United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
LOUISIANA STATE, et al.
ISSIS R. ARAIS-ELWIN
ORDER & REASONS
W. ASHE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Issis R. Arais-Elwin (“Elwin”) removed State
of Louisiana v. Hunt, case number 2006-3613,
consolidated with Hunt v. Arais-E Court, Parish of
Orleans (“State Court”) on April 26, 2018.
Although plaintiff Richard Hunt (“Hunt”) has not
moved to remand, federal courts have an independent duty to
examine their own subject-matter jurisdiction sue
sponte and may not proceed where it is apparent that
jurisdiction does not exist. See Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon
Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583-84 (1999); Union Planters
Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Salih, 369 F.3d 457, 460
(5th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, this Court now addresses the
issue of its subject-matter jurisdiction sua sponte.
Having considered the notice of removal and the
applicable law, the Court must remand the case to State
case arises out of a dispute over child support. Elwin,
proceeding pro se, filed a notice of removal of State of
Louisiana v. Hunt, case number 2006-3613, consolidated
with Hunt v. Arais-Elwin, case number 2010-3951,
from State Court. While the record is incomplete,
consolidated cases involve petitions to establish paternity
and support obligations. Elwin and Hunt have a minor child to
whom Hunt owes child support. Due in part to Hunt's failure
to pay the child support, Elwin filed a petition for
involuntary bankruptcy against Hunt on March 30, 2018.
See In re Hunt, 2018 WL 3586712, at *1 (Bankr. E.D.
La. June 24, 2018). The bankruptcy court dismissed the
petition on May 14, 2018, for lack of standing as a result of
Elwin's failure to make a prima facie case that at least
$15, 775 of claims were not the subject of a bona fide
dispute under 11 U.S.C. § 303(b). 2018 WL 3586712, at
*6. Elwin filed a motion for reconsideration, which the
bankruptcy court, treating it as a motion for new trial and
to alter or amend the judgment, denied. In re Hunt,
2018 WL 3628892 (Bankr. E.D. La. July 25, 2018). Elwin then
appealed the dismissal to this Court, and this Court
affirmed. In re Hunt, 2019 WL 651672 (E.D. La. Feb.
NOTICE OF REMOVAL
Elwin's notice of removal, Elwin states four bases for
jurisdiction: (1) 28 U.S.C. § 1334; (2) 28 U.S.C. §
1452; (3) 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1); and (4) 28 U.S.C.
1447(d). In support of bases (1) and (2), which
Elwin refers to as “Bankruptcy Removal, ” Elwin
claims that the State Court proceedings are related to the
involuntary bankruptcy petition that she filed in bankruptcy
court less than 30 days before she filed her notice of
next refers to bases (3) and (4) as “Civil Rights
Removal, ” which she contends is proper under the line
of removed state-court cases in the 1960's because the
State Court proceedings were “initiated without lawful
or legitimate basis in law, ” making her a
“victim of bad faith harassment.” Elwin, “of
white-Hispanic ethnic origin, ” contends that the State
Court's racial discrimination denies her equal protection
rights: “In sum, due to systemic race-based corruption
and bribery of black judges by white lawyers against white
Hispanic and other white women, Civil Rights removal is
entirely appropriate in the present case” Elwin also cites
the Americans with Disabilities Act in support of her
allegation that the State Court has violated her due process
and equal protection rights as a mother and disabled person
who suffers from panic attacks,  as well as the rights of her
disabled child. Elwin further submits that she has been
arrested on false charges on several occasions during the
past decade in violation of her rights under 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1981(a) and 12131, et seq Throughout
her notice of removal, Elwin asserts that the State
Court's refusal to enforce Hunt's obligation to pay
child support is the result of broad-based corruption
involving a multiplicity of state actors' racism and
favoritism towards Hunt.
LAW & ANALYSIS
jurisdiction of a federal court is limited to that granted by
the United States Constitution and authorized by Congress.
See Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916
(5th Cir. 2001). Generally, a defendant may remove a
state-court, civil action to federal court if the federal
court possesses original jurisdiction at the time of removal.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1441; Doddy v. Oxy
USA, Inc., 101 F.3d 448, 456 (5th Cir. 1996)
(jurisdiction established at time of removal). Because
federal courts have limited jurisdiction, the removal statute
is strictly construed, and any ambiguities are construed
against removal and in favor of remand. Manguno v.
Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723
(5th Cir. 2002). The party seeking removal has the burden of
establishing that federal jurisdiction exists and that
removal was proper. Id.
at any time before final judgment it appears that the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case
shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Thus, if
subject-matter jurisdiction is not raised by the parties, a
federal court has a duty to raise the issue of its
subject-matter jurisdiction sua sponte. Union
Planters Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Salih, 369 F.3d at