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June 8, 2015

By: David M. Cheifetz

In a case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that neither permissive abstention nor equitable remand under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(c)(1) and 1452(b), respectively, are available for proceedings related to bankruptcy cases under chapter 15 of title 11. The Fifth Circuit found that, notwithstanding certain anti-review provisions, it had appellate jurisdiction to review a district court’s decision to permissively abstain and equitably remand such a proceeding because doing so exceeded the district court’s statutory authority. In reversing the decision below, the Fifth Circuit resolved conflicting interpretations of the exception found in § 1332(c)(1) concerning chapter 15, and became the first court expressly to hold that the exception must also be read in connection with § 1452.

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