IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
March 1, 2007
KURT SCHMITT, PLAINTIFF,
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Chase Bank USA, N.A. ("Chase") has just filed a Notice of Removal ("Notice") to bring this action from the Circuit Court of Lake County (Illinois' Nineteenth Judicial Circuit) to this District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1441 and 1446.*fn1 This memorandum is issued sua sponte because this Court disagrees with the characterization by Chase's counsel that would permit Chase to remove this action without the joinder of co-defendant Katherine Winston Schmitt ("Katherine").
As Chase's counsel would have it, the claims brought against it by Katherine's ex-husband Kurt Schmitt ("Kurt") are "separate and independent" from the claims against Katherine, so as to bring the action within Section 1441(c) and permit removal by Chase alone. But this Court's reading of Kurt's Complaint reveals that even though his theories of recovery against Chase and Katherine are different, they stem from a common core of operative fact and are really inextricably intertwined. That being the case, this Court's view is that both defendants must join in the removal to comply with Section 1446(a).
Because the just-identified flaw is not one that implicates this District Court's subject matter jurisdiction, no current remand is called for under Section 1447(c). But Chase's counsel is advised that unless Katherine joins in or consents to the removal on a timely basis, a motion for remand by Kurt will be honored.