United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: REMAND
J. Garbis United States District Judge.
Court has before it Plaintiff Attorney Grievance Commission
of Maryland's Motion to Remand for Lack of Federal
Jurisdiction [ECF No. 68] and the materials submitted
relating thereto. The Court has held a telephonic hearing and
has had the benefit of the arguments of counsel.
Court has previously granted a Motion to Remand in this case.
Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v.
Rheinstein, Civ. No. MJG-16-1591, ECF No. 30 (Mar. 17,
2017) (“First Remand Order”). Defendant alleges
that the existence of new facts warrant the filing of a
successive Notice of Removal.
underlying cause of action remains the same. On February 17,
2016 the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland
(“AGC”) filed, in the Maryland Court of Appeals,
a Petition for Disciplinary of Remedial Actions against Jason
Edward Rheinstein (“Rheinstein”). On February 19,
2016, the Court of Appeals of Maryland transmitted the
Petition to the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County to hold
a judicial hearing pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-757.
23, 2016, Rheinstein filed his first Notice of Removal,
contending that this Court can exercise subject matter
jurisdiction over the case under 28 U.S.C. § 1441
(federal question jurisdiction) and 28 U.S.C. § 1442
(federal officer jurisdiction). Civ. No. MJG-16-1591, ECF No.
1. AGC filed a Motion to Remand, which this court granted on
March 17, 2017. In its First Remand Order, this Court found
no federal jurisdiction based on a federal question, no
jurisdiction based on federal officer standing, and that
federal abstention principles favored a remand. Following the
Order, trial was set in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel
County for September 5, 2017.
Friday, September 1, 2017, Rheinstein filed a second Notice
of Removal in this Court, contending that AGC's recent
interrogatory responses and deposition testimony gave rise to
new and different grounds for removal. Notice of Removal
¶ 4, ECF No. 1. The state court proceeding was stayed on
September 5, 2017, the next business day.
instant motion, the AGC once again seeks remand for lack of
party invoking federal jurisdiction has the burden of
establishing that removal is proper and that the Court has
subject matter jurisdiction. Mulcahey v. Columbia Organic
Chemicals Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994). Removal
statutes should be strictly construed, and if “federal
jurisdiction is doubtful, a remand is necessary.”
Id. Indeed, a federal court is to “presume . .
. that a case lies outside its limited jurisdiction
unless and until jurisdiction has been shown to be
proper.” United States v. Poole, 531 F.3d 263,
274 (4th Cir. 2008) (emphasis in original).
successive removal petition is permitted only upon a
‘relevant change of circumstances' - that is,
‘when subsequent pleadings or events reveal a
new and different ground for
removal.'” Reyes v. Dollar Tree Stores,
Inc., 781 F.3d 1185, 1188 (9th Cir. 2015) (emphasis in
original). The phrase “different grounds” can
mean “a different set of facts that state a new ground
for removal” or “new facts in support of the same
theory of removal.” Cain v. CVS Pharmacy,
Inc., 2009 WL 539975, at *2 (N.D. W.Va. Mar. 4, 2009).
there is federal jurisdiction, federal courts must abstain
from interfering in state proceedings “absent
extraordinary circumstances.” Middlesex Cty. Ethics
Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 431
(1982). If an ongoing state proceeding exists,
“‘reinstituting the action in the federal
courts' is impermissible; indeed to do so would involve a
loss of time and duplication of effort.” Telco
Commc'ns, Inc. v. Carbaugh, 885 F.2d 1225, 1228 (4th
has failed to establish a new and different basis for his
second attempt at removal under either the federal officer or
federal question doctrines. Moreover, even if the Court were
to have jurisdiction, the Court would abstain and remand the
case to state court so that the trial may proceed.