Federal Bar Update: Removal and venue changes now in effect

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Federal Bar UpdateAs noted in this column in December, the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 was passed in early December and took effect Jan. 6. The Act amends the removal statutes in several important respects, including:

if defendants are served at different times, and a later-served defendant files a notice of removal, any earlier-served defendant may consent to the removal even though he did not previously initiate or consent to removal;

the act still has a one-year cap on diversity removals unless the District Court finds that the plaintiff acted in bad faith to prevent removal, and if the court finds that plaintiff failed to disclose the amount in controversy to avoid removal, that is bad faith.

The act also amends venue provisions:

The act creates a new provision, 28 U.S.C. 1390 describing venue generally; and 

Section 1391 is rewritten, collapsing (a) (diversity) and (b) (federal question) into a new (b) that has the same three standards.

The act applies to all cases commenced in federal court on or after Jan. 6, and for removed action, to any case that under applicable state law had been commenced on or after Jan. 6. The act has been cited in three federal opinions so far, but only in passing reference and noting that the act did not apply to the pending case. In the coming months, there are certain to be many cases addressing the act.

Where to find the statute – Even with the act now in effect, practitioners may have difficulty finding a clean version of the amended statutes. The act is complicated and technical, deleting some provisions, adding others, and of course, not providing a “clean” final version of the rewritten Code sections. As of Jan. 12, not all online sources of U.S. Code (free or for pay) had updated versions of the affected sections (including, for instance, the Government Printing Office). Lexis does appear to have the amended statutes online now.

Practitioners should be very careful to ensure that the statutory sections referred to from Jan. 6 forward are accurate and up to date. The way to discern this is to check for 28 U.S.C. 1390, which did not exist as of Jan. 5, but came into effect as a new section as part of the act on Jan. 6. In the meantime, anyone desiring a copy of the act can email the undersigned for a PDF copy.

Local rules – In late December, both the S.D. of Indiana and the N.D. of Indiana separately announced that their Local Rule amendments would take effect Jan. 1. The updated versions of each court’s Local Rules – which include the restyling edits – are now posted on the courts’ websites.•


John Maley – – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals. The opinions expressed are those of the author.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.