Friday, December 27, 2013

Noble v. Bradford Marine, Inc. case brief

Noble v. Bradford Marine, Inc. case brief summary
789 F. Supp. 395 (S.D. Fla. 1992)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff boat owners brought actions against defendants, a marina and a charter corporation, in the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Broward County, Florida, arising from a boat that was owned by the corporation and docked at the marina caught fire and subsequently destroyed the owners' vessels. The corporation then removed the actions to federal court. The court sua sponte reviewed the removal.

CASE FACTS
A boat owned by the corporation caught fire and hurled chunks of flaming debris to the owners' vessels, destroying them. The owners brought their actions in state court against the marina, then subsequently amended them to include the foreign corporation. The corporation removed the actions to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1331(1).

DISCUSSION

  • A district court may, and always should, determine sua sponte whether its subject matter jurisdiction had been properly invoked. 
  • If at anytime before final judgment it appeared that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, the case would be remanded. 
  • Time limitations in removal statutes were mandatory and strictly construed in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 6, and the failure to comply with the time requirement of 28 U.S.C.S. § 1446(b) was a defect causing "improvident" removal. 
  • The court held that the addition of the corporation in the amended complaint did not start the time for removal when the original complaint itself was removable. 
  • The court found that the marina's failure to remove the original complaint was binding on the corporation.

CONCLUSION
The actions were remanded to the state circuit court from which they were improvidently removed.


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