Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Re Attorney Fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)

The Supreme Court today in Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., --- S.Ct. ----, 2005 WL 3299410(U.S. Dec. 7, 2005) has resolved a circuit split on the standard for an award of attorney fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Section 1447(c) provides, in pertinent part, that an order remanding a removed case "may require payment of just costs and any actual expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal."

The Court held that "Absent unusual circumstances, courts may award attorney's fees under § 1447(c) only where the removing party lacked an objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal. Conversely, when an objectively reasonable basis exists, fees should be denied."

This opinion is Chief Justice Roberts' first signed opinion as a member of the Court.


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