28 U.S. Code § 1441 - Removal of civil actions
Phrases such as “in suits of a civil nature, at law or in equity,” the words “case,” “cause,” “suit,” and the like have been omitted and the words “civil action” substituted in harmony with Rules 2 and 81(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Ambiguous phrases such as “the District Court of the United States for the proper district” have been clarified by the substitution of the phrase “the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending.” (See General Investment Co. v. Lake Shore & M.S. Ry. Co., 1922, 43 S.Ct. 107, 112, 260 U.S. 261, 67 L.Ed. 244 and cases cited therein.)
All the provisions with reference to removal of controversies between citizens of different States because of inability, from prejudice or local influence, to obtain justice, have been discarded. These provisions, born of the bitter sectional feelings engendered by the Civil War and the Reconstruction period, have no place in the jurisprudence of a nation since united by three wars against foreign powers. Indeed, the practice of removal for prejudice or local influence has not been employed much in recent years.
Subsection (c) has been substituted for the provision in section 71 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., “and when in any suit mentioned in this section, there shall be a controversy which is wholly between citizens of different States, and which can be fully determined as between them, then either one or more of the defendants actually interested in such controversy may remove said suit into the district court of the United States.”
This quoted language has occasioned much confusion. The courts have attempted to distinguish between separate and separable controversies, a distinction which is sound in theory but illusory in substance. (See 41 Harv. L. Rev. 1048; 35 Ill. L. Rev. 576.)
Subsection (c) permits the removal of a separate cause of action but not of a separable controversy unless it constitutes a separate and independent claim or cause of action within the original jurisdiction of United States District Courts. In this respect it will somewhat decrease the volume of Federal litigation.
Rules 18, 20, and 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit the most liberal joinder of parties, claims, and remedies in civil actions. Therefore there will be no procedural difficulty occasioned by the removal of the entire action. Conversely, if the court so desires, it may remand to the State court all nonremovable matters.
The provisions of section 71 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with respect to removal of actions under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (U.S.C., 1940 ed., title 45, Railroads, §§ 51–60) and actions against a carrier for loss, damage, or delay to shipments under section 20 of title 49, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Transportation, are incorporated in section 1445 of this title.
2011—Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(1), substituted “Removal of civil actions” for “Actions removable generally” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(2), inserted heading and in text struck out at end “For purposes of removal under this chapter, the citizenship of defendants sued under fictitious names shall be disregarded.”
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(3), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction founded on a claim or right arising under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States shall be removable without regard to the citizenship or residence of the parties. Any other such action shall be removable only if none of the parties in interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(4), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Whenever a separate and independent claim or cause of action within the jurisdiction conferred by section 1331 of this title is joined with one or more otherwise non-removable claims or causes of action, the entire case may be removed and the district court may determine all issues therein, or, in its discretion, may remand all matters in which State law predominates.”
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(5), inserted heading.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(6), inserted heading.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 112–63, § 103(a)(7), inserted heading.
2002—Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 107–273 added subsec. (e), redesignated former subsec. (e) as (f), and substituted “The court to which a civil action is removed under this section” for “The court to which such civil action is removed”.
1991—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–198 struck out comma after “title” and substituted “may” for “may may” before “remand”.
1990—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–650 substituted “within the jurisdiction conferred by section 1331 of this title” for “, which would be removable if sued upon alone” and “may remand all matters in which State law predominates” for “remand all matters not otherwise within its original jurisdiction”.
1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–702 inserted at end “For purposes of removal under this chapter, the citizenship of defendants sued under fictitious names shall be disregarded.”
1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–336 added subsec. (e).
1976—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–583 added subsec. (d).
Amendment by Pub. L. 112–63 effective upon the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on Dec. 7, 2011, and applicable to any action or prosecution commenced on or after such effective date, with provisions for treatment of cases removed to Federal court, see section 105 of Pub. L. 112–63, set out as a note under section 1332 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 107–273 applicable to a civil action if the accident giving rise to the cause of action occurred on or after the 90th day after Nov. 2, 2002, see section 11020(c) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1369 of this title.