Where else do you hear the word "gamesmanship" except in pleadings and court orders?
Enter the 11th Circuit, explaining that the removal statute and the related forum-defendant rule is not actually there solely for the defendant's benefit:
We nevertheless conclude that Defendants’ right of removal, if any, was not at the core of what the removal statute protects.Gamesmanship -- it's overrated.
The forum-defendant rule clearly contemplates Plaintiff’s ability to defeat Defendants’ purported right of removal in this case. It is undisputed that if Reynolds had been served before Fikes and Precoat removed this case, the forum-defendant rule would have barred removal. The only reason this case is in federal court is that the non-forum defendants accomplished a pre-service removal by exploiting, first, Plaintiff’s courtesy in sending them copies of the complaint and, second, the state court’s delay in processing Plaintiff’s diligent request for service. Defendants would have us tie the district court’s hands in the face of such gamesmanship on the part of Defendants.
Moreover, their argument, if accepted, would turn the statute’s “properly joined and served” language on its head.