What is a removal of my case from state court to federal court?

What is a removal of my case from state court to federal court?

What is a removal of my case from state court to federal court?This is where a state case is moved (“removed”) to federal court.

So the case literally started in state court and now is transferred to federal court.  That’s basically what this means.

This is the right of a defendant who is sued in state court if one of two things has happened.

The first situation is when there’s a federal claim involved.

Let’s say you sue an abusive debt collector under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

Or we sue a collector or original creditor under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) for false credit reporting.

(We also sue credit reporting agencies for false credit reporting under the FCRA.)

Or, for example, we sue debt collectors who blow up your phone with robo calls under the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act).

Maybe we use RESPA laws in a foreclosure case.

Whatever type of case it is, the idea is that a federal claim is connected to the case, which allows for the case to be moved.  Removed to federal court by the defendant.  This is known as a “federal question” jurisdiction.

(Jurisdiction simply means power of the court to hear the case).

The second is if the case as “complete diversity.”

You may be wondering, “What does this mean?”

Well, it means that you line up the case and see that there are no connecting states between the Plaintiff and Defendant.

As long as the debt is over $75,000, it can be removed to federal court.

An example:  You sue Equifax for $450,000.  You live in Alabama.  Equifax is a Georgia corporation.

There is no overlap between your state (Alabama) and the state of Equifax (Georgia).  So we have “complete diversity” of states.

And the amount is over $75,000 so the case can be removed to federal court.

(One final point, a corporation is normally a “resident” of potentially two different states.  One, where it is incorporated.  Second, where it has its principal place of business).

What is the reasoning behind this?

Well, it makes sense that, if you’re sued under a federal law, that the defendant should have the choice to be heard by a federal judge.

What about this whole complete diversity concept?

The idea is that, as long as complete diversity and $75,000 or more are involved, the defendant can remove your case to federal court.  The reasoning is the defendant who is sued in your home state could be “home cooked” by a biased state court judge.  So they can go to federal court where the federal judge won’t have any bias.

Personally, here in 2017, I believe you’ll get a fair shot in either state court or federal court. But this removal concept has been in the law for a very long time so it is not going anywhere.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

(If you have a lawyer, get with your own lawyer not us).  But if you don’t have a lawyer, we know you may be researching where to sue and wondering if going to state court in Alabama is better or if you should go to federal court.

And if you go to state, can you be removed.

We’ll be happy to help you any way we can.

The easiest way is to pick up the phone and call us at 1-205-879-2447. 

Or, if you prefer, you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you soon.

We look forward to chatting with you.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts

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