United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
November 28, 2017, Defendant Angelo Solinas Mondragon filed a
Notice of Removal [Docket No. 1] of his three state court
proceedings from Polk County District Court, Minnesota. He
also filed a Motion for Change of Venue [Docket No. 2].
Defendant alleges that Minnesota's Implied Consent Law
violates several of his rights under the United States
Constitution. Notice Removal at 2-3, 15-18. He seeks to
litigate his Minnesota state court driving charges in United
States District Court in Fargo, North Dakota. For the reasons
set forth below, the cases are remanded and the Motion for
Change of Venue is denied.
14, 2017, Defendant was charged in Polk County, Minnesota
with Fourth Degree Driving While Impaired (Minn. Stat.
§§ 169A.20, subd. 1(1), 169A.27) and Fourth Degree
Driving While Impaired Over 0.08 B.A.C. (Minn. Stat.
§§ 169A.20, subd. 1(5), 169A.27). Notice Removal
[Docket No. 1, Attach. 1] at 6, 8. His driver's license
was revoked pursuant to Minnesota's Implied Consent Law,
Minn. Stat. § 169A.52. Id. at 5. On September
20, 2017, Defendant was cited in Polk County with Driving
After Revocation (Minn. Stat. § 171.24) and Failure to
Display Front and Rear Plates (Minn. Stat. 169.79.6). Notice
Removal at 10. Based on these charges and citations, the
State of Minnesota (“State”) has initiated three
state court cases against Defendant in Polk County,
Minnesota: State of Minnesota vs. Angelo Solinas
Mondragon, No. 60-CR-17-1040 (Driving While Impaired);
State of Minnesota vs. Angelo Solinas Mondragon, No.
60-VB-17-2953 (Driving After Revocation); and LE Case
Number/ICR: 170001501 (Notice and Order of Revocation;
Department of Public Safety, State of Minnesota).
Id. at 4. Defendant seeks to remove the cases to
federal court and to transfer the litigation to the United
States District Court in Fargo, North Dakota.
28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(4), the Court must promptly examine
the notice of removal of a state criminal
prosecution and summarily remand the case if “it
clearly appears on the face of the notice and any exhibits
annexed thereto that removal should not be permitted.”
It is clear from the face of Defendant's Notice and
annexed exhibits that removal should not be permitted here
because Defendant cannot satisfy any of the statutes
authorizing the removal of cases from state courts.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441-1455 (removal
appears to argue that his state court cases are removable
under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), which provides that
“any civil action brought in a State court of which the
district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the
defendants, to the district court of the United States for
the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.” Defendant contends that this Court
has original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331
because the actions implicate his rights under the United
States Constitution. See Notice Removal at 2-3.
However, the state actions against Defendant do not
“aris[e] under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Rather, the
actions arise under the laws of Minnesota. Therefore, the
state actions are not removable under §
allegations that Minnesota's Implied Consent Law violates
his Constitutional rights also suggest that Defendant is
attempting to remove the state court proceedings pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1443(1). This provision authorizes the
removal of civil actions or criminal prosecutions
“[a]gainst any person who is denied or cannot enforce
in the courts of such State a right under any law providing
for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States,
or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof.” 28
U.S.C. § 1443(1). However, “[s]ection 1443 applies
only to denials of specific rights of racial equality and not
to the whole gamut of constitutional rights.” U.S.
ex rel. Sullivan v. Missouri, 588 F.2d 579, 580 (8th
Cir. 1978) (per curiam). “Claims that
prosecution and conviction will violate rights under
constitutional or statutory provisions of general
applicability . . . will not suffice” as grounds for
removal under § 1443. Johnson v. Mississippi,
421 U.S. 213, 219 (1975). Thus, to establish eligibility for
removal under § 1443, Defendant must show he
“relies upon a law providing for equal civil rights
stated in terms of racial equality.” Neal v.
Wilson, 112 F.3d 351, 354 (8th Cir. 1997). None of the
alleged violations of Defendant's rights listed in the
Notice of Removal are based upon racial discrimination or a
law specifically providing for racial equality.
none of the removal statutes apply to the state actions
against Defendant, “it clearly appears on the face of
the notice and any exhibits annexed thereto that removal
should not be permitted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(4).
on the foregoing, and all the records, files, and proceedings
herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that these
cases are summarily REMANDED to the
Minnesota District Court, Ninth Judicial District. The Motion
for Change of Venue [Docket No. 2] is DENIED
JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.