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Case Summary Citation

Mays v. City of Flint, Michigan, 871 F.3d 437 (6th Cir. 2017)

Abstract

In Mays v. City of Flint Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees removed a class action against them in the Michigan state court to federal court under the federal-officer removal statute. This court ruled in favor of the residents of Flint, determining that the federal officer removal statute did not give the federal court jurisdiction over a state agency simply because the agency must follow federal rules. The court held that Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees could not have been “acting under” the federal government even though the state agency’s enforcement authority could be trumped by the EPA. In addition, the court held that a state law tort claim relying on the violation of federal law is not a substantial question of federal law. This ruling reinforced the ability of individuals to hold their local agencies accountable in local courts.

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