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Bell v. Thornburg

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

January 29, 2014

TAMMY BELMON BELL, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
JON C. THORNBURG, Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

For TAMMY BELMON BELL, Plaintiff - Appellant: Malcolm Xerxes Larvadain, Esq., Law Offices of Malcolm X. Larvadain, Alexandria, LA.

For JON C. THORNBURG, Defendant - Appellee: Robert J. David, Jr., Alyse Susanne Richard, Juneau David, A.P.L.C., Lafayette, LA.

Before STEWART, Chief Judge, KING, and PRADO, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 85

ON PETITION FOR REHEARING

(Opinion December 30, 2013, 738 F.3d 696)

PER CURIAM:

Plaintiff-Appellant Tammy Belmon Bell's petition for rehearing is DENIED. Defendant-Appellee Jon C. Thornburg's petition for rehearing to clarify opinion is GRANTED.

The opinion, 738 F.3d 696, is hereby WITHDRAWN, and the attached substitute opinion is ISSUED in its place.

EDWARD C. PRADO, Circuit Judge:

Tammy Belmon Bell (" Bell" ), a former employee of Jon C. Thornburg (" Thornburg" ), the standing bankruptcy trustee for the Western District of Louisiana, filed suit in state court alleging that she had been terminated because of her race in violation of the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (" LEDL" ), Louisiana Revised Statutes § § 23:301-03, 23:323. Thornburg removed Bell's suit to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). Bell moved to have the case remanded to state court, while Thornburg moved for summary judgment. The district court determined that removal was proper, and that Thornburg should be granted summary judgment because he did not qualify as an " employer" under the LEDL. Bell appeals both determinations. Because removal was proper and Thornburg does not qualify as an employer under the LEDL, we affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The record is almost entirely devoid of any statements, affidavits, or other evidence. The following facts are taken exclusively from the pleadings in Bell's state-court petition. See generally Cavallini v.

Page 86

State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 44 F.3d 256, 264 (5th Cir. 1995) (" Limiting the removal jurisdiction question to the claims in the state court complaint... permits early resolution of which court has jurisdiction, so that the parties and the court can ...


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