Publication Date



Under the current wording of the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441, defendants in some jurisdictions may remove a state action to federal court before an in-state defendant is served. These defendants are taking advantage of the forum defendant rule in 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). This phenomenon has been coined “snap removals.” Three federal courts of appeals allow such removals, whereas many federal district courts say it is improper. The “home” district court might not be the end point for the case, though. Corporate defendants often ask for the case to be transferred to a pending Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) that may be in a district court across the country. Once granted, the plaintiffs will not only find themselves in federal court but also will see their cases consolidated with possibly thousands of others in the MDL. Plaintiffs will likely file motions to remand in the MDL, but as this Note shows, those motions are often left pending indefinitely by the MDL judge. This Note argues that because the current MDL practice provides many problems for individual plaintiffs, special attention should be given to snap removals that end up in an MDL. Further, this Note argues that rulings on motions to remand should be mandatory to ensure that snap-removed plaintiffs have an opportunity to be heard.