United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER ON DEFENDANT JASPREET ATTARIWALA'S MOTION
TO VACATE STATE COURT'S CONTEMPT ORDER AND QUASH BENCH
BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Jaspreet
Attariwala's Motion to Vacate State Court's Contempt
Order and Quash Bench Warrant and Brief in Support [Filing
No. 48]. As explained below, Attariwala's motion is
granted in part and denied in part. In relation to the bench
warrant, the motion is denied as moot, because the warrant
has since expired. But Attariwala's motion is granted as
it relates to the state court's written contempt order,
because the order was issued after removal, when the state
court no longer had jurisdiction.
Court summarized the procedural history of this matter in its
order on August 30, 2019, requesting additional briefing
[Filing No. 71]:
This case originated in state court. While this case was
pending there, Defendant Jaspreet Attariwala failed to appear
for a contempt hearing. The state court ordered a bench
warrant for Attariwala's arrest. At the contempt hearing,
the state court found Attariwala in direct contempt and
directed counsel for Plaintiff to submit a proposed order.
Plaintiff allegedly submitted a proposed order on April 29,
2019. [Filing No. 59-1, at ECF p. 5.] On April 30, 2019,
Attariwala filed a notice of removal in federal court. On May
1, 2019, Attariwala certified that a copy of the notice of
removal was filed with the Clerk of the Monroe County Circuit
Court on April 30 as well. The state court issued its written
order finding Attariwala in contempt on May 6, 2019.
Attariwala now asks this Court to vacate and quash the
contempt order and bench warrant issued in the state court
proceeding. [Filing No. 48.]
Court sought additional briefing on the issue of whether the
bench warrant had an expiration date. [Filing No. 71.] The
parties responded and both acknowledged that the bench
warrant, dated April 18, 2019, states on its face that it
will expire after 180 days. [Filing No. 15-5.] Thus, it
expired on October 15, 2019. The Court, therefore, denies
Attariwala's motion to quash the bench warrant as moot.
noted above, the bench warrant issue is now moot. However, as
both sides assert, the state court's May 6 order on
contempt did not contain an expiration date. Accordingly,
though the Court was “reluctant to delve into the
thorny state law issue that has been presented” [Filing
No. 71, at ECF p. 2.], it must do so since this issue will
not simply go away on its own.
argues that the state court's contempt order should be
vacated for lack of jurisdiction because it was entered after
she filed her notice of removal to this Court. [Filing No.
48-1, at ECF p.4.] Plaintiff Bioconvergence, LLC, counters
that the state court orally found Attariwala in contempt on
April 18, 2019, twelve days before Attariwala removed the
action and when the state court still had jurisdiction.
[Filing No. 59, at ECF p. 1.] Bioconvergence characterizes
the state court's written order as simply a
“ministerial act” memorializing its prior oral
findings, which could be completed following removal. [Filing
No. 59, at ECF p. 2.]
28, Section 1446(d) of the United States Code states:
(d) Notice to adverse parties and State court.-Promptly after
the filing of such notice of removal of a civil action the
defendant or defendants shall give written notice thereof to
all adverse parties and shall file a copy of the notice with
the clerk of such State court, which shall effect the removal
and the State court shall proceed no further unless and until
the case is remanded.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(d). Thus, when a case is removed from
state to federal court, jurisdiction of the state court
generally ceases unless and until the case is remanded.
See, e.g., Fenton v. Dudley, 761 F.3d 770,
772 (7th Cir. 2014) (“As a preliminary matter, we note
that the Cook County Circuit Court's decision to enter an
injunction after the case had been removed to federal court
is clearly contrary to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d), which
provides that, once a defendant has filed a notice of removal
with the state court, the state court may proceed no further
unless and until the case is remanded.” (Internal
citation, quotation marks, and emphasis omitted)).
cites to decisions in other districts that have quashed state
court entries that were made after the matter was removed to
federal court. See, e.g.,Warren v. Fed. Reserve
Bankof Chicago, No. 17-CV-13256, 2018 WL
4854678, at *6 (E.D. Mich. July 18, 2018) (“Here,
Defendant removed this matter from the state court to this
court on October 4, 2017. The state court then entered the
writ of garnishment at issue on October 20, 2017. Thus, the
state court lacked jurisdiction over this matter at the time
it entered the Writ of Garnishment, the Writ of Garnishment
is void, and it should be vacated.”), adopted by No.
17-13256, 2018 WL ...