February 2019 | IADC, Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee Newsletter

The Third Circuit is Snap Happy

2 min

Jason Rose and Sarah Scott published "The Third Circuit is Snap Happy" in the February 2019 issue of the IADC Drug, Device, and Biotechnology Committee Newsletter. The article highlights a Third Circuit case that delivers a bright line rule for successfully snap removing actions from state court. Below is a brief excerpt of the article:
"It seems rare these days to find reliable, bright-line rules to live by, particularly in the courts in which we all practice. But rejoice, because the Third Circuit has given us a friendly bright-line rule in its recent decision upholding the propriety of "snap removals" in Encompass Ins. Co. v. Stone Mansion Rest. Inc., 902 F.3d 147, 151-54 (3d Cir. 2018). In one for the good guys, the Third Circuit found snap removals to be proper under their plain language reading of the forum defendant rule. 

To give some quick background, actions filed in state court may be removed to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 when the action is between citizens of different states with a sufficient amount in controversy—what we all know as diversity citizenship—except when one of the defendants is both a citizen of the state where the action was filed and has been properly served. This is the so-called "forum defendant rule" under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). Defendants who want to circumvent the forum defendant rule, however, can "snap remove" an action by removing before any forum defendant is properly served. This type of removal relies on the plain language of the forum defendant rule and the notion that a plaintiff filing a complaint against a forum defendant is not enough to defeat removal; rather, the plaintiff must also properly serve that defendant to ensure that the complaint cannot be removed."