State of Alabama v. Thomason (JOINT ASSIGN)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: it is ORDERED that 1) The 8 motion for reconsideration is DENIED; and 2) The 8 motion to stay is DENIED. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 7/20/2016. (wcl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STATE OF ALABAMA,
STEVEN CLAYTON THOMASON,
) CASE NO.: 2:15-CV-327-WKW
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Before the court is Steven Clayton Thomason’s June 24, 2016 pro se motion
to stay state court proceedings (Doc. # 8), which the court construes as also
containing a motion for relief from previous orders entered in this case.
The motion does not operate as a notice of removal.
Thomason styles his motion as a “Notice of Removal.” The motion is not a
notice of removal and does not function to remove the criminal proceedings or
reopen this case. Thomason did not comply with the procedural requirements for
removal set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1455, and Thomason did not include a filing fee or
application for leave to proceed in this court in forma pauperis. Construing the
document as a notice of removal despite these procedural failings would be futile
because (1) Thomason has not shown good cause for waiving the requirements of
28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(2); and (2) Thomason is currently appealing the remand of his
second attempt at removal. § 1455(b)(2) (“[A] second notice [of removal] may be
filed only on grounds not existing at the time of the original notice. For good cause
shown, the United States district court may grant relief from the limitations of this
The motion for reconsideration is due to be denied.
To the extent that Thomason seeks relief from the May 22, 2015 Order of
Remand (Doc. # 5) or the June 22, 2015 Order denying Thomason’s motion to
reconsider the remand (Doc. # 7), the motion is due to be denied. Thomason asserts
that removal is appropriate on grounds that were available at the time of the original
removal, but were either (1) not asserted in the notice of removal or (2) rejected
when the case was remanded.
Thomason has not shown good cause why the court should reconsider the
remand on grounds that he could have asserted earlier, but did not. § 1455(b)(2) (“A
notice of removal of a criminal prosecution shall include all grounds for such
removal. A failure to state grounds that exist at the time of the filing of the notice
shall constitute a waiver of such grounds, and a second notice may be filed only on
grounds not existing at the time of the original notice. For good cause shown, the
United States district court may grant relief from the limitations of this paragraph.”).
Thomason fails to assert valid substantive grounds under Rule 60 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for reconsideration of grounds for removal that
were previously rejected. Further, to the extent that Thomason seeks relief on
grounds of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect, newly discovered
evidence, fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by the opposing party, the motion
for reconsideration is untimely. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3) (providing that a motion
for relief from judgment or order on grounds available under Rule 60(b)(1)-(3) must
be filed “no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or order”).
The motion to stay is due to be denied.
Thomason requests that “no further action or proceedings . . . be had” in the
Circuit Court of Elmore County, Alabama. (Doc. # 8 at 34; Doc. # 5.) The only
basis Thomason asserts for the stay is the fact of the purported “removal.” However,
as noted above, the motion does not function as a notice of removal, and, in any
event, removing state court criminal proceedings does not automatically stay all
further proceedings in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(3) (“The filing of a notice of
removal of a criminal prosecution shall not prevent the State court in which such
prosecution is pending from proceeding further, except that a judgment of conviction
shall not be entered unless the prosecution is first remanded.”).
Thomason has not shown that this court has jurisdiction to enter a stay in this
case, or that an order staying the state court proceedings is appropriate on the basis
of any exception to the general rule that a federal court may not enjoin state court
criminal proceedings. Burr & Forman v. Blair, 470 F.3d 1019, 1027 (11th Cir.
2006) (“Under the Anti–Injunction Act, an injunction halting a state court
proceeding is inappropriate, ‘except as expressly authorized by Act of Congress, or
where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or effectuate its judgments.’”
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2283)).
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that
The motion for reconsideration (Doc. # 8) is DENIED; and
The motion to stay (Doc. # 8) is DENIED.
DONE this 20th day of July, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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