United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division
LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE
28 U.S.C. § 1443, Petitioner Donald Crowder seeks to
“transfer” to this Court a criminal case pending
against him in the Superior Court of Lowndes County, Georgia.
Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ECF No. 1. Under §
1443, criminal defendants are entitled to remove their state
criminal cases to federal court under very limited
circumstances. In particular, § 1443(1) provides for
removal when a case is pending “[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
Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 792, 799, 803
(1966), the Supreme Court held that a case may properly be
removed under § 1443(1) if the notice of removal
satisfies a two-prong test. “First, the petitioner must
show that the right upon which the petitioner relies arises
under a federal law ‘providing for specific civil
rights stated in terms of racial equality.'”
Alabama v. Conley, 245 F.3d 1292, 1295 (11th Cir.
2001) (quoting Rachel, 384 U.S. at 792).
“Second, the petitioner must show that he has been
denied or cannot enforce that right in the state
courts.” Id. (citing Rachel, 384 U.S.
the first prong, “[t]he phrase ‘any law providing
for . . . equal civil rights' refers to laws
‘providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of
racial equality, ' and does not include rights of
‘general application available to all persons or
citizens.'” Id. (quoting Rachel,
384 U.S. at 792). In his filing, Petitioner asserts that he
has been denied due process in his criminal trial because he
has been unable to have the expert of his choosing testify on
his behalf, and thus, has been unable to present critical
evidence. Pet. 3-4, ECF No. 1. Petitioner also broadly
asserts that he has been denied equal protection of the law.
Id. at 4.
rights, however, do not arise from federal laws providing for
specific civil rights in terms of racial equality; instead,
they are rights that are available to all persons or
citizens. See Rachel, 384 U.S. at 792
(“[D]efendants' broad contentions under the First
Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment cannot support a valid claim for removal under
§ 1443, because the guarantees of those clauses are
phrased in terms of general application available to all
person or citizens, rather than in the specific language of
racial equality that § 1443 demands.”);
Conley, 245 F.3d at 1295-96 (holding that a
defendant's “broad assertions” under the
Equal Protection Clause are insufficient to support a valid
claim for removal under §1443). As a result,
Petitioner's removal petition does not satisfy the first
prong of the Rachel test, and therefore, his case is
not removable under § 1443.
the Court concludes that removal is inappropriate and that
this Court therefore lacks jurisdiction. See 28
U.S.C. § 1455(b)(4) (“If it clearly appears on the
face of the notice and any exhibits annexed thereto that
removal should not be permitted, the court shall make an
order for summary remand.”). Petitioner's motion is
Although this case was docketed as a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, a review of the
petition demonstrates that Petitioner is seeking removal,
rather than habeas corpus relief. Additionally, the Court
notes that Petitioner has not paid a filing fee or sought
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Because filing
fees are not required for removal of a criminal action under
§ 1443, it is not necessary to grant Petitioner in
forma pauperis status in this action. See Lefton v.
City of Hattiesburg, Miss., 333 F.2d 280, 285 (5th Cir.
 Removal is only permitted under §
1443(2) for “federal officers or agents . . . in
affirmatively executing duties under any federal law
providing for equal civil rights.” City of
Greenwood v. Peacock, 384 U.S. 808, 824 (1966).
Petitioner has not alleged that he is a federal officer,
employee, or agent. Therefore, he may not remove his criminal
case under 28 U.S.C. § 1443(2).
Because Petitioner did not satisfy the
first prong of the Rachel test, the Court need not
address the second prong. Additionally, remand is appropriate
in this case because Petitioner has failed to follow the
proper procedures for removal, which are found at 28 U.S.C.
§ 1455. Specifically, § 1455(a) provides that a
criminal defendant seeking removal must attach “a copy
of all process, pleadings, and orders served upon such
defendant” to his notice of removal. Petitioner has
failed to attach any such documents. ...