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United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
May 25, 1984, Argued ; August 27, 1984, Decided
[*985] OPINION OF THE COURT
GARTH, Circuit Judge:
Philadelphia Asbestos Co. (trading as "Pacor, Inc.") appeals from a district court order which remanded a products liability action, brought against Pacor by John Higgins and his wife, to Pennsylvania state court. This case, as well as Hanna v. Philadelphia Asbestos Co., 743 F.2d 996, also decided this day, requires a determination of the limits to federal bankruptcy jurisdiction in proceedings "related to" bankruptcy under 28 U.S.C. § 1471(b).
While on its face, this appeal appears superficially simple, it nevertheless presents us with a complex of [**2] jurisdictional hurdles which must be surmounted before we may confront the merits of the controversy. The jurisdictional questions to be considered are: (1) Does an order of the district court in bankruptcy context, which order remanded an earlier state court proceeding to the state court, satisfy the final order criteria of Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 93 L. Ed. 1528, 69 S. Ct. 1221 (1949)? (2) Did Congress intend that appeal from such a remand order be controlled by the removal provisions of statutes pertaining to the district court, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441-1447 (1982), or be controlled by 28 U.S.C. § 1478 (1982), the bankruptcy remand statute? (3) If governed by section 1478(b), is review authorized where the proceeding is not "related to" bankruptcy, and thus is an action in which no jurisdiction can attach? Only after answering those questions and finding that appellate jurisdiction inheres, and that appeal is not proscribed, 2 do we reach the merits of this action.
[**3] Because we decide that we have appellate jurisdiction, and because we agree with [*986] the district court that the action between Higgins and Pacor was not a proceeding "related to" bankruptcy, we will affirm the judgment below which remanded the Higgins-Pacor action to state court.
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743 F.2d 984 *; 1984 U.S. App. LEXIS 19159 **; 12 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 285; Bankr. L. Rep. (CCH) P70,002
In re PACOR, INC., Appellant v. John HIGGINS, Jr. and Louise HIGGINS Appellees
Prior History: [**1] On Appeal From The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
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