United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division
WILLIAM H. STEELE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on its sua sponte review
of its subject matter jurisdiction. As discussed in a
previous order, (Doc. 6), the defendant Board removed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 and 12 U.S.C. §
1787(b). As then noted, the latter section provides that,
unless the plaintiff has already filed a timely
administrative claim that has either been denied or that
remains pending after 180 days, “no court shall
have jurisdiction over … any claim or action for
payment from” the assets of the subject credit union.
Id. § 1787(b)(13)(D) (emphasis added). As also
noted, the former section forbids removal unless the action
is one “of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). Because the Board denied that the plaintiffs had
filed any administrative claim, knew it had not denied any
claim, and knew it had not been 180 days since the earliest
date a claim could have been filed, the Court questioned how
it could have subject matter jurisdiction so as to support
removal. The Court afforded the Board an opportunity to
respond, and the Board has done so. (Doc. 7).
Board concedes that Section 1787(b)(13)(D) deprives the Court
of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 3 at 1, 3). The Board
argues that removal nevertheless should be allowed, in clear
violation of Section 1441(a) and countless controlling
decisions of the Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit, because
to do otherwise “would give state courts the potential
to thwart the uniform process clearly contemplated under
federal law.” (Doc. 7 at 3). That is, the Board would
have the Court assume that the defendants' right to
dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction “will
not be enforced by the Circuit Court of Dallas County,
” (id.), and to use that assumption as a basis
to accept removal of a case over which the Court has no
jurisdiction. The Board offers no reason to believe the state
court is unable to understand or unwilling to enforce federal
and no authority for the proposition that such a concern
could even possibly override Section 1441(a). The burden of
demonstrating the propriety of removal rests on the Board,
not the Court,  which will not attempt to provide what the
Board has omitted.
Board next suggests that perhaps the plaintiffs believe,
despite pellucid statutory language to the contrary, that
their non-compliance with the exhaustion requirement can be
excused and that they can be allowed to maintain this action
despite their non-compliance. The Board proposes that the
plaintiffs “should be compelled to present in this
Court any alleged theories” supporting such a stance.
(Doc. 7 at 3). The Board does not suggest that any such
theory is possible, and its own presentation of the statutory
scheme persuasively reflects that no such reading is tenable.
But the more fundamental problem with the Board's
proposal is that it assumes the Board is free to remove a
case over which it insists the Court has no jurisdiction and
then leave it to the plaintiffs to establish that there is
jurisdiction. That is not how removal works.
the Board argues that the Court should accept removal and
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, rather than remand to state
court for a similar dismissal, in the name of “judicial
economy.” (Doc. 7 at 4). Suffice it to say that
jurisdictional limitations on the Court's power cannot be
ignored in the name of efficiency. In re: Lemco Gypsum,
Inc., 910 F.2d 784, 789 (11th Cir. 1990)
(“Judicial economy itself does not justify federal
reasons set forth above and in the Court's previous
order, this action is remanded to the
Circuit Court of Dallas County.
 “[A]ny state court is generally
presumed competent to interpret and apply federal law
….” Walker v. Jefferson County Board of
Education, 771 F.3d 748, 755 (11thCir. 2014).
The Board cryptically warns that “experience
cautions” against trusting the state court to enforce
federal law, (Doc. 7 at 3), an unelaborated attack by
innuendo that the Court will not dignify with a
 “[T]he party invoking the
court's jurisdiction bears the burden of proving, by a
preponderance of the evidence, facts supporting the existence
of federal jurisdiction.” McCormick v.
Aderholt, 293 F.3d 1254, 1257 (11th Cir.
2002). Thus, “the burden of establishing removal
jurisdiction rests with the defendant seeking removal.”
Scimone v. Carnival Corp., 720 F.3d 876, 882