Selectmen file to move Barron lawsuit to federal court

Earlier this month, I shared news that three residents were suing the Town, Board of Selectmen, and individual selectmen. The case alleged that the Board violated resident Louise Barron’s 1st amendment rights. Last week, selectmen filed to move the case from Worcester Superior Court to the U.S. District Court.

The Notice of Removal filing cites as reason for the change:

Because this civil action arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States, the United States District Court has original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

The action still listed as pending in the Worcester Court docket, but now also listed on the federal docket.

For whatever it’s worth, Wikipedia claims that once a removal request is filed it is automatically transferred to the U.S. court. Still, the plaintiffs can file an objection if they hope to move it back:

State courts do not adjudicate whether an action could be properly removed. As soon as a defendant completes the removal process by filing a notice of removal in the state court, jurisdiction is transferred automatically and immediately by operation of law from the state court to the federal court. Any objection to removal must be presented to the federal court by way of a timely-filed motion. Apart from motions brought by the parties, many federal district courts screen notices of removal for facially obvious defects and when they catch one will issue a sua sponte order to show cause directed to the moving defendant. If a federal court finds that the notice of removal was in fact defective, or that the federal court does not have jurisdiction, the case is remanded to the state court.

To read the removal notice filed on May 21st, click here.

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