Brief Fact Summary. Insurance Commissioner for the State of California (Petitioner) was appointed trustee over the assets of the Mission Insurance Company and its affiliates in 1987, after those companies were ordered into liquidation by a California court. In an effort to gather the assets of the defunct companies, the Commissioner filed the instant action against Allstate Insurance Company (Respondent) in state court, seeking contract and tort damages for Respondent’s alleged breach of certain reinsurance agreements.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An abstention-based stay order is appealable as a “final decision” under Section 1291, because it places the litigants effectively out-of-court and its effect is precisely to surrender jurisdiction of a federal suit to a state court.
Issue. Whether an abstention-based remand order is appealable as a final order under 28 U.S.C. Section: 1291?
Held. The abstention-based remand order is appealable as a final order under 28 U.S.C. Section: 1291.
Discussion. The court relies heavily on the case of Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Constr. Corp. Applying that case to the case before the court, the Supreme Court of the United States found that when a district court remands a case to a state court, the district court disassociates itself entirely from the case. To the Court, the remand order at issue has a sense of finality functionally equivalent to the stay order at issue in Moses H. Cone.