United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is currently before the Court on the Court's own
Order to Show Cause (Dkt. #15) and Petitioner's response
and motion for remand (“Motion for Remand”) (Dkt.
#17). Respondent has not substantively responded. For the
reasons specified below, the Court finds that this matter
should be remanded to the Superior Court of Washington in and
for King County.
7, 2019, Respondent filed a notice of removal in this court,
attaching a Petition for Divorce (Dissolution) that was filed
in 2017 in King County Superior Court. Dkt. #1.
Respondent's notice of removal indicated that he demanded
to have this CLASS ACTION CASE removed to the FEDERAL COURT,
on the grounds of TREASON, THE MOORISH AMERICAN TREATY OF
PEACE & FRIENDSHIP OF 1787 & THE UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTION OF 1789, JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT, HUMAN TRAFFICKING,
RACKETEERING INFLUENCED & CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS
(R.I.C.O.), MONEY LAUNDERING, ANTI TUST [sic], MONOPOLY,
CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, BANK FRAUD, HOME
OWNERS BEING DEFRAUDED-(BY BANKS), FALSE IMPRISONMENT,
FRAUDULENT STATE JUDGES, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, ETHICS IN
GOVERNMENT ACT & PRIVATE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ACT ET
That this case is worth over Five & Million Dollars and
there are too many people to give notices to, by JOINDER and
will need to send notice to all PEOPLE OF THE CLASS ACTION.
Dkt. #1 at 1-2. Respondent subsequently made two
“supplemental” filings in support of his notice
of removal. Dkts. #10 and #11. The filings include a variety
of legal documents from the state-court divorce proceeding
and several other possibly related state court actions.
Id. Beyond that, the Court is unable to discern the
intended purpose of the filings.
that Respondent had not clearly identified a basis supporting
this Court's subject matter jurisdiction, the Court
ordered Respondent to show cause, by June 12, 2019, why the
action should not be remanded. Dkt. #15. On June 5, 2019,
Petitioner responded to the Court's Order to Show Cause
and included her own Motion for Remand. Dkt. #17. Petitioner
noted the Motion for Remand for consideration on June 12,
2019. Id. The Court, however, re-noted
Petitioner's Motion for Remand for June 28, 2019, to
assure that Respondent was afforded a full opportunity to
respond. Dkt. #20. Respondent did not respond to the
Court's Order to Show Cause. Respondent also did not
timely respond to Petitioner's Motion for
Court treats Respondent's failure to respond to the
Motion for Remand as an admission that Petitioner's
motion has merit. LCR 7(b)(2) (“Except for motions for
summary judgment, if a party fails to file papers in
opposition to a motion, such failure may be considered by the
court as an admission that the motion has
merit.”). For this, and the reasons articulated in
the Motion for Remand, the Court will grant the Motion for
also requests that this Court “impose terms.”
Dkt. #17 at 1. The Court will also grant this request. In an
order remanding a case, this Court “may require payment
of just costs and any actual expenses, including attorney
fees, incurred as a result of the removal.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). “Absent unusual circumstances, courts
may award attorney's fees under § 1447(c) only where
the removing party lacked an objectively reasonable basis for
seeking removal.” Martin v. Franklin Capital
Corp., 546 U.S. 132 (2005). In exercising its discretion
to award fees under § 1447(c), this Court must consider
“the desire to deter removals sought for the purpose of
prolonging litigation and imposing costs on the opposing
party, while not undermining Congress' basic decision to
afford defendants a right to remove as a general matter, when
the statutory criteria are satisfied.” See id.
of the considerations highlighted in Martin, the
Court finds an award of costs against Respondent for
Petitioner's expenses in removing this action to be a
necessary or just result under § 1447(c). Respondent
removed this case without any comprehensible basis in law and
has not substantively defended the decision to do so. The
Court cannot guess at Respondent's intent but considering
the facts and the absence of any defense, the removal appears
to be taken in bad faith. Accordingly, Respondent shall pay
to Petitioner the costs associated with defending the action
in this Court.
and having reviewed the motions, briefing, and record in this
matter, the Court finds and ORDERS:
1. Petitioner's Response to Show Cause Order in Support
of Remand and Motion to Remand/Return This Matter to King
County Superior Court (Dkt. #17) is GRANTED.
2. This case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of Washington
in and for King County.
3. Petitioner is entitled to fees and costs under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). No later than fourteen (14) days from
the date of this Order, Petitioner may file a
Supplemental Motion for Attorneys' Fees, noted pursuant
to LCR 7(d), and limited to six (6) pages and supported by
documentary evidence reflecting the amount of fees and costs
sought. Respondent may file a Response addressing only the