Thomason v. State of Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board (JOINT ASSIGN)(MAG+)
ORDER as follows: 1. Mr. Steven Clayton Thomason's 21 Objection is OVERRULED. 2. The 20 Recommendation is ADOPTED. 3. Mr. Steven Clayton Thomason's Motions to Remand (Docs. 4 , 7 ) are DENIED as further set out in the order. 4. This case is REFERRED back to the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings in accordance 28 U.S.C. § 636. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 6/25/2015. (dmn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STATE OF ALABAMA HOME
LICENSURE BOARD, et al.,
CASE NO. 2:15-CV-026-WKW
On May 5, 2015, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc. # 20),
to which Plaintiff Steven Clayton Thomason filed a timely Objection (Doc. # 21).
After conducting an independent and de novo review of those portions of the
Recommendation to which objection is made, the Objection (Doc. # 21) is due to
be overruled, the Recommendation (Doc. # 20) is due to be adopted, and Mr.
Thomason’s Motions to Remand (Docs. # 4, 7) are due to be denied.
Mr. Thomason filed suit pro se in state court on October 3, 2014. The
action, which was initially filed as an “Emergency Petition for a Writ of
Mandamus,” sought injunctive relief, specifically a court order directing
Defendants (1) to supply Mr. Thomason with a license to work as an Alabama
home builder and (2) to refrain from prosecuting Mr. Thomason for violations of
Alabama’s home builder licensing laws.
Approximately six weeks later, Mr.
Thomason filed a motion to amend his complaint and requested additional relief in
light of alleged civil and criminal violations. Upon receipt of Mr. Thomason’s
amended complaint, Defendants filed a timely notice of removal.
Mr. Thomason responded to Defendants’ notice of removal with two
motions to remand. After reviewing Mr. Thomason’s motions to remand and
Defendants response in opposition, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the
motions be denied because the operative complaint invoked this court’s subjectmatter jurisdiction by seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. On May
20, 2015, Mr. Thomason objected to the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation,
arguing that the removed action is not a lawsuit, but a petition for a writ of
mandamus. Mr. Thomason also asserts that, while he did intend to bring both
federal and state-law claims, he, as Plaintiff, is the appropriate party to choose the
forum in which his claims should be heard.
Mr. Thomason is correct that he titled his initial pleading as a petition for
writ of mandamus. The substance of this initial filing, as well as his subsequent
motions to amend his complaint, however, evidence his intent to pursue a civil
lawsuit against Defendants for alleged violations of his federal and state
constitutional rights. And while it is true that Mr. Thomason initially sought to
litigate his claims in state court, the federal removal statute clearly gives
defendants the right to remove a case to federal court if the defendant “can show,
by a preponderance of the evidence, facts supporting jurisdiction.”
Windsor Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 1092, 1094 (11th Cir. 1994). Taking the operative
complaint on its face at the time of removal, Defendants properly invoked this
court’s jurisdiction by showing that Mr. Thomason had pleaded federal-law claims.
Furthermore, once Defendants invoked this court’s federal-question jurisdiction,
supplemental jurisdiction was extended to encompass Mr. Thomason’s state-law
claims as they are part of the same case and controversy that gave rise to Mr.
Thomason’s federal-law claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
Mr. Steven Clayton Thomason’s Objection (Doc. # 21) is
The Recommendation (Doc. # 20) is ADOPTED.
Mr. Steven Clayton Thomason’s Motions to Remand (Docs. # 4, 7)
This case is REFERRED back to the Magistrate Judge for further
proceedings in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636.
DONE this 25th day of June, 2015.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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