What is remand?

You can think of remand as the reverse of removal.  Remand follows an improper removal.  Here is an example:

Let's say we have a defendant sued in New York state court.   The plaintiff is a citizen of New York.  The defendant notifies the court that he is a citizen of California and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.  

Removal was easy.  The defendant just took the case out of state court and brought it to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction (NY plaintiff, CA defendant, amount in controversy > $75,000).

So now the case is in federal court.  However, the defendant is actually not a citizen of California.  He is a citizen of New York.  There is no diversity because the plaintiff and defendant are citizens of the same state. 

What should the plaintiff do?  The plaintiff should ask the federal court (move the federal court) to remand the case back to state court.  If the court agrees with the plaintiff the judge will find that there is no diversity jurisdiction.  If there is no diversity subject matter jurisdiction the federal court must remand the case back to state court.   The case will the proceed in state court.



Lisa(Yeji) said

I read a contract case "Shoemaker v. Commonwealth Bank". In this case, The Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed and reversed the order of The Court of Common Pleas in part, and remanded the case. I know why Court remands the case in respect of diversity jurisdiction but I wonder why Court remands a case in same jurisdiction. I think I may not understand the REMAND, well. I will really thank if you let me know what I am missing.

Hi, that's a good point.

Remand means to give the case back to the court that had it before. Where there is no federal subject matter jurisdiction, the federal court gives the case back to the state court because removal was improper.

Remand is also where an appellate court gives a case back to a trial court. In the case you read, the trial court granted summary judgment on one of the claims in favor of the defendant. In other words, on that claim, the trial court judge said "we don't need a jury" and declared the defendant the winner. But the appellate court said the trial court made a mistake. According to the appellate court a jury should hear the claim.

The appellate court then gave the case back to the trial court (remanded the case back to the trial court) so the parties could continue to litigate that claim.

Please let me know whether that makes things clearer.

Lisa said

I understand what remand is and why the appellate remand the case in that case. I really thank you! If I have quetions, I will ask you again.

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