or formal parties," whose wishes "may be disregarded." 14 A Wright, Miller & Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 3731 at 507-08 (1985). The parties devote considerable effort to debating whether the AAA is a nominal party. I need not resolve the issue. Assuming in York's favor that the AAA is not a nominal party, its consent to removal is sufficiently evidenced by the endorsement its general counsel made upon the notice of removal prepared by counsel for McDermott.
As noted, McDermott tendered to the AAA a notice of removal citing that it was "Consented To" by the AAA. Counsel for the AAA did not strike the phrase "Consented To." She let it stand, but wrote above that phrase: "Has No Objection To." York argues strenuously that the juxtaposition of these phrases is fraught with significance. I disagree. What emerges from these proceedings is the AAA's absolute determination to preserve total neutrality. The AAA desires to remain a Switzerland surrounded by warring entities, the better to discharge its useful function as a source of alternative dispute resolution. I think it likely that the AAA's counsel added the phrase "Has No Objection To," to the phrase "Consented To" because the former phrase sounds passive to the ear and the latter phrase sounds active. In any event, these semantic distinctions come to nothing. The AAA consented to McDermott's removal because it had no objection. Conversely, the AAA had no objection because it consented. The propriety of removal cannot be made to depend on such linguistic niceties.
The distinction comes to nothing because even if the AAA's counsel had stricken out the phrase "Consented To" and substituted the phrase "Has No Objection," it would have sufficed to permit removal. See, e.g., Colin K. v. Schmidt, 528 F. Supp. 355, 358-59 (D.R.I. 1981) (oral statement at conference by counsel for nonsigning defendants that they "would have no objection to" the removal petition and "agreed that the issues were more appropriately before the federal court" satisfied the requirement of unanimity of consent among defendants); Sicinski v. Reliance Funding Corp., 461 F. Supp. 649, 652 (S.D.N.Y. 1978) (petition signed by only one defendant satisfied where petition represented that co-defendant consented to removal). York cites no authority to the contrary. I conclude that McDermott's removal petition is not procedurally defective.
I must therefore consider York's alternative argument, that removal is not justified under 9 U.S.C. § 205. I reject that contention as well.
§ 205 allows removal if the subject matter of the state court action "relates to an arbitration agreement . . . falling under the Convention . . ." While the parties do not cite a case on all fours with the case at bar, and I have found none, I conclude without difficulty that the petition York filed in state court "relates to [the] arbitration agreement" between itself and McDermott. A sufficient relationship exists between the provisions of the arbitration agreement and what York seeks to accomplish in the action. The arbitration agreement provides for the manner in which the arbitrators are appointed. That provision is supplemented by the parties' agreement to be bound by the AAA rules. In consequence, the appointment process as directed by the rules forms an integral part of the arbitration agreement. York seeks by its action to reverse the AAA's implementation of those rules and expel from office the presently appointed arbitrators. It cannot be reasonably argued that the action does not "relate" to the parties' arbitration agreement.
York contends that § 205 applies only to state court actions seeking to enforce an arbitration agreement or to enforce or set aside an arbitral award. No case law or legislative history is cited for so narrow a construction, which is inconsistent with the plain language of the statute. If Congress had intended to limit removal to state court proceedings to compel arbitration or confirm or vacate an award, it could easily have said so.
While the cases construing § 205 are sparse, such authority as there is supports a broader construction of the word "relates. " This Court has assumed § 205 removal jurisdiction over state court actions involving parties not bound by arbitration agreements, where the state court claims involved the same subject matter as claims being asserted in pending arbitrations. Cam S.A. v. ICC Tankers, Inc., No. 88 Civ. 9274, 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5066, 1989 WL 51815 (S.D.N.Y., May 10, 1989); Dale Metals Corp. v. Kiwa Chemical Industry Co., 442 F. Supp. 78, 80, 81 n. 1 (S.D.N.Y. 1977). See also Matter of Ferrara S.p.A., 441 F. Supp. 778, 779-80 and 80 n.2 (S.D.N.Y. 977), aff'd, 580 F.2d 1044 (2d Cir. 1978) (petition to stay pending arbitration removed under § 205).
For the foregoing reason, York's petition to remand this action to state court is denied.
It is SO ORDERED.
Dated: New York, New York
June 22, 1992
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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