WEBB v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY SUPERIOR COURT
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 7/13/2017. (tf, n.m.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MICHAEL A. WEBB,
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 17-2691 (NLH)
IT APPEARING THAT:
Plaintiff Michael A. Webb (“Plaintiff”) has filed a
notice of removal seeking to remove his New Jersey state
criminal prosecution to this Court.
(ECF No. 1.)
that during an appearance in state court on this matter, he
refused to sign a “5A form for a public defender” because “the
form was actually commercial paper that deals with the Uniform
Commercial Code and that under the U.C.C. Rule 3-419 if [he]
sign[s] that paper [he] would be in fact loaning [his] signature
to the state without receiving compensation.”
(Id. at 2.)
Plaintiff further alleges that the state court judge
failed to address his “bail motion” and “the letter of rogatory”
He also alleges that the judge “destroyed
[his] rebuttal evidence.”
Finally, Plaintiff alleges
that the judge is requiring him to have a public defender which
violates his “Thirteenth Amendment of involuntary bondage”
because the public defender’s duty is to the state, not
(Id. at 3.)
Criminal prosecutions may be removed from the state
courts to federal court only under limited circumstances, such
as where the criminal defendant was acting as an officer of the
United States or is being denied equal protection by the state
See, e.g., 28 U.S.C. §§ 1443, 1455; In re Piskanin, 408
F. App’x 563, 564-65 (3d Cir. 2010); see also Pennsylvania v.
Brown-Bey, 637 F. App’x 686, 688-89 (3d Cir. 2016).
those limited circumstances exist, the notice of removal or
request to remove must be filed “not later than 30 days after
the arraignment in the State Court, or at any time before trial,
whichever is earlier” unless Plaintiff can show good cause for
his failure to file within time.
28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(1).
A request or notice of removal must include all grounds
for removal, and “a defendant seeking to remove a case under §
1443(1) must demonstrate that the rights claimed arise under a
provision of the Constitution or federal law specifically
designed to promote racial equality, and must also specifically
allege that he has been denied or cannot enforce in the state
court the right that was created by the civil rights law under
which he seeks protection.”
Brown-Bey, 637 F. App’x at 688-89.
Under the first requirement of § 1443(1), the defendant
must allege a deprivation of rights guaranteed by a federal law
“providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial
Pennsylvania v. Randolph, 464 F. App’x 46, 47 (3d
Cir. 2012) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
the second requirement, removal is available where the
defendant's federal civil rights would “inevitably be denied by
the very act of being brought to trial in state court.” Id.
Finally, § 1443(2) “confers a privilege of removal only
upon federal officers or agents and those authorized to act with
or for them in affirmatively executing duties under any federal
law providing for equal civil rights.”
Here, Plaintiff has failed to set forth any valid basis
for the transfer or removal of his criminal case to this Court.
While he generally refers to violation of his equal protection
rights, it is clear that he is actually seeking removal because
the state court denied his many pre-trial motions and he
disagrees with those decisions for various reasons.
that is not sufficient for removal purposes.
In sum, Plaintiff does not allege that the prosecution
involves issues of racial equality nor that there is any reason
that the state court cannot afford him the full protections of
Therefore, he cannot proceed under § 1443(1).
Plaintiff has also failed to allege any facts that would allow
him to proceed under § 1443(2), as that section is only
applicable to federal officers or agents or those authorized to
act for or with them.
Because Plaintiff has presented no valid grounds for
removal, summary remand is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Therefore, Plaintiff’s case must be remanded to the
Superior Court from which it was improperly removed.1
An appropriate order follows.
Dated: July 13, 2017
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
While it is not entirely clear from his submissions, it also
appears that Plaintiff may have been arraigned more than 30 days
prior to the filing of his notice of removal, which would make his
request untimely. 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(1).
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?