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Jordan v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 25, 2019

ELTHA JORDAN, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Defendant.

          OPINION

          KEVIN McNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Eltha Jordan is the defendant in a municipal court case in Englewood, New Jersey. Complaint-Warrant # 0215 W 2018 00257. She is charged with defiant trespass, in that she refused to vacate premises upon service with a warrant of removal, N.J.S.A § 2C:18-3A; obstruction of a governmental function, in that she refused to provide access to the premises and then refused to provide identification, N.J.S.A. § 2C:29-1A; and refusal to submit to identification procedures, i.e., fingerprinting, at the time of arrest, N.J.S.A. § 53:1-15. (DE 1 at 15-16).

         On July 24, 2018, she filed a notice of removal of her municipal court criminal case to federal court under a little-used statute:

Any of the following civil actions or criminal prosecutions, commenced in a State court may be removed by the defendant to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending:
(1) Against 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).

         By contrast with the more familiar notice of removal in a civil case, which is self-executing, a § 1443 notice of removal does not automatically deprive the state court of jurisdiction and lodge it in the federal court. Indeed, "[t]he filing of a notice of removal of a criminal prosecution shall not prevent the State court in which such prosecution is pending from proceeding further, except that a judgment of conviction shall not be entered unless the prosecution is first remanded." 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(3).

         This Notice was filed using the caption of the state criminal case, but the clerk has properly docketed the matter under a civil number, because it is in substance a petition for removal. Only if the petition is granted will this matter be filed in federal court as a criminal case. Accordingly, in an earlier order, I realigned the parties, deeming Ms. Jordan to be the petitioner and the State to be the respondent. (DE 4) The State has filed a response in the form of a motion to dismiss the notice of removal. (DE 22). Ms. Jordan has filed a response in the form of a "Motion to Strike" (DE 23)

         Notice of Removal

         Ms. Jordan's Notice of Removal is lengthy, but its major contentions may be summarized as follows.

         Judge Gallina of the municipal court caused her signature to be forged. The municipal court has no diversity compliance and has harassed Ms. Jordan's brother-in-law, Mr. Rosenberg, on a racial basis.

         Police officers forcibly entered Ms. Jordan's residence to effect an eviction without legal basis in that there was no such order. A Jewish co-resident was not arrested. The officers, including Jordan Migliore, have a public reputation of bigotry against African Americans. They racially harassed Ms. Jordan over her association with Rosenberg. The state proceedings are part of a racist conspiracy against Rudolph Rosenberg and family members.

         Ms. Jordan was purposely held at Bergen County Jail for a prolonged period. Ms. Jordan is racially African-American, has a ...


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