Things Remembered, Inc. v. Petrarca - 516 U.S. 124 (1995)


OCTOBER TERM, 1995

Syllabus

THINGS REMEMBERED, INC. v. PETRARCA

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

No. 94-1530. Argued October 2, 1995-Decided December 5,1995

Respondent commenced this action in Ohio state court to collect rent allegedly owed by Child World, Inc., under two commercial leases and to enforce Cole National Corporation's guarantee of Child World's performance under the leases. Mter Child World filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, Cole's successor in interest, petitioner here, removed the action to federal court under the bankruptcy removal statute, 28 U. S. C. § 1452(a), and the general federal removal statute, § 1441(a). The Bankruptcy Court held that the removal was timely and proper, and that it had jurisdiction. The District Court reversed and, in effect, remanded the case to state court, holding that the removal was untimely under §§ 1441(a) and 1452(a) and that the Bankruptcy Court lacked jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit dismissed petitioner's appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that §§ 1447(d) and 1452(b) barred appellate review of the District Court's remand order.

Held: If an order remands a removed bankruptcy case to state court because of a timely raised defect in removal procedure or lack of subjectmatter jurisdiction, a court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to review the order under § 1447(d). That section, a provision of the general removal statute, bars appellate review of any "order remanding a case to the State court from which it was removed." Under Thermtron Products, Inc. v. Hermansdorfer, 423 U. S. 336,345-346, § 1447(d) must be read in pari materia with § 1447(c), so that only remands based on the grounds recognized by § 1447(c), i. e., a timely raised defect in removal procedure or lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, are immune from review under § 1447(d). Section 1447(d) bars review here, since the District Court's order remanded the case to "the State court from which it was removed," and untimely removal is precisely the type of removal defect contemplated by § 1447(c). The same conclusion pertains regardless of whether the case was removed under § 1441(a) or § 1452(a). Section 1447(d) applies "not only to remand[s] ... under [the general removal statute], but to orders of remand made in cases removed under any other statutes." United States v. Rice, 327 U. S. 742, 752 (emphasis added). Moreover, there is no indication that Congress intended § 1452 to be the exclusive provision governing removals and remands in bankruptcy or to exclude bankruptcy cases from § 1447(d)'s coverage. AI-


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though § 1452(b) expressly precludes review of certain remand decisions in bankruptcy cases, there is no reason §§ 1447(d) and 1452 cannot comfortably coexist in the bankruptcy context. The court must, therefore, give effect to both. Pp. 127-129.

65 F.3d 169, affirmed.

THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. KENNEDY, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which GINSBURG, J., joined, post, p. 129. GINSBURG, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which STEVENS, J., joined, post, p. 131.

Steven D. Cundra argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Patricia L. Taylor, Dean D. Gamin, and Mark A. Gamin.

John C. Weisensell argued the cause for respondent.

With him on the brief were Andrew R. Duff and Jack Morrison, Jr. *

JUSTICE THOMAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

We decide in this case whether a federal court of appeals may review a district court order remanding a bankruptcy case to state court on grounds of untimely removal.

I

Respondent commenced this action in March 1992 by filing a four-count complaint against Child World, Inc., and Cole National Corporation in the Court of Common Pleas in Summit County, Ohio. The state action charged Child World with failure to pay rent under two commercial leases. The complaint also sought to enforce Cole's guarantee of Child World's performance under the leases. Petitioner is Cole's successor in interest.

On May 6, 1992, Child World filed a Chapter 11 petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern Dis-

*G. Eric Brunstad, Jr., filed a brief for the Connecticut Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, as amicus curiae urging affirmance.


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Full Text of Opinion

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