Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Removal — Must Every Defendant Sign a Notice of Removal or Is One Signature Plus a Certification That All Others Consent Sufficient? Circuit Split

Ettlin v. Harris, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170526 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 22, 2013):

In a case involving multiple defendants, "[a]ll defendants must join in a removal petition." Hewitt v. City of Stanton, 798 F.2d 1230, 1232 (9th Cir. 1986). Although circuits are split as to what form a co-defendant's joinder in removal must take, the Ninth Circuit has adopted the position that "'at least one attorney of record' [must] sign the notice and certify that the remaining defendants consent to removal; it does not insist that each defendant submit written notice of such consent." Proctor v. Vishay Intertechnology Inc., 584 F.3d 1208, 1224-25 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Harper v. AutoAlliance Int'l, Inc., 392 F.3d 195, 201-02 (6th Cir. 2004)). In general, courts should resolve doubts in favor of remand. See Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09, 61 S. Ct. 868, 85 L. Ed. 1214 (1941) ("Due regard for the rightful independence of state governments . . . requires that [federal courts] scrupulously confine their own jurisdiction to the precise limits which the [removal] statute has defined.").


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