[ Kennedy ]
|Syllabus ||Concurrence |
[ Ginsburg ]
[ Thomas ]
NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
THINGS REMEMBERED, INC., PETITIONER v. ANTHONY
on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the sixth circuit
Respondent commenced this action in March 1992 by filing a four count complaint against Child World, Inc. and Cole National Corporation in the Court of Common Pleas in Summit County, Ohio. The state action charged Child World with failure to pay rent under two commercial leases. The complaint also sought to enforce Cole's guaranty of Child World's performance under the leases. Petitioner is Cole's successor in interest.
On May 6, 1992, Child World filed a Chapter 11 petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. On September 25, 1992, petitioner filed notices of removal in both the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern District of Ohio. Petitioner based its removal on the bankruptcy removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1452(a) (1988 ed.), [n.1] as well as the general federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (1988 ed.). Petitioner also filed a motion in the District Court to transfer venue to the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, so that respondent's guaranty claims could be resolved in the same forum as the underlying lease claims against Child World. Respondent countered by filing motions to remand in the District Court on October 23, 1992, and in the Bankruptcy Court on November 25, 1992.
The District Court consolidated all proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court on March 25, 1993. The Bankruptcy Court held that petitioner's removal was untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1452(a) and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9027 but that the action had been timely removed under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446 (1988 ed.). The Court concluded that removal was proper and that it had jurisdiction over the removed case. The Court then granted petitioner's motion to transfer venue to the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.
Respondent appealed to the District Court in the Northern District of Ohio. The District Court found removal under both §§1441(a) and 1452(a) to be untimely and held that the Bankruptcy Court lacked jurisdiction over the case. The District Court reversed the judgment of the Bankruptcy Court and remanded to that Court for further proceedings consistent with the District Court's
Petitioner appealed the District Court's order to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In an unpublished disposition, the Sixth Circuit held that §§1447(d) and 1452(b) barred appellate review of the District Court's remand order. The Court of Appeals then dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. We granted certiorari, 514 U. S. ___ (1995), and now affirm.
Congress has placed broad restrictions on the power of federal appellate courts to review district court orders remanding removed cases to state court. The general statutory provision governing the reviewability of remand orders is 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d) (1988 ed.). That section provides:
"An order remanding a case to the State court from which it was removed is not reviewable on appeal or otherwise, except that an order remanding a case to the State court from which it was removed pursuant to section 1443 of this title shall be reviewable by appeal or otherwise."
As we explained in Thermtron Products, Inc. v. Hermansdorfer, 423 U.S. 336 (1976), §1447(d) must be read in pari materia with §1447(c), so that only remands based on grounds specified in §1447(c) are immune from review under §1447(d). Id., at 345-346. As long as a district court's remand is based on a timely raised defect in removal procedure or on lack of subject matter jurisdiction--the grounds for remand recognized by §1447(c)--a court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to entertain an appeal of the remand order under §1447(d).
Section 1447(d) bars appellate review of the remand order in this case. As noted, §1447(d) precludes appellate review of any order "remanding a case to the State court from which it was removed." The parties do not dispute that the District Court's order remanded this case to the Ohio state court from which it came. There is also no dispute that the District Court remanded this case on grounds of untimely removal, precisely the type of removal defect contemplated by §1447(c). [n.3] Section 1447(d) thus compels the conclusion that the District Court's order is "not reviewable on appeal or otherwise." See Gravitt v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 430 U.S. 723 (1977) (per curiam).
We reach the same conclusion regardless of whether removal was effected pursuant to §1441(a) or §1452(a). Section 1447(d) applies "not only to remand orders made in suits removed under [the general removal statute], but to orders of remand made in cases removed under any other statutes, as well." United States v. Rice, 327 U.S. 742, 752 (1946) (emphasis added). [n.4] Absent a clear statutory command to the contrary, we assume that Congress is "aware of the universality of th[e] practice" of denying appellate review of remand orders when Congress creates a new ground for removal. Ibid.
There is no express indication in §1452 that Congress intended that statute to be the exclusive provision governing removals and remands in bankruptcy. Nor is there any reason to infer from §1447(d) that Congress intended to exclude bankruptcy cases from its coverage. The fact that §1452 contains its own provision governing certain types of remands in bankruptcy, see §1452(b) (authorizing remand on "any equitable ground" and precluding appellate review of any decision to remand or not to remand on this basis), does not change our conclusion. There is no reason §§1447(d) and 1452 cannot comfortably coexist in the bankruptcy context. We must, therefore, give effect to both. Connecticut Nat. Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249, 253 (1992).
If an order remands a bankruptcy case to state court because of a timely raised defect in removal procedure or lack of subject matter jurisdiction, then a court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to review that order under §1447(d), regardless of whether the case was removed under §1441(a) or §1452(a). The remand at issue falls squarely within §1447(d), and the order is not reviewable on appeal.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is affirmed.
It is so ordered.
1 Section 1452 provides:
"(a) A party may remove any claim or cause of action in a civil action . . . to the district court for the district where such civil action is pending, if such district court has jurisdiction of such claim or cause of action under section 1334 of this title.
"(b) The court to which such claim or cause of action is removed may remand such claim or cause of action on any equitable ground. An order entered under this subsection remanding a claim or cause of action, or a decision to not remand, is not reviewable by appeal or otherwise by the court of appeals . . . or by the Supreme Court . . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1452 (1988 ed. and Supp. V).
2 The District Court's order left the Bankruptcy Court with no option but to remand the case to state court. The parties and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit are in agreement that the District Court's order in this case was equivalent to a remand to state court.
3 Section 1447(c) requires that a motion to remand for a defect in removal procedure be filed within 30 days of removal. Petitioner removed this case to federal court on September 25, 1992. Respondent filed motions to remand in the District Court on October 23, 1992, and in the Bankruptcy Court on November 25, 1992. Respondent's motion to remand filed in the District Court was sufficient to bring this case within the coverage of §1447(c).
4 Rice interpreted the predecessor statute to §1447(d). The current version of §1447(d) is a recodification of the provision reviewed in Rice and is "intended to restate the prior law with respect to remand orders and their reviewability." Thermtron Products, Inc. v. Hermansdorfer, 423 U.S. 336, 349-350 (1976).