- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
- Date Filed: May 28, 2019
- Case #: 17-1471
- Judge(s)/Court Below: THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and GORSUCH and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner, a third-party counterclaim defendant in a state civil class action suit, removed the matter to federal court, under 28 U. S. C. §§1332, 1441, 1446, and Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) §1453. Respondent moved to remand to state court, arguing that precedent barred removal by a third-party defendant. The District Court granted Respondent’s motion, holding circuit court precedent does not allow third-party removal. Petitioner appealed. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that neither §1441(a) nor §1453(b) removal provisions allow Petitioner to remove the class-action claims. Petitioner sought certiorari, arguing that §1441(a) and §1453(b) allowed “any defendant” to remove a matter to federal court under §1332 diversity jurisdiction. U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, finding that neither §1441(a) or §1453(b) removal provisions allow a third-party defendant to remove a matter to federal court. The Court reasoned that §1441(a) provides that any civil action where a federal court has “original jurisdiction” may be removed to federal court by “the defendant or the defendants;” and, that §1453(b) provides that class actions may be removed to federal court by “any defendant without the consent of all defendants.” The Court defined the term “defendant” to refer only to a party sued by an original plaintiff. AFFIRMED.