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Removal refers to the power of defendants in some state civil suits to move a case to federal court. Generally, if the case could have been brought in federal court (i.e., there is federal question jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction), a defendant may demand that the case be moved, or “removed,” to federal court under 28 USC 1441

Despite this general rule, there are exceptions where removal is not permitted. See 28 USC 1441(b)28 USC 1445. For example, under 28 USC 1441(b), removal is restricted in cases involving certain in-state defendants. 28 USC 1445 outlines specific types of cases, such as workers’ compensation claims, that cannot be removed to federal court.

Conversely, there are particular instances where removal is allowed even if the typical jurisdictional requirements are not met. See 28 USC 144228 USC 1443. For instance, 28 USC 1442 permits removal for federal officers or agencies that are sued or prosecuted, and 28 USC 1443 allows for removal in cases involving civil rights violations.

Removal can also refer to the process of taking a public official out of office, often through legal or legislative means, due to misconduct, incapacity, or other reasons deemed sufficient by the governing laws or regulations.

[Last updated in June of 2024 by the Wex Definitions Team]