Federal trial judges cannot on their own motions send a case back to a state court on the basis of procedural defects in the way the case was removed, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

With its ruling in In Re: FMC Corp., the 3rd Circuit aligns itself with four other circuits that have ruled the same way — the 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th — and effectively puts an end to a practice that had become common for U.S. District Judge Alfred J. Lechner of the District of New Jersey.

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