*This post has not undergone our full editorial process. It has been updated as of 11/4/2014 to correct minor inaccuracies in the original post.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN MARITIME LAW
A Survey of Recent Jurisprudence on the Removal of Maritime Claims from State to Federal Court
BY: Caitlin Baroni
In Ryan v. Hercules Offshore, Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that under the amended removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441 (2012), a defendant could remove general maritime law claims from state to federal court absent diversity or another basis for federal jurisdiction. 945 F. Supp. 2d 772, 777-78 (S.D. Tex. 2013).
Several courts have followed suit and also allowed removal of claims from state to federal court based on general maritime law alone. However, this trend has begun to shift in favor of not allowing the removal of general maritime law claims without the existence of diversity or some other grounds for federal jurisdiction. Within the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, no district court has allowed a claim to be removed based on general maritime law alone since June, 2014. For more information on removal in the various federal circuits, please check out our handy Removal Infographic.