United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
GIBSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Remand to the
Monroe County Court of Common Pleas. (ECF No. 2.) For the
reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion will be
initiated this foreclosure action by filing a complaint in
the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County Pennsylvania, on
June 28, 2016. (See ECF No. 2-1.) After several
failed attempts to serve process on Defendant (see
Id.), Defendant was served with process in early
October, 2016. (See Id.)
removed the case to this Court on November 17, 2016, on the
basis of diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.
(Id.) Defendant states that he "is a citizen of
the State of Pennsylvania." (ECF No. 1 at 4.)
1441 of Title 28, United States Code, governs the removal of
a case to federal court." Smoyer v. Care One,
LLC, No. 2:16-CV-1696, 2017 WL 575070, at *1 (W.D. Pa.
2017), report and recommendation adopted, No.
2:16-CV-1696, 2017 WL 573573 (W.D. Pa. 2017); Kosicki v.
Nationstar Mortg., LLC, 947 F.Supp.2d 546, 552 (W.D. Pa.
defendant may remove "any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. § 1441.
"Subject matter jurisdiction may be based upon federal
question or diversity grounds." In Re Plavix Prod,
Liab. & Mktg. Litig., No. 3-.13-CV-03610-FLW, 2014
WL 4954654, at *2 (D. N.J. 2014), citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 (federal question jurisdiction); 28 U.S.C. §
1332 (diversity jurisdiction). Under diversity jurisdiction,
federal district courts have original jurisdiction in civil
actions between citizens of different States where the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
is improper if it violates the "forum defendant
rule" contained in Section 1441(b). See
Swindell-Filiaggi v. CSX Corp., 922 F.Supp.2d 514, 517
(E.D. Pa. 2013). Under the forum defendant rule:
A civil action otherwise removable solely on the basis of the
jurisdiction under section 1332(a) of this title may not be
removed if any of the parties in interest properly joined and
served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such
action is brought.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). "Therefore, the forum
defendant rule prohibits removal based on diversity where a
defendant is a citizen of the forum state-the state in which
the plaintiff originally filed the case." In Re
Plavix Prod. Liab. & Mktg. Litig., No.
3:13-CV-03610-FLW, 2014 WL 4954654, at *3 (D. N.J. Oct. 1,
2014). j The forum defendant rule reflects the fact
"that the rationale for diversity jurisdiction no longer
exists when one of the defendants is a citizen of the forum
state i since the likelihood of bias is reduced, if
not eliminated." Stunteback v. Janssen Research
& Dev., LLC, No. CIV.A. 14-1097, 2014 WL 2572784, at
*2 (E.D. Pa. 2014), quoting Allen v. GlaxoSmithKline
PLC, No. 07-5045, 2008 WL 2247067, at *4 (E.D. Pa.
2008); see also In re Avandia Mktg., Sales Practices
& Prod. Liab. Litig., 624 F.Supp.2d 396, 409 (E.D.
Pa. 2009) (noting that "the rule prohibits removal on
diversity grounds of an action involving a properly joined
and served instate defendant whose presence in the action
presumably reduces or eliminates the risk of prejudice
against the defense.").
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction rests with the
party asserting its existence." Lincoln Ben. Life
Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 105 (3d Cir. 2015)
(internal citations omitted). "[R]emoval statutes are to
be strictly construed against removal and all doubts should
be resolved in favor of remand.'" A.S. ex rel.
Miller v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 769 F.3d 204, 208
(3d Cir. 2014), quoting Batoffv. State Farm Ins.
Co., 977 F.2d 848, 851 (3d Cir.1992) (internal
quotations and citations omitted); Morocco v. Hearst
Stations, Inc., No. 2:16-CV-1083, 2016 WL 4447798, at *2
(W.D. Pa. 2016) (same). A case that is removed to district
court shall be remanded to state court "[i]f at any time
before final judgment it appears that the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. §