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Commonwealth v. Mu-El

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


December 5, 2008

THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MINISTER ABRAM MU-EL, PETITIONER.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rufe, J.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Minister Abram Mu-El ("Petitioner") filed in this Court a pro se Notice of Removal of state criminal proceedings.*fn1 The Court has evaluated the Notice and reviewed the applicable law, and for the reasons that follow it will order the summary remand of this action.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND*fn2

On September 23, 2008, in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Petitioner was charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Possession of an Instrument of Crime with Intent and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.*fn3 Petitioner's arraignment and preliminary hearing was held on September 30, 2008,*fn4 and it appears Petitioner was released on bail on the same date.*fn5

On October 20, 2008, Petitioner filed in this Court a pro se Notice of Removal of the state court criminal proceedings against him. In the Notice, Petitioner avers that certain "International and Constitutional issues" justify removal of this action.*fn6 None of the "issues" described in the Notice are capable of being construed as a claim that Petitioner will be unable to enforce in the courts of Pennsylvania any federally protected rights that may be implicated in the underlying criminal action. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not filed a response to the Notice, however, the Court has evaluated it in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(4), and has determined that remand of the action is appropriate at this time.

II. DISCUSSION

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(4), if when a district court examines a notice of removal "it clearly appears on the face of the notice and any exhibits annexed thereto that removal should not be permitted, the court shall make an order for summary remand."*fn7

Section 1443 of the Federal Removal Statute sets forth the circumstances in which removal of a state court criminal prosecution may be permitted. Section 1443 provides, in relevant part:

Any of the following civil actions or criminal prosecutions, commenced in a State court may be removed by the defendant to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending:

(1) Against any person who is denied or cannot enforce in the courts of such State a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof.*fn8 The United States Supreme Court has established a two part test courts must apply to determine whether a removal of a state court criminal prosecution premised on Section 1443(1) is proper. "First, it must appear that the right allegedly denied the removal petitioner arises under a federal law providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial equality. . . . Second, it must appear . . . that the removal petitioner is denied or cannot enforce the specified federal rights in the courts of the State."*fn9

The Court construes the allegations of the pro se Petitioner liberally. Nonetheless, the Court finds that Petitioner's allegations are incapable of being understood to claim that he is denied or cannot enforce a specified federal right related to racial equality in the courts of Pennsylvania. Because the Court finds it impossible to interpret the Notice as satisfying the jurisdictional standard set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1), it will order the summary remand of this action. An appropriate Order follows.

ORDER

AND NOW , this 5th day of December, 2008, upon consideration of the Notice of Removal of Defendant, and for the reasons set forth in the foregoing memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that the above-captioned action is REMANDED to state court. The Clerk of Court is directed to CLOSE this case.

It is so ORDERED.

CYNTHIA M. RUFE, J.


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