United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Chief Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand (DN 12). Defendant filed no opposition to the motion,
and her time to do so has expired. For the reasons outlined
below, the motion is GRANTED.
November 29, 2018, Defendant Kristi Dyer
(“Defendant”) filed a pro se Notice of
Removal. (Notice Removal, DN 1). She sought to remove an
action originally filed against her and the other Defendants
in the Jefferson Circuit Court on June 2, 2015. (Notice
Removal 1; Notice Removal Attach. 1, DN 1-1). Plaintiff
Ditech Financial, LLC (“Plaintiff”) moved to
remand this matter, arguing that the removal was untimely and
that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. (Pl.'s
Mot. Remand 3-6, DN 12).
requirement that jurisdiction be established as a threshold
matter . . . is inflexible and without exception . . .
.” Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S.
574, 577 (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Steel Co. v. Citizens for Better Env't, 523 U.S.
83, 94-95 (1998)). There are several reasons why this Court
lacks jurisdiction over this case.
general, a defendant may not remove a case from state court
to federal court without the consent of the other defendants.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A). Nothing in the
record indicates that any other Defendant has consented to
removal. This violates the rule of unanimity as codified by
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2). Moreover, the rule of unanimity
is jurisdictional because Congress created the rule.
See The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue
Clarification Act of 2011. Pub. L. 112-62, Dec. 7, 2011.
Because the Supreme Court has held that “‘[o]nly
Congress may determine a lower federal court's subject
matter jurisdiction[, ]'” and because Congress has
spoken on this issue, the absence of consent from any other
Defendant in this action strips this Court of subject matter
jurisdiction. Hamer v. Neighborhood Hous. Servs. of
Chicago, 138 S.Ct. 13, 17 (2017) (quoting Kontrick
v. Ryan, 540 U.S. 443, 452 (2004)).
Court further notes that Defendant's Notice of Removal is
untimely. Federal law prohibits the removal of cases from
state court on the basis of diversity of citizenship more
than one year after the state court action was filed.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(1). Defendant filed her
notice of removal more than three years after commencement of
the action in Jefferson Circuit Court, and there is a lack of
any proof of bad faith by Plaintiff in preventing Defendant
from removing the action. As a result, the removal was
untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(1).
discussed, the Court concludes that Defendant did not
properly remove this matter from Jefferson Circuit Court.
Accordingly, the Court will grant Plaintiffs motion.
foregoing reasons, this case was not properly removed from
Jefferson Circuit Court. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion to Remand (DN 12) is
GRANTED, and this matter is
REMANDED to the Jefferson Circuit Court. The
Clerk shall strike this matter from the active docket.
 Even if the Court were to construe
Defendant's Notice of Removal as an attempt to assert
counterclaims against Plaintiff, those claims are not
properly asserted. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007) (“A document filed pro se is
‘to be liberally construed . . . .'” (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976))). The
state court action in Jefferson Circuit Court was fully
adjudicated more than two years before Defendant filed this
removal notice. (Pl.'s Notice Filing Ex. B, DN 9-2). The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine provides that “lower
federal courts are precluded from exercising appellate
jurisdiction over final state-court judgments.”
Lance v. Dennis, 546 U.S. 459, 463 (2006). Any
claims or defenses Defendant has attempted to raise in this
Court should have been presented to the state court, and any
objection to the final judgment ...