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People v. Sadder-Bey

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 13, 2017

The People of The State Of Illinois, Plaintiff,
Cordaro DeAndre Sadder-Bey, Defendant.


          Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Notice of Removal filed by Defendant Cordaro DeAndre Sadder-Bey on July 5, 2017. See R. 1. The Notice of Removal seeks removal of three criminal complaints brought by the State of Illinois against Sadder-Bey in the Circuit Court of Cook County (Complaints for Preliminary Examination, 17-1011159). The criminal complaints allege that Sadder-Bey committed the offenses of (1) aggravated battery against a police officer (he kicked the victim about the left hand and leg) (R. 1 at 13 (Exhibit L)); (2) obstruction of justice (he knowingly furnished a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth when under arrest/detained/or requested to provide information by a police officer) (id. at 14 (Exhibit M)); and (3) display of false registration plate (laminated red cardboard plate on rear of vehicle) (id. at 15 (Exhibit N)). The Court summarily remands this case to state court because: (1) nothing in Sadder-Bey's Notice of Removal suggests that he is being denied equal protection based on his race, that he is being subjected to any racial inequities, or that he cannot enforce his “equal civil rights” in the state prosecution; and (2) Sadder-Bey's Notice of Removal was not timely filed.


         Section 1455 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that a defendant “desiring to remove any criminal prosecution from a State court shall file in the district court of the United States for the district and division within which such prosecution is pending a notice of removal signed pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal, together with a copy of all process, pleadings, and orders served upon such defendant or defendants in such action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1455(a). A notice of removal of a criminal prosecution must “be filed not later than 30 days after the arraignment in the State court, or at any time before trial, whichever is earlier, except that for good cause shown the United States district court may enter an order granting the defendant or defendants leave to file the notice at a later time.” Id., § 1455(b)(1). The notice of removal must include all grounds for such removal. A failure to state grounds that exist at the time of the filing of the notice is a waiver of such grounds, and a second notice may be filed only on grounds not existing at the time of the original notice. Id., § 1455(b)(2). In addition, the district court in which such notice is filed must examine the notice promptly, and if it clearly appears on the face of the notice and any exhibits annexed thereto that removal should not be permitted, the court must “make an order for summary remand.” Id., § 1455(b)(4).

         The Court has examined the Notice of Removal and now enters this order summarily remanding on both substantive and procedural grounds.

         A. Grounds For Removal

         The grounds stated in the Notice for the removal of the pending criminal charges against Sadder-Bey do not provide a sufficient basis for removal of a state criminal proceeding to federal court. The Notice cites to 28 U.S.C. § 1455 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and states that the grounds for removal include the following:

(1) On or about January 17, 2017, Plaintiffs State of Illinois/P.O. Morlock #15358 filed three complaints . . . in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Criminal Division. Based on the complaints filed [in] the state court, [sic] these complaints were never examined/verified by a Judge.
(2) On June 7th, 8th, and 9th of the year 2017, the Defendant received a summons via Untied States Postal [Service] [sic] three fraudulent “Notice of Forfeiture of Bail Bond” . . . where the notices did not provide a Bond No. or Bond Amount.

R. 1 at 1.

         Neither of the statutes cited by Sadder-Bey allows for removal of criminal proceedings based on the grounds cited (the alleged failure of the state judge to examine or verify the criminal complaints or the omission of the bond number or bond amount on a notice of forfeiture of bail bond). Section 1455 merely provides the procedures that must be followed when removing a criminal case from state court; it does not provide a criminal defendant with the right to do so. Section 1983 has nothing to do with removal at all. It provides a substantive right of action against state actors for violations of a person's civil rights. While Sadder-Bey may believe he has a valid claim under § 1983 against state actors arising out of his arrest and criminal prosecution, that potential claim is not an adequate basis for removal of the state criminal proceedings against him. See Vorhees v. Naper Aero Club, Inc., 272 F.3d 398, 402 (7th Cir. 2001) (“A case arises under federal law within the meaning of § 1331 only when the claim for relief depends in some way on federal law, unaided by anything alleged in anticipation or avoidance of defenses which it is thought the defendant may interpose.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted) (emphasis added)

         Several other statutory provisions not cited by Sadder-Bey do accord a right to remove a state criminal proceeding to federal court, including 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a), 28 U.S.C. § 1442a, and 28 U.S.C. § 1443. But none of these special removal statutes apply here.

         The first two cited provisions are plainly inapplicable because Sadder-Bey does not allege that he is an officer of the United States, or that the state criminal proceedings against him target any of the official federal interests that trigger those provisions.

         Section 1443, while more closely on point, also is inapplicable. That provision allows removal of a state criminal prosecution in two circumstances. The Court first will consider the circumstances set forth in subsection (2) of § 1443, which permits removal “[f]or any act under color of authority derived from any law providing for equal rights, or for refusing to do any act on the ground that it would be inconsistent with such law.” 28 U.S.C. § 1443(2). Subsection (2) provides no basis for Sadder-Bey's removal because this provision has been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to allow removal only by federal and state ...

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