Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dustin v. Meridian Financial Services, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

August 31, 2017

SCOTT A. DUSTIN, Plaintiff,
v.
MERIDIAN FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., a North Carolina Corporation, GREGORY B. SHEPERD, President, VICTORIA KINCKE, Secretary, DANIEL MARCHESONI, Assistant Secretary, WILLIAM L. HARVEY, chairperson of the Board, JOHN GALEA, Treasurer, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for remand (Dkt. No. 3). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons explained herein and DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to remand this case back to Snohomish County Superior Court.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Defendants in this lawsuit are a financial services corporation and its officers (hereafter “Meridian”). On September 20, 2016, Plaintiff Scott Dustin (hereafter “Dustin”) initiated a lawsuit against Meridian for violations of the Washington State Consumer Protection Act. (Dkt. No. 9-1 at 3.) On that day, Dustin served Meridian's registered agent with a summons and complaint. (Dkt. No. 3-1.) At the time of service, the summons and complaint had not been filed in state court. (Dkt. No. 8 at 2.) The summons named the Snohomish County Superior Court as having jurisdiction over the matter and stated:

You may demand that the Plaintiff file this lawsuit with the Court. If you do so, the demand must be in writing and must be served upon the person signing this Summons. Within fourteen (14) days after you serve the demand, the Plaintiff must file this lawsuit with the Court, or the service on you of this Summons and Complaint will be void.

(Dkt. No. 9-1 at 3.)

         Meridian never demanded that Dustin file its complaint in state court. (Dkt. No. 8 at 2.) Over the following months, Dustin and Meridian conducted settlement negotiations. (Id.) On May 18, 2017, Dustin informed Meridian that he would be filing the previously served complaint and summons in Snohomish County Superior Court. (Id. at 3.) On June 13, 2017, Dustin filed the complaint and summons. (Id.) On June 29, 2017, Dustin emailed Meridian a copy of the filed complaint and summons, along with an acceptance of service form. (Id. at 3-4.) Meridian never signed the forms. (Id. at 2.)

         On July 18, 2017, Meridian filed a motion to remove the case to this Court. (Dkt. No. 1.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard for Removal and Remand

         A party to a civil action brought in state court may remove that action to federal court if the district court would have had original jurisdiction at the time of both commencement of the action and removal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); 14B Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3723 (4th ed. 2013). There is a “strong presumption” against removal, and federal jurisdiction “must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir.1992).

         A defendant must remove a lawsuit to federal court within the time limits established by 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). That statute provides:

The notice of removal of a civil action or proceeding shall be filed within thirty days after the receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of the initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon which such action or proceeding is based, or within thirty days after the service of summons upon the defendant if such initial pleading has then been filed in court and is not required to be served on the defendant, whichever period is shorter.

28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), a plaintiff may challenge a motion for removal based on procedural defects, and move to remand a case to state court within 30 days after the filing of the notice of removal. See N. Cal. Dist. Council of Laborers v. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.