Sudberry et al v. Arizona, State of et al

Filing 132

ORDER remanding this case to the Maricopa County Superior Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Signed by Judge Neil V Wake on 2/6/12. (Attachments: # 1 Remand Letter)(DMT)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Richard Sudberry, et al., Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. 12 State of Arizona, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 09-00779-PHX-NVW ORDER 15 16 On April 16, 2009, this case was removed from Maricopa County Superior Court. 17 The Complaint alleged a wrongful death claim under A.R.S. § 12-611, et seq., against all 18 Defendants and a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Cynthia 19 Mancinelli. On April 21, 2010, the City of Phoenix was granted summary judgment in its 20 favor on the state law claim. On August 19, 2010, all claims and causes of action against 21 the remaining Defendants were dismissed with prejudice upon stipulation. No federal 22 law claims were ever alleged against the City of Phoenix. On January 17, 2012, the 23 formal mandate of the Court of Appeals issued, vacating the grant of summary judgment 24 in favor of the City of Phoenix and remanding the case for further proceedings. On 25 January 19, 2012, the parties were ordered to show cause by February 3, 2012, why this 26 case should not be remanded to the Maricopa County Superior Court pursuant to 28 27 U.S.C. § 1367. 28 1 Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, if district courts have original jurisdiction over a civil 2 action, they may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a related claim that forms part of 3 the same case or controversy. It may decline to do so if certain factors are satisfied: 4 (1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law, 5 (2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has original jurisdiction, 6 7 (3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction, or 8 (4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction. 9 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). Here, all claims over which the Court has original jurisdiction have 10 been dismissed. 11 What remains for determination by a jury is whether the gross negligence of the 12 Phoenix Police Department contributed to the murder of Plaintiff’s daughter. The Ninth 13 Circuit held that Plaintiff introduced sufficient evidence that a reasonable jury could find 14 the Phoenix Police Department’s inaction was grossly negligent and a substantial factor in 15 Plaintiff’s daughter’s death. This claim raises important issues of State law, and the state 16 appellate courts would provide authoritative redress on appeal after trial if needed. 17 Moreover, Plaintiff chose the Arizona courts as the initial forum, and the limited 18 resources of this Court, now under a formal Declaration of Judicial Emergency, may be 19 better devoted to cases for which the state court is not an equal forum. See In re Approval 20 of Judicial Emergency Declared in the District of Arizona, 639 F.3d 970 (9th Cir. Jud. C. 21 2011). Nevertheless, judicial economy would favor retention of jurisdiction by this Court 22 if remand would burden a Superior Court judge with duplication of judicial work already 23 done here. That consideration is diminished in this case because this Court concluded its 24 work on this case a year and a half ago. Moreover, the systemic benefit of ultimate state 25 court resolution, in the event of post-trial appeal, of important questions of state law and 26 policy tips the balance strongly in favor of remand. 27 28 -2- 1 2 3 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED remanding this case to the Maricopa County Superior Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. DATED this 6th day of February, 2012. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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