurisdiction.

4.     If the plaintiff had brought suit in federal court in New Jersey, it would have had jurisdiction, but this case is not removable because under § 1441(b), you can’t remove cases from a state court where the defendant is a citizen of that state.  The New Jersey defendant here is being sued in New Jersey state court, so they can’t remove.

5.     Based on the other clause of § 1441(b), this is removable, because there’s a federal question.  The statute tells us that we don’t care where any of the parties are from or whether they’re from different states as long as we have a federal question in the complaint.

6.     Because the second defendant is a citizen of the state where the suit was brought, we can’t remove under § 1441(b).

7.     It appears that there will be no problem now because the case, or rather, claim can be properly removed.

8.     The actual process of removal is described in 28 U.S.C. § 1446 and defense to removal is in 28 U.S.C. § 1447.


Case: Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis


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