Two-Minute MBE Question: Civil Procedure (removal)
Here, we discuss how to approach the following Civil Procedure MBE question in two minutes. Read the question below then check out the YouYube video below for an answer explanation in less than two minutes!
Civil Procedure Question:
A man sued his boss in state court, alleging claims for nonpayment of wages under both state and federal law. The man’s friend, who was an attorney, advised the man to remove the case to federal court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction because he thought the federal court would be more sympathetic to the man’s claim. The man thereafter promptly removed the case to federal court. The man’s boss made a timely motion to remand the case to state court.
How will the federal court proceed?
(A) It will hear the federal claims but not the state claims.
(B) It will hear the entire case because it was timely removed and involves a federal question.
(C) It will remand the case unless the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
(D) It will remand the case to state court.
Civil Procedure Video Answer Explanation:
Looking for the written answer explanation?
You can find the answer to the MBE question in the video above or the text below. Just click “SHOW ANSWER”
(D) is the correct answer. Remember that a defendant may remove a case to federal court. However, a plaintiff may not remove the case to federal court. (A plaintiff could simply file the case in federal court to begin with!) Thus, the court will remand the case to state court and will not hear the case.
(A) is incorrect. When a case is removed, the entire case is removed. The state claims would be heard in federal court on the basis of supplemental jurisdiction if the federal court heard the case. Here, however, the federal court would not hear the case at all, as a plaintiff is not permitted to remove a case to federal court.
(B) is incorrect because plaintiffs are not permitted to remove cases to federal court. Only defendants are permitted to do so.
(C) is incorrect because this answer conflates federal question jurisdiction with diversity jurisdiction. There is no dollar amount required for a federal question case like there is for a case brought under diversity jurisdiction. Further, this answer does not recognize that the case will be remanded regardless of the amount in controversy.
Bar Exam Tip: Take note of the policies behind the rules. The reason that a plaintiff may not remove a case to federal court is because the plaintiff can control where the case is filed to begin with. If you remember this policy reason for the rule, you are more likely to correctly answer a question that tests this issue.
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