Newman v. Stanford Health Care

Filing 38

ORDER REMANDING CASE TO SANTA CLARA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 10/28/2016. (blflc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/28/2016)

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1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 SAN JOSE DIVISION 5 6 LEILANI NEWMAN, Case No. 16-cv-01131-BLF Plaintiff, 7 v. 8 9 STANFORD HEALTH CARE, ORDER REMANDING CASE TO SANTA CLARA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT Defendant. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 At the Case Management Conference held October 27, 2016, the Court sua sponte raised 13 the question of whether it should retain supplemental jurisdiction over this case given that the 14 claim over which it had original jurisdiction has been dismissed and the only remaining claims are 15 asserted under state law. For the reasons discussed below, the Court in the exercise of its 16 discretion declines to retain supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims and therefore 17 REMANDS this case to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. 18 Plaintiff Leilani Newman filed this action in the Santa Clara County Superior Court on 19 January 29, 2016, asserting state law claims against her former employer, Stanford Health Care, 20 for whom she worked as a Certified Nurse’s Aide from January 2001 to May 2015. See Compl., 21 Exh. B to Not. of Removal, ECF 1. Count I for “Wrongful Termination of Employment” alleged 22 that Newman and Stanford entered into an implied in fact contract requiring good cause to 23 terminate, and that Stanford terminated Newman without good cause. Compl. ¶¶ 7-15. Stanford 24 removed the action to federal district court on the ground that Newman had alleged claims that 25 were preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 26 185(a). See Not. of Removal, ECF 1. 27 Stanford subsequently moved to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil 28 Procedure 12(b)(6), asserting among other things that Newman’s claim for breach of contract was 1 preempted by the LMRA. Def.’s Mot. to Dismiss, ECF 14. In response, Newman conceded 2 Stanford’s preemption argument and filed a motion for leave to amend her complaint. Pursuant to 3 Court order, Newman filed the operative first amended complaint (“FAC”) on July 27, 2016. See 4 FAC, ECF 28. The FAC, which omits the contract claim that constituted the basis for removal, 5 asserts claims against Stanford and Pauline Regner, Newman’s former supervisor, for: (1) tortious 6 termination of employment, (2) violation of California Health and Safety Code § 1278.5, (3) libel, 7 and (4) intentional interference with contract. Id. Newman subsequently dismissed all claims 8 against Regner and the third and fourth claims, leaving only the first and second claims against 9 Stanford for disposition. See Order on Stipulation for Dismissal of Pauline Regner, Count III, and 10 Count IV of the First Amended Complaint, Without Prejudice, ECF 34. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 At the Case Management Conference held on October 27, 2016, the Court confirmed with 12 counsel for both parties that the two remaining claims are asserted exclusively under state law and 13 do not implicate the LMRA or any other federal question. “A district court ‘may decline to 14 exercise supplemental jurisdiction’ if it ‘has dismissed all claims over which it has original 15 jurisdiction.’” Sanford v. MemberWorks, Inc., 625 F.3d 550, 561 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting 28 16 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3)). “‘[I]n the usual case in which all federal-law claims are eliminated before 17 trial, the balance of factors to be considered under the pendent jurisdiction doctrine – judicial 18 economy, convenience, fairness, and comity – will point toward declining to exercise jurisdiction 19 over the remaining state-law claims.”” Id. (quoting Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 20 343, 350 n. 7 (1988)). Counsel did not articulate any reason why the remaining state law claims 21 should be litigated in federal court, and the Court perceives none. The case is at an early stage in 22 the proceedings, this Court has not devoted significant resources to it, and remand will not impair 23 either party’s rights. The Court in the exercise of its discretion therefore declines to retain 24 supplemental jurisdiction over Newman’s state law claims. 25 26 27 28 Accordingly, this case is hereby REMANDED to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Dated: October 28, 2016 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 2

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