February 06, 2012 Articles

New Amendments to Federal Venue, Removal, and Other Rules

The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 contains the most expansive changes to the Judicial Code since the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990.

By Charles S. Smith

On January 6, 2012, the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011, H.R. 394, 112th Cong. (2011) (JVCA), went into effect. The JVCA contains the most expansive changes to the Judicial Code since the enactment of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990.

Enacted in response to growing disagreement and confusion among the circuit courts on various issues, see H.R. Rep. No. 112-10, at 9, 13 (2011), the JVCA clarifies and simplifies the federal rules on the following: venue; timing of removal for multiple-defendant cases; amount-in-controversy determinations; and citizenship of permanent resident aliens, corporations, and insurers. And it adds a new remand requirement for “separate and independent” claims. These changes are summarized below.

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