removal

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Removal

The transfer of a person or thing from one place to another. The transfer of a case from one court to another. In this sense, removal generally refers to a transfer from a court in one jurisdiction to a court in another, whereas a change of venue may be granted simply to move a case to another location within the same jurisdiction.

Normally a plaintiff has the right to choose the court where he or she will commence an action. An important exception to this rule is the defendant's right, in some circumstances, to have a case removed from a state court to a federal court. Federal law explains this right of removal in detail. It is available only when the federal court has jurisdiction, or authority, to hear such a case. The right may be claimed only by a defendant; a plaintiff cannot petition for removal of a case he or she has commenced in state court, even after the defendant asserts a counterclaim against the plaintiff that would justify the exercise of federal jurisdiction.

If a plaintiff has more than one claim against a defendant, and not all of the claims qualify for removal, it is not clear whether the whole case should be sent to the applicable federal court. Sometimes the individual claims that support federal jurisdiction can be severed and heard in federal court individually. This can be done if the removable claims are sufficiently distinct that they can be determined on their own. Otherwise they must be tried together. A federal court has discretion to weigh the circumstances and decide each case on its own facts. The right of the plaintiff to pick the court must be balanced with the right of the defendant to use a federal court when there is federal jurisdiction. The same considerations apply when there are multiple defendants, and some are entitled to removal of the case but others are not. If there are multiple defendants and multiple claims, the reasoning can become rather confusing.

The process of removal raises serious questions concerning Federalism, the relationship of the states and the federal government. The idea of a federal court ousting a state court from a lawsuit already pending in the state is somewhat unsettling. The removal procedure itself emphasizes the potential for conflict. A person who is sued in a state court files a petition in the nearest federal court asking for removal of the action, which has the effect of removing the action to the federal court. A copy of that petition is then filed in the state court. The state court can take no further action whatsoever unless, and until, the federal court remands, or sends, the case back to it. The procedure generally works well because federal judges are careful to recognize the legitimate interests of the states in determining causes that are not necessarily federal in nature.

Cross-references

Federal Question.

removal

n. 1) the change of a legal case from one court to another, as from a state court to federal court or vice versa based on a motion by one of the parties stating that the other jurisdiction is more appropriate for the case. 2) taking away the position of a public official for cause, such as dishonesty, incompetence, conviction of a crime, or successful impeachment.

removal

noun abatement, abolition, amotio, banishment, cashiering, change of place, conveyance, debarment, deduction, demission, demotion, departure, deportation, deposal, deposition, deprivation of office, discard, discharge, disemployment, dislodgment, dismissal, displacement, divestment, ejection, elimination, eradication, erasure, evacuation, evulsion, exception, excision, exclusion, exile, expulsion, extermination, extirpation, extraction, extrication, layoff, noninclusion, obliteration, omission, ousting, purge, reallocation, rejection, relegation, remotion, retreat, riddance, segregation, separation, shift, sublation, subtraction, suppression, taking away, transfer, transference, transhipment, translocation, transplantation, transportation, unseating, withdrawal
Associated concepts: removal from office, removal of cloud from title, removal to federal court
See also: absence, avoidance, banishment, cancellation, deduction, defeasance, deportation, diminution, discharge, dismissal, distress, eviction, evulsion, exception, exclusion, expropriation, expulsion, flight, foreclosure, homicide, layoff, leave, loss, obviation, ouster, rejection, replacement
References in classic literature ?
But your firm,"--the woman was wailing to the furniture removals men--"your firm promised me everything should be in yesterday.
In the removal of the Acadians, the troops were guilty of no cruelty or outrage, except what was inseparable from the measure.
Long before the public had ceased to talk about the removal of the deposits, Mr.
To your Mother I should have returned with Pleasure, should have been happy to have introduced to her, my charming Sophia and should with Chearfullness have passed the remainder of my Life in their dear Society in the Vale of Uske, had not one obstacle to the execution of so agreable a scheme, intervened; which was the Marriage and Removal of your Mother to a distant part of Ireland.
From situation, Mrs Clay was, in Lady Russell's estimate, a very unequal, and in her character she believed a very dangerous companion; and a removal that would leave Mrs Clay behind, and bring a choice of more suitable intimates within Miss Elliot's reach, was therefore an object of first-rate importance.
But I cannot forget the length of her visit to the Mainwarings, and when I reflect on the different mode of life which she led with them from that to which she must now submit, I can only suppose that the wish of establishing her reputation by following though late the path of propriety, occasioned her removal from a family where she must in reality have been particularly happy.
Judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
When Tess's mother was a child the majority of the field-folk about Marlott had remained all their lives on one farm, which had been the home also of their fathers and grandfathers; but latterly the desire for yearly removal had risen to a high pitch.
In this distress, the intended departure of the Tilney family became her chief consolation; their journey into Gloucestershire was to take place within a few days, and Captain Tilney's removal would at least restore peace to every heart but his own.
The steward did not say it was quite impossible, but suggested selling the forests in the province of Kostroma, the land lower down the river, and the Crimean estate, in order to make it possible: all of which operations according to him were connected with such complicated measures- the removal of injunctions, petitions, permits, and so on- that Pierre became quite bewildered and only replied:
I cannot say how long my passion for Ossian lasted, but not long, I fancy, for I cannot find any trace of it in the time following our removal from Ashtabula to the county seat at Jefferson.
The Just Judge at once issued an injunction, and making an order for their removal to his own house, ate them himself.