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SHRADER v. LEGG MASON WOOD WALKER

March 9, 1995

MARY F. SHRADER
v.
LEGG MASON WOOD WALKER, INC., et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: STEWART DALZELL

 Dalzell, J.

 March 9, 1995

 I. Introduction

 On September 7, 1994, plaintiff Mary F. Shrader ("Mary") filed an eleven-count complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, naming Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc., Thomas Dugan, and Allen H. Shrader ("Allen H.") as defendants, and Allen R. Shrader ("Allen R.") as a nominal defendant. The complaint relied exclusively on state law. Apart from naming Allen R. (her son) as a nominal defendant, the eleven counts of Mary's complaint were nearly indistinguishable from an earlier complaint, ten counts of which we dismissed on the merits by Order dated December 20, 1993, see Memorandum Opinion and Order, Shrader v. Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc., et al., No. 93-3967, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18049 (E.D. Pa. December 20, 1993). *fn1"

 Defendants Legg Mason, Dugan, and Allen H. removed the second complaint to this Court on September 27, 1994. They relied on the general rule that nominal defendants need not be diverse from a plaintiff, Navarro Savings Association v. Lee, 446 U.S. 458, 461, 64 L. Ed. 2d 425, 100 S. Ct. 1779 (1980), nor need they join in a notice of removal, Farias v. Bexar County Bd. of Trustees for Mental Health Mental Retardation Servs., 925 F.2d 866, 871 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 866, 112 S. Ct. 193, 116 L. Ed. 2d 153 (1991). See Notice of Removal at 5. By Order dated September 29, 1994, we raised the question of our jurisdiction to hear this action mea sponte and directed the parties to file briefs addressing two issues. *fn2"

 In her briefs to the Court, however, Mary abjured her Complaint and wrote, "Allen R. is not a nominal party; he is an indispensable party, because he has a vested interest in the issues which will be decided in this lawsuit", see Memorandum of Mary Shrader in Support of Remand at 5 (emphasis added). We analyzed the applicable law and ultimately agreed with this statement. Mary has never explained this inconsistency. *fn3"

 We concluded that defendants deserved an award for costs and attorney's fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) because "difficult, threshold, and collateral jurisdictional issues have arisen in this action only because Mary [F.] chose to name her son as a 'nominal defendant' despite earlier, clear iterations of substantive trust law on identical issues between these same parties in an earlier case." Order, Shrader v. Legg Mason Wood Walker, No. 94-5881, at 5 (E.D. Pa. January 4, 1995). We granted leave to defendants to file a motion for fees and costs "for plaintiff's misleading description of Allen R. as a nominal defendant", id. at 7, and Legg Mason and Dugan (collectively "Legg Mason") filed such a motion on January 12, 1995. They seek $ 25,811.26.

 In this Memorandum we consider whether to award costs and fees to Legg Mason, and, if so, the amount of the award. *fn4"

 II. Analysis

 A. Awarding Costs and Attorney's Fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)

 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) provides:

 
An order remanding the case may require payment of just costs and any actual expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal.

 We discuss the statutory language in more detail below, but at the outset we note that § 1447(c) provides district courts with the discretion to remedy abuses in the use of the removal procedure. As Mary wisely concedes, § 1447(c) does not require a finding of bad faith, see, e.g., Miranti v. Lee, 3 F.3d 925, 929 (5th Cir. 1993); Moore v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc., 981 F.2d 443, 445-447 (9th Cir. 1992); Morgan Guar. Trust Co. v. Republic of Palau, 971 F.2d 917, 923-24 (2d Cir. 1992), and we therefore conclude that Congress intended the statute to serve remedial, not punitive, purposes. See, e.g., Moore, 981 F.2d at 447 (noting that § 1447(c) awards are "simply reimbursement"); Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., 971 F.2d at 926 (Walker, J., dissenting) ("Section 1447 is principally designed to compensate . . . ."). *fn5" The legislative history of § 1447(c) confirms this interpretation. See H.R. Rep. ...


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