“[W]hat later-served defendants are actually losing under the Fourth Circuit approach is ‘an opportunity to persuade earlier-served defendants to join a notice of removal.’” Seton Hall University School of Law Professor Adam Steinman, blogging about a recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 7-5 ruling on the application of federal removal requirements when defendants are served on different days. Under the majority’s interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b), the notice of removal must be served within the first-served defendant’s 30-day window, and later-served defendants have 30 days from the date they were served to join the notice of removal. Other circuits and the dissenting judges would have applied the Last-Served Defendant Rule, under which each defendant has 30 days to file a notice of removal.
Civil Procedure & Federal Courts Blog, February 8, 2011.