Before the Court is plaintiff's Motion to Remand (Document No. 4) to which defendant has responded in its Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (Document No. 6).
Plaintiff commenced this action in the office of a District Justice in Butler County, Pennsylvania, on May 4, 1995.
A hearing was held on July 26, 1995. The defendant appeared and raised various federal issues and submitted a brief to the District Justice wherein numerous issues of federal law were raised. Following the hearing, the District Justice entered judgment for the defendant.
Pursuant to Pa.R.Civ.P. 1002, plaintiff filed an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, Pennsylvania, and pursuant to Pa.R.Civ.P. 1004, the plaintiff then filed a complaint in that court.
On September 28, 1995, the defendant, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 and 1446, filed its notice of removal with this Court.
Plaintiff's motion for remand was filed October 17, 1995.
Counsel for the parties have cited no authority with regard to the precise issue involved here: Whether a civil action can be removed from the office of a Pennsylvania District Justice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1441(a).
Based on independent research, and particularly the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Sun Buick, Inc. v. Saab Cars USA, Inc., 26 F.3d 1259 (3d Cir. 1994) (Pennsylvania Board of Vehicles was not state court from which federal removal statute authorized removal), the Court finds that a civil action may be removed from the office of a District Justice in Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1441(a) and that defendant should have removed this action within 30 days of its receipt of the complaint or other pleading from the office of the District Justice.
Initially, the Court finds the action in question is a civil action since it represents a claim by the plaintiff for severance pay and unused vacation days, personal days and sick days in the total amount of $ 3,460.
The paramount issue that arises is whether the action was brought in a "state court," so as to be removable pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A § 1441(a).
The Court finds that a District Justice's court or office is a "state court" in that regard:
(i) It is part of the unitary court system of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. See Article 5, Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, § 10, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 301(9). Cf. Com. v. Ryan, 400 A.2d 1264, 484 Pa. 602 (1970), appeal after remand, 442 A.2d 739, 296 Pa. Super. 222 (Unless specifically limited, a District Justice's jurisdiction is concurrent with that of a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and, the District Justice has at least countywide jurisdiction for issuance of a search warrant.)
(ii) A District Justice is subject to the supervisory authority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In re: Franciscus, 369 A.2d 1190, 471 Pa. 53 (1973), cert. denied, 98 S. Ct. 212, 434 U.S. 870, 54 L. Ed. 2d 148.