Dirauf v. Berger, No. 21-1044 (3d Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit in New Jersey state court against German citizens and New Jersey-based defendants, alleging one federal RICO claim and 120 state law claims. Defendant Straub removed the case to federal court with the consent of the other defendants, asserting jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1331, 1332. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their RICO claim. The district court issued a remand order, explaining that a court must “examine its own subject matter jurisdiction,” the basis for federal-question removal had been “mooted” by the dismissal of the federal claim, diversity jurisdiction was lacking, and one of the defendants was precluded by 28 U.S.C. 1441(b)(2) from removing the case as a forum-defendant. Defendants moved to vacate the remand order. The district court denied that Rule 60(b) motion, explaining that section 1332(a)(2) did not confer diversity jurisdiction, it was not required to explain why it was declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, the case had been in federal court for only seven days so judicial economy did not favor retention of the state claims, and there was no apparent forum manipulation. The state court proceeding recommenced; the court granted dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.
The Third Circuit affirmed. Federal appellate courts may not review remand orders where remand is based upon a lack of subject matter jurisdiction or a defect in removal, 28 U.S.C. 1447(c)-(d). In this case, remand was proper; vacatur of the remand order is not warranted.