United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division
WILLIAM H. STEELE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiffs filed this action in state court. The complaint
asserts only state-law claims, and the parties are not
diverse. (Doc. 1-1). National Credit Union Board (“the
Board”) nevertheless removed, citing 12 U.S.C. §
1787(b), then promptly filed a motion to dismiss the action
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 3).
Board is authorized by federal statute, under certain
circumstances, to close any credit union and appoint itself
liquidating agent. 12 U.S.C. § 1787(a)(3). The Board did
so with respect to the defendant credit union
(“Riverdale”) on November 16, 2017. (Doc. 3-1).
By operation of law, the Board thereby succeeded to all
rights, titles, powers and privileges of Riverdale and its
assets. 12 U.S.C. § 1787(b)(2).
the Board's powers is that of determining claims. 12
U.S.C. § 1787(b)(3)(A). The Board is required to provide
prompt notice to creditors to present their claims by a
specific date, at least 90 days after notice. Id.
§ 1787(b)(3)(B), (C). The Board mailed such notice to
the plaintiffs on December 15, 2017, establishing a deadline
of March 14, 2018 for presenting claims. (Doc. 3-3). As of
March 26, 2018, the Board was unaware of any claim having
been presented by the plaintiffs. (Doc. 3 at 2).
claim is filed, the Board is required to resolve the claim
within 180 days or such longer period to which the parties
have agreed. 12 U.S.C. § 1787(b)(5)(A). If the Board
disallows the claim, or if the Board fails to resolve the
claim by the applicable deadline, the claimant may, within 60
days thereafter, file suit on the claim in federal court.
Id. § 1787(b)(6)(A). In that event, “such
court shall have jurisdiction to hear such claim.”
Id. Otherwise, “no court shall have
jurisdiction over … any claim or action for payment
from” the assets of the credit union. Id.
noted, the Board is unaware of any claim having been filed by
the plaintiffs. Because it is unaware of any claim, it has
not resolved any such unknown claim; nor has it been 180 days
since a claim was filed (since it has not been 180 days since
the Board placed Riverdale in involuntary liquidation).
Therefore, the plaintiffs are not authorized by Section
1787(b)(6) to file suit, and therefore Section 1787(b)(13)(D)
precludes subject matter jurisdiction over the
plaintiffs' lawsuit. (Doc. 3 at 3-4).
difficulty with the Board's removal is that only a civil
action “of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction” may be removed. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). Thus, if the plaintiffs filed no
timely claim, or if they did so but the Board has not
resolved the claim, the interplay of Sections 1787(b)(6)(A)
and 1787(b)(13)(D) precludes original jurisdiction and thus
Board suggests that the plaintiffs may have filed a timely
claim of which the Board is somehow ignorant. (Doc. 3 at 1,
2, 4). The Court does not understand how this is possible;
nor does the Court see how it matters. Pursuant to the
provisions discussed above, the courts have no jurisdiction
over a plaintiff's lawsuit filed after the credit union
is placed in involuntary liquidation unless there has been
both a timely submission of a claim and a disallowance of the
claim. Even if the first requirement has been met, the second
clearly has not.
Board also points out that, had the plaintiffs filed a timely
claim which the Board had disallowed, Section 1787(b)(6)(A)
would make federal court the only proper forum for this
lawsuit. (Doc. 1 at 2). That appears to be correct, but it
does not validate removal in the absence of subject matter
the defendants are ordered to show cause, on
or before April 17, 2018, why this action
should not be remanded to the Circuit Court of Dallas County
(where it presumably will be dismissed for want of
jurisdiction), failing which the Court will remand the action
without further notice.
 The rules are somewhat different for
lawsuits filed before the Board places the credit union in
involuntary liquidation, but the plaintiffs filed this action
in February 2018, after Riverdale was ...