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Legal Memorandum: Time Constraint for Removal of a Case

Issue: Is there a time constraint for removal of a Florida state case to federal court?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Removal of a state action to federal court
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b);28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)
Date: 01/01/2009

A defendant desiring to remove a civil action to a federal district court from a state court must file a notice of removal within 30 days:

The notice of removal of a civil action or proceeding shall be filed within thirty days after the receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of the initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon which such action or proceeding is based, or within thirty days after the service of summons upon the defendant if such initial pleading has then been filed in court and is not required to be served on the defendant, whichever period is shorter.

28 U.S.C. § 1446(b).  Furthermore, removal of a state action to federal court is not an option in the absence of diversity of the parties.  See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).  An action is removable only to a federal court that has jurisdiction.  28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).

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