Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Gordon Grocery, Inc. v. Associated Wholesalers, Inc. (Maryland U.S.D.C.) (Not Approved for Publication)

Signed April 30, 2007--Memorandum opinion by Judge Andre M. Davis. (Not approved for publication.)

In a previous opinion (MCW synopsis here), the Court remanded the case to state court from which it had been removed. After remand, the plaintiff amended its complaint. In response, the defendant again attempted to remove the case to federal court.

The plaintiff had previously attempted to amend its claim in federal court to state the same additional claim that it set forth in the amended complaint filed in state court. The defendant had previously opposed this amendment in federal court and the defendant's opposition was sustained. However, because Maryland state rules are more liberal with respect to the allowance of amendments, the defendant lacked the ability to attack the amendment procedurally in the state court. Instead, it argued that the amendment constituted a "changed circumstance" allowing it to again seek removal to the federal court.

The Court again remanded the case to state court holding that: "Plainly, defendant will not be heard to contend under the circumstances here that plaintiff engaged in 'procedural fencing' to deprive it of a federal forum. . . or that it 'uncovered' some 'new ground of removal' after this case was remanded." (Citations omitted.)

The Court's opinion is available in PDF.

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