Carrigan et al v. Southeast Alabama Rural Health Associates et al (JOINT ASSIGN)
ORDER denying as moot 51 Motion to Reopen Case and for an Order Staying the Effect of the Court's Remand Order Pending Appeal. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 10/23/2017. (wcl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
DAWN COBB CARRIGAN and
JANET GATES, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated,
) CASE NO.: 2:17-CV-114-WKW
SOUTHEAST ALABAMA RURAL
GREENWAY ASSOCIATES, LLC;
GREENWAY EHS, INC.; SUNRISE
TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANTS; and )
LEE INVESTMENT CONSULTANTS, )
Before the court is a Motion to Reopen Case and for an Order Staying the
Effect of the Court’s Remand Order Pending Appeal (Doc. # 51), filed on September
29, 2017, by Defendants Greenway Health, LLC, and Greenway EHS, Inc. (the
“Greenway Defendants”). Plaintiffs Dawn Cobb Carrigan and Janet Gates did not
file a response to the motion, although they were given the opportunity to do so.
(Doc. # 52.) For the reasons to follow, the motion is due to be denied as moot.
On September 12, 2017, this court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order
remanding this action to the Circuit Court of Pike County, Alabama, for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.
U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)(11), 1453(b).
(Doc. # 50.) The same date the Clerk of this
Court furnished a copy of the remand order to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Pike
(Doc. # 50 (text entry).)
On September 22, 2017, the Greenway
Defendants requested permission from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to
appeal this court’s decision as provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1453(c)(1), and that request
is pending in the circuit. On September 29, 2017, the Greenway Defendants filed
the instant motion asking this court to reclaim jurisdiction over the case, reopen it,
and stay it. Whether this court has jurisdiction to grant the relief requested is an
issue of first impression in this circuit, and the lower courts are divided on the issue.
Compare Lafalier v. Cinnabar Serv. Co., No. 10-CV-0005-CVETLW, 2010 WL
1816377 (N.D. Okla. Apr. 30, 2010) (“The Court finds that it has the limited
authority to reopen this case and stay its remand order, because appellate review of
the Court's remand order is not barred by § 1447(d).”), with In re Oxycontin Antitrust
Litig., No. 08 CIV. 3380 SHS, 2011 WL 4801360 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2011) (“Because
the case has been remanded and mailed to the Kentucky state court, this Court is
without jurisdiction to decide defendants’ motion to stay,” notwithstanding the
pendency of a § 1453(c)(1) appeal).
On October 3, 2017, which was four days after the Greenway Defendants filed
their motion asking this court to reopen and stay this action, the Circuit Court of Pike
County entered a stay of proceedings pending the Eleventh Circuit’s decision on the
Greenway Defendants’ request to appeal this court’s Order remanding the action to
state court. Carrigan v. Se. Ala. Rural Health Assocs., CV-2017-000005.8 (Cir.
Ct. Pike Cnty., Ala. Oct. 3, 2017) (Doc. # 12). The court takes judicial notice of
the Circuit Court of Pike County’s October 3, 2017 Order.
See Fed. R. Evid. 201
(governing judicial notice); see also United States v. Jones, 29 F.3d 1549, 1553 (11th
Cir. 1994) (“[A] court may take notice of another court’s order . . . for the limited
purpose of recognizing the ‘judicial act’ that the order represents . . . .”).
The Greenway Defendants have obtained a stay of the state-court
proceedings—the same relief they seek in this court—from the Circuit Court of Pike
County, where the action is pending. Further relief from this court appears to be
unnecessary. Moreover, given the unsettled jurisdictional issue and the fact that
the Circuit Court of Pike County has stayed the action, this court in its discretion
declines to rule on the merits of the motion and deems the motion moot.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the Greenway Defendants’ Motion to Reopen
Case and for an Order Staying the Effect of the Court’s Remand Order Pending
Appeal (Doc. # 51) is DENIED as moot
DONE this 23rd day of October, 2017.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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