United States District Court, D. Delaware
JOHN R. PURNELL, III, Appellant,
DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE, Appellee.
R. Purnell, 111, Bear, Delaware. Pro Se Appellant.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Purnell, III, appellant, filed a notice of removal on August
3, 2018, of Purneliv. Delaware Department of
Insurance, No. 412, 2017 (Del.). (D.I. 2). Purnell
appears pro se and proceeds in forma
pauperis. For the reasons discussed below, the Court
will summarily remand the matter to the Supreme Court of the
State of Delaware.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
September 7, 2017, the Superior Court of the State
of Delaware in and for New Castle County entered an opinion
in Purnell v. Department of Insurance, C.A. No.
N16A-10-001 JRJ, that affirmed in part and reversed in part a
decision by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner, relating to
the regulation of bail bond agents. (D.I. 2-1 at 2-32). At
issue was whether Delaware's Department of Insurance
complied with due process in recommending revocation of
Pumell's bail bond license and imposing a fine. The
Superior Court found the Department of Insurance complied
with due process in conducting the proceedings but that the
imposition of a fine violated 18 Del. C. § 4333(c)(3)h.
appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court. (D.I. 2-2). The
Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Superior
Court on May 30, 2018. (Id. at 2-3). Purnell filed a
motion for reargument. (Id. at 4). On July 5, 2018,
the Delaware Supreme denied the motion after concluding it
was without merit. (Id.)
removed the matter on August 3, 2018, for "review"
of the State Court decisions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1446. (D.I. 2)
exercise of removal jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441 (a) which states that, in order to remove a civil
action from state court to federal court, a district court
must have original jurisdiction by either a federal question
or diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
1332, 1441(a). Section 1441(a) and § 1443 both provide
that the action may be removed by the defendant to the
district court of the United States. Id. at
§§ 1441(a), 1446. The removal statutes are strictly
construed and require remand to state court if any doubt
exists over whether removal was proper. Shamrock Oil
& Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 104 (1941).
will remand a removed case "if at any time before final
judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The
party seeking removal bears the burden to establish federal
jurisdiction. Steel Valley Auth. v. Union Switch
& Signal Div. Am. Standard, Inc., 809 F.2d 1006,
1010 (3d Cir. 1987); Zoren v. Genesis Energy, LP.,
195 F.Supp.2d 598, 602 (D. Del. 2002). In determining whether
remand based on improper removal is appropriate, the court
"must focus on the plaintiffs complaint at the time the
petition for removal was filed," and assume all factual
allegations therein are true. Steel Valley Auth.,
809 F.2d at 1010.
notice of removal, Purnell does not state there is federal
question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or any
other type of jurisdiction. He alleges the Delaware
Department of Insurance committed malfeasance and fraud in
the State Court proceeding.
is clear that he removed this case so this Court could review
the rulings of the state courts. The Court lacks jurisdiction
to entertain an appeal of orders entered in C.A. No.
N16A-10-001 JRJ and No. 412, 2017 based upon the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine which bars review of state
court decisions. See Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co.,
263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of Columbia Court of
Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983). See also
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S.
280, 284 (2005).
Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction in this
matter. Therefore, the ...