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County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp.

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20051
Nos. 17-cv-04929 et al., (N.D. Cal., 03/16/2018) (Chhabria, J.)

A district court granted California cities' motions to remand their climate change tort actions against oil and gas companies back to state court. Although their state law claims raise national and perhaps global questions, they should not have been removed to federal court. Removal based on federal common law was not warranted because federal common law does not govern the plaintiffs' claims. Nor was removal warranted under the doctrine of complete preemption. A defendant may only remove a case to federal court where a state law claim is "completely preempted" by a specific federal statute. Here, the defendants do not point to any applicable statutory provision that involves complete preemption. And defendants failed to point to a specific issue of federal law that must necessarily be resolved to adjudicate their state law claims.