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Commonwealth v. Arsad

December 23, 2008

THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WARREN ARSAD



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gene E.K. Pratter United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

PRATTER, J.

On November 19, 2008, Petitioner Warren Arsad filed a pro se petition to remove his state criminal proceedings to this Court. The Court has reviewed his petition and, for the reasons set forth below, will remand this action to Pennsylvania state court.*fn1

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

According to his petition, Mr. Arsad was arrested for a probation violation on December 31, 2004. (Pet. ¶¶ 11-12.) The precise facts of the situation are unclear from the petition, but suffice it to say that Mr. Arsad claims that the police "got the wrong man" when they arrested him and that, in order to cover up this mistake, numerous officers have lied and contradicted each other in testimony and police reports. (See, generally, Pet.) Likewise, according to Mr. Arsad, the district attorney and trial court have disregarded these fabrications and delayed Mr. Arsad's proceedings to cover for the police and to coerce Mr. Arsad into entering a plea. (See Pet. ¶¶ 26- 27.) He now attempts to remove his case to this Court, alleging that his constitutional rights have been violated and that "the potential for bias, impropriety, vindictive [sic], and obstreperous vexatious actions. [sic] [b]y the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is highly probable." (See Pet. ¶ 9.)

On November 19, 2008, Mr. Arsad filed this petition for removal, citing 28 U.S.C. § 1442 as grounds for this Court's jurisdiction.

LEGAL STANDARD

A federal district court must examine promptly the notice of removal of a criminal case.

28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(5). "If 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." 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(4).

DISCUSSION

"All federal courts, other than the Supreme Court, derive their jurisdiction wholly from the exercise of the authority to 'ordain and establish' inferior courts, conferred on Congress by Article III, § a of the Constitution." Lockerty v. Phillips, 319 U.S. 182, 187 (1943). Accordingly, removal jurisdiction is statutory. No federal court may construe statutes granting jurisdiction any broader than their language allows. Williams v. Rogers, 449 F.2d 513, 518 (8th Cir. 1971). Accordingly, this Court could not allow Petitioner Arsad to remove his action to federal court without specific statutory authority to do so.

Mr. Arsad cites 28 U.S.C. § 1442 as grounds for removal. Section 1442 provides for the removal of state proceedings in limited circumstances, as follows:

(a) A civil action or criminal prosecution commenced in a State court against any of the following may be removed by them to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending:

(1) The United States or any agency thereof or any officer (or any person acting under that officer) of the United States or of any agency thereof, sued in an official or individual capacity for any act under color of such office or on account of any right, title or authority claimed under any Act of Congress ...


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