United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se, Jarrod Martin (“Petitioner”), filed a
Notice of Removal, seeking to remove his state criminal
prosecution to this Court [Doc. 1]. Petitioner's motion
for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee of
$350.00 [Doc. 4] is GRANTED. For the reasons which follow,
the Court has determined that the removal of Petitioner's
state criminal proceedings was improper under the applicable
removal statutes, see 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1) and
§ 1455, and the Court lacks jurisdiction over
Petitioner's case because Petitioner's removal
petition is moot.
Removal Notice, Petitioner maintains that Terry Jordan of the
Sullivan County Public Defender's Office, who represents
him Sullivan County Criminal Court Case No. S60, 552, refused
to file various motions Petitioner proposed that he file,
advising Petitioner that the motions were frivolous.
Petitioner next maintains that the trial judge consented to
Public Defender Jordan's refusal to file the motions in
question and the trial judge, thereby, was complicit in
conduct that Petitioner regards as instances of ineffective
assistance of counsel and as a denial of due process.
Multiple allegations follow, which purport to show that
Petitioner's rights to proper extradition proceedings, a
fair trial, to be free from excessive bail,  and to an
impartial, unbiased judicial officer were violated in the
course of those state criminal judicial proceedings. The
grounds for relief in the Removal Notice consist of a farrago
of habeas corpus law, legal theories, and this single generic
sentence: “The petitioner has been denied and cannot
enforce a civil right in the state court” [Doc. 1
Law and Analysis
relevant here, removal of a state criminal prosecution to a
federal district court is allowed, but only where the removal
petitioner “is denied or cannot enforce in the courts
of such State a right under any law providing for the equal
civil rights of citizens of the United States, or of all
persons within the jurisdiction thereof[.]” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1443(1). The right allegedly being denied to a removal
petitioner must “arise[ ] under a federal law
‘providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of
racial equality.'” Johnson v. Mississippi,
421 U.S. 213, 219 (1975) (quoting Georgia v. Rachel,
384 U.S. 780, 792 (1966)).
constitutional rights such as the right to due process will
not satisfy the statutory requirement, as the right to due
process is not granted in terms of racial equality, but it
instead applies to all individuals irrespective of race.
Rachel, 384 U.S. at 792 (explaining that § 1443
does not apply to “the whole gamut of constitutional
rights” and that “broad contentions”
involving due process “cannot support a valid claim for
removal”); see also Johnson, 421 U.S. at 219
(finding that allegations that a criminal prosecution
“will violate rights under constitutional or statutory
provisions of general applicability ... will not
statute provides further that a petitioner “must be
unable to or be denied the opportunity to enforce these
specified federal rights in the courts of the state in
question.” Conrad v. Robinson, 871 F.2d 612,
615 (6th Cir. 1989) (citing Johnson, 421 U.S. at
219); see also City of Greenwood, Miss. v. Peacock,
384 U.S. 808, 827 (1966) (holding that a removal petitioner
must also allege or show that he “is unable to obtain a
fair trial in a particular state court”).
in Petitioner's Notice suggests that Petitioner is being
denied equal protection based on his race, that he is being
subjected to any racial inequities, or that he cannot enforce
his “equal civil rights” in the state
prosecution. Therefore, the Court concludes that the Removal
Notice does not meet the statutory requirements for removal.
Com. of Ky. v. Franklin, No. 95-5029, 1995 WL
69690570 F.3d 1271 (6th Cir. Nov. 20, 1995) (affirming remand
of state criminal prosecution, “as § 1443 is
restricted to cases raising an issue of racial
the Removal Notice does not meet the procedural requirements
for removal. Petitioner cites to 28 U.S.C. § 1455, as
authority for the notice, but that statute governs the
procedure for a proper removal of a state prosecution to
federal court. Among other statutory requirements, a removal
petitioner must file with the notice “a copy of all
process, pleadings, and orders served upon such defendant ...
in such action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1455(a). A removal
petitioner must also file the Removal Notice “not later
than 30 days after the arraignment in the State court, or at
any time before trial, whichever is earlier, ” unless
the district court finds good cause shown for the untimely
filing. Id. § 1455(b)(1).
has not met either requirement. He did not file any of his
state criminal court documents with his Notice, and he did
not file the Notice within the period required. Nor has
Petitioner offered any reason as to why he failed to comply
with the statutory 30-day provision. Petitioner's failure
to satisfy the statutory mandates would be sufficient reason
to deny removal of the Sullivan County criminal prosecution,
but there is a more compelling reason as to why his state
criminal prosecution cannot be removed to this Court.
federal district court's subject matter jurisdiction is
limited by Article III of the United States Constitution to
actual “Cases” or “Controversies.”
U.S. CONST. Art. III, Sec. 2. “This case-or-controversy
requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial
proceedings, ” Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1,
7-8 (1998) (quoting Lewis v. Cont'l Bank Corp.,
494 U.S. 472, 477-478 (1990)), and may be raised by the Court
sua sponte. See O'Shea v. Littleton,
414 U.S. 488, 506 (1974) (Douglas, J. dissenting) (“The
fact that no party has raised th[e ‘case or
controversy'] issue in this closely contested case is no
barrier, of course, to our consideration of it.”);
see also Valinski v. Detroit Edison, 197 F.
App'x 403, 405 (6th Cir. 2006) (observing that
“[t]he existence of subject matter jurisdiction may be
raised at any time, by any party, or even sua sponte
by the court itself”) (quoting In re Lewis,
398 F.3d 735, 739 (6th Cir. 2005)).
satisfy the Court's “continuing obligation”
to monitor its subject matter jurisdiction over the Notice of
Removal, see In re Wolverine Radio Co., 930 F.2d
1132, 1137 (6th Cir. 1991), the Court takes judicial notice
of a prior case Petitioner filed in this Court, Martin v.
Staubus, No. 2:-14-CV-159 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 11, 2005).
The cited case encompassed a pretrial petition for a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241; the petition
involved Petitioner's Sullivan County criminal
prosecution; and the Court ultimately dismissed the petition
for failure to exhaust state court remedies. On appeal of the
dismissal judgment, the Sixth Circuit entered an order on
March 11, 2015, denying Petitioner a certificate of
appealability and stating as follows:
The court takes judicial notice of the fact that Martin was
acquitted of his state charges on January 27, 2015. To obtain
a COA, the prisoner must demonstrate “that jurists
could conclude the issues presented are adequate to deserve
encouragement to proceed further.” Miller-El v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 327 (2003). Because he is no
longer incarcerated, a federal court could no longer grant
relief under § 2241, that is, ...