United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. White United States District Judge
about July 22, 2016, George M. Kniest filed a pro se notice
of removal in this Court, seeking "federal removal of
criminal case ED104166-01 [and] criminal case SC95637, "
on the grounds that his constitutional rights were being
violated in the state proceedings. Because there is no
statutory basis for Mr. Kniest to remove the state action to
federal court, this matter will be summarily remanded to the
Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District.
Kniest states that he pled guilty to state charges of first
degree assault and armed criminal action in the Circuit Court
of St. Francois County. He complains that he was illegally
sentenced and that every time he has tried to seek relief
from the Missouri Supreme Court, the matter is transferred to
the Missouri Court of Appeals. Defendant states, "A
rigged court system violates federal and state due process of
law." Defendant is now attempting to remove his charges
to federal court. As explained below, however, there is no
basis for removal of the instant state-court proceedings.
Court notes that three federal statutes allow for the removal
of certain criminal prosecutions from state to federal court.
Those statutes are extraordinarily limited, however, and none
of the three statutes allows for removal of this matter.
28 U.S.C. § 1442 provides that civil and criminal
actions commenced in state court against the United States
itself and against officers of the United States acting under
color of office may be removed to federal court. Nothing in
defendant's notice of removal or any of the other
documents filed by defendant indicate that he is a federal
officer or otherwise meets the requirements of § 1442.
Defendant has not sought to invoke § 1442, and there is
no reason to believe that defendant could have successfully
invoked § 1442 if he had tried.
28 U.S.C. § 1442a allows for removal "of a civil or
criminal prosecution in a court of a State of the United
States against a member of the armed forces of the United
States" who was acting under color of his status as a
member of the armed forces. There is similarly no indication
in the documents filed by defendant that he is a member of
the United States armed forces or that he was acting under
color of his status as a member of the armed forces.
Defendant therefore cannot invoke (and has not tried to
invoke) § 1442a.
§ 1443 states of Title 28 states, in relevant part:
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. . .
(2) For any act under color of authority derived from any law
providing for equal rights, or for refusing to do any act on
the ground that it would be inconsistent with such law.
jurisdiction under § 1443(1) is very limited. Generally
'the vindication of the defendant's federal rights is
left to the state courts.'" Minnesota v.
Bey, Nos. 12-CR-0256 & 12- CR-0257 (JRT), 2012 WL
6139223, at *1 (D.Minn. Dec. 11, 2012) (quoting City of
Greenwood v. Peacock, 384 U.S. 808,
828 (1966)). In order to remove a case under § 1443(1),
a defendant must show (1) "that the right allegedly
denied the removal petitioner arises under a federal law
providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial
equality" and (2) "that the removal petitioner is
denied or cannot enforce the specified federal rights in the
courts of the State." Johnson v. Mississippi,
421 U.S. 213, 219 (1975) (quotations omitted).
satisfies neither prong of this test. Although defendant
alleges that his constitutional rights are being violated in
state court, defendant has pointed to nothing indicating that
the State of Missouri has violated his rights on account of
his race. "Claims that prosecution and conviction will
violate rights under constitutional or statutory provisions
of general applicability or under statutes not protecting
against racial discrimination, will not suffice" to
remove a case under § 1443(1). Id.
respect to the second prong, the Court cannot conclude, based
on the facts presented, that the state courts cannot
vindicate defendant's federal constitutional rights. As
such, defendant may not invoke § 1443(1) as a basis for
removing this prosecution to federal court.
1443(2) is no more availing. That provision "confers a
privilege of removal only upon federal officers or agents and
those authorized to act with or for them in affirmatively
executing duties under any federal law providing for equal
civil rights." City of Greenwood, 384 U.S. at
824. As noted above, there is no indication from the
documents filed by defendant that he is a federal officer or
agent. Nor is there any indication that defendant was
executing duties under ...