United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO STATE COURT
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is pro se Plaintiff Madiha Miner's
June 5, 2019, notice of removal of her own lawsuit from King
County Superior Court. (See NOR (Dkt. #4).) For the
reasons stated below, the court sua sponte REMANDS
this action to state court.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and “may not
exercise jurisdiction absent a statutory basis.”
Exxon Mobile Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545
U.S. 546, 552 (2005). Further, a federal court has “an
independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter
jurisdiction exists, even when no party challenges it.”
Hertz Corp. v.
559 U.S. 7, 94 (2010). With regard to removed cases, 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c) states, in pertinent part: “If at
any time before final judgment it appears that the district
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
statutes are strictly construed. See Moore-Thomas v.
Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th
Cir. 2009). Section 1441(a) provides:
Except as otherwise expressly provided by Act of congress,
any civil action brought in a State court of which the
district courts on the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the
defendants, to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (italics added). Likewise, Section
A defendant or defendants desiring to remove any
civil action from a State court shall file in the district
court of the United States for the district and division
within which such action is pending a notice of removal
signed pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and containing a short and plain statement of the
grounds for removal, together with a copy of all process,
pleadings, and orders served upon such defendant or
defendants in such action.
28 U.S.C. § 1446 (italics added).
language of the foregoing statutes dictate, only defendants
have the right to remove an action from state court. See
Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S.100,
104-09 (1941) (concluding that Congress intended to limit the
right to remove an action to defendants only and that a suit
containing a counterclaim is not removable by a plaintiff);
In re Walker, 375 F.2d 678, 678 (9th Cir. 1967) (per
curiam) (“No right exists in favor of a person who, as
plaintiff, has filed an action in state court, to cause the
removal of such action to a federal court.”); In re
Hartford Litig. Cases, 642 Fed.Appx. 733, 736 (9th Cir.
2016) (unpublished) (“The [appellants] were
plaintiffs in the state court, and therefore cannot
use the removal statutes they invoke.”) (citing 28
U.S.C. §§ 1441, 1443, 1446).
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) (citing
Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062,
1064 (9th Cir. 1979)). Although a district court may not
remand a case sua sponte for a non-jurisdictional
defect in removal, Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass'n,
Inc. v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1191 (9th
Cir. 2003), both the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit have
referred to the restriction to defendants of the right to
remove a case as jurisdictional, see Shamrock, 313
U.S. at 107 (stating that the restriction to defendants of
the right of removal “indicat[es] the Congressional
purpose to narrow the federal jurisdiction on
removal”); see also In re Walker, 375 F.3d at
678 (affirming the district court's holding that it was
without jurisdiction because the plaintiff did not have the
right to remove its own case under 28 U.S.C. § 1441,
1443, 1446). Accordingly, the court concludes that it lacks
jurisdiction over Ms. Miner's complaint and ORDERS the
case REMANDED to state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
court ORDERS that:
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1447(c) and 1447(d), all
further proceedings in this case are REMANDED to King County
Superior Court in the State of Washington, 2. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c), the Clerk shall mail a certified copy
of the order of remand to the Clerk of the Court for King
County Superior Court, 3. The Clerk shall also transmit the
record herein to the Clerk of the Court for King County
Superior Court, 4. The parties shall file nothing further in
this matter, and instead are instructed to seek any ...