William & Mary Law Review


Travis Temple


Snap removal employs “a literalist approach” to the statute governing the procedural mechanism for removing cases from state court to federal court. In a typical removal scenario, defendants sued in state court would have the option to be heard in federal court instead, given that certain conditions are satisfied. [S]nap removal essentially allows the defendants to forego a condition that would bar removal if they can file before the plaintiff formally notifies them of the lawsuit. This practice of removing a case before being served with formal process—essentially an act of gamesmanship of the civil procedure system—has gained appellate support over the past two years, making its application valid and uniform across three circuits. Now that the practice has garnered traction, federal courts moving forward will not only have to adopt it as a valid rule, but also grapple with its application when it inevitably collides with other laws and procedures. In particular, the rule of unanimity, requiring that all codefendants consent to a removal, could present a unique challenge in snap removal cases.

This Note argues that, when applied in conjunction with the rule of unanimity, the reasoning underlying snap removal’s approval will present a contradictory and ultimately absurd result in certain factual scenarios.