Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Before my first post, I suppose I should confess: I'm a B-list CivPro Prof. Although I teach Federal Courts regularly, I only teach CivPro while Jeremy is sabbaticalling. There's enough of an overlap between the courses to encompass most of what I'll post, but I hope neither of our readers mind when I stray.
In re Hot-Hed: An ostensibly insignificant recent case from the 5th Circuit.
At first, the litigation proceeded according to the forum-fight template. Plaintiff filed in state court. Defendant removed. Plaintiff moved to remand, arguing that the district court had no subject-matter jurisdiction. The court denied the motion to remand.
From the 5th Circuit's (per curiam but to-be-released-for-publication) opinion, one would think that the next procedural step also fit the template--Plaintiff petitioned the 5th Circuit for a writ of mandamus ordering the district court to remand the case. The extent of the 5th Circuit's analysis regarding the interlocutory challenge disguised as an original proceeding was:
The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." In this case, a writ is an appropriate means by which we may review the denial of the motion to remand: “When the writ of mandamus is sought from an appellate court to confine a trial court to a lawful exercise of its prescribed authority, the court should issue the writ almost as a matter of course.”
The court granted the petition in part and vacated the order denying the motion to remand. Is the court suggesting that petitioning for mandamus is, as a "matter of course,"
the a proper procedure for challenging a district court's interlocutory ruling that rejects a challenge to subject-matter jurisdiction? Without regard to whether the challenger has an adequate remedy by appeal or any exceptional circumstances? --RR