Thomas v. Prince George's County Sheriff's Office
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 12/6/2017. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
Civil Action No. DKC 17-2858
STATE OF MARYLAND
Plaintiff Corey Thomas filed suit in the Circuit Court for
against by his employer, the Sheriff’s Office.
complaint included claims under both federal and state law.
Defendant removed the action and Plaintiff amended the complaint
to delete the only federal claim.
court, which Defendant opposes.
Now he seeks remand to state
For the following reasons, the
court exercises its discretion to remand.
This court’s subject matter jurisdiction is determined –
and vests - at the time of removal.
deprive the court of jurisdiction.
Subsequent events do not
St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co.
v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 293 (1938).
When, however, all
decline to continue to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. 28
U.S.C. § 1367(c).
Plaintiff seeks this course, while Defendant
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
has set forth a number of factors to consider in exercising
The statute then goes on to provide that
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
dismiss or keep a case when it “has
dismissed all claims over which it has
Recent case law has emphasized
that trial courts enjoy wide latitude in
jurisdiction over state claims when all
federal claims have been extinguished. See,
e.g., Noble v. White, 996 F.2d 797, 799 (5th
Among the factors that inform
convenience and fairness to the parties, the
federal policy, comity, and considerations
of judicial economy.
v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7 (1988);
Growth Horizons, Inc. v. Delaware Cty., 983
F.2d 1277, 1284 (3d Cir. 1993). The doctrine
of supplemental jurisdiction “thus is a
doctrine of flexibility, designed to allow
courts to deal with cases involving pendent
claims in the manner that most sensibly
values.” Cohill, 484 U.S. at 350.
Shanaghan v. Cahill, 58 F.3d 106 (4th Cir. 1995).
those factors weighs in favor or remand.
An analysis of
There is no reason to
conclude that the state court is any less capable of resolving
this dispute than this one, or would it be any more inconvenient
for the parties to litigate there.
Even if state law takes the
lead of federal law in interpreting and applying its statute, it
is still a state law cause of action.
Plaintiff, who incorrectly asserts that this court may not
continue to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, does not present
information as to these factors.
Defendant contends that the
factors favor retaining jurisdiction, reciting that the state
economy would be served by keeping the case here.
The case cited by Defendant in arguing for the continued
Management Services, L.P., 179 F.Supp.3d 534 (D.Md. 2016), is
That case had not even been removed
from state court, but began in federal court.
pending for two and a half years in this court.
It had been
The trial judge
Under those circumstances, the motion to “remand” was denied.
Amendment took place promptly after removal.
respects, there is no pressing reason for this court to retain
Nor is there any bad faith to be discerned from Plaintiff’s
original pleading of a federal claim and deletion by amendment
amendment, this court noted:
There is little risk of undue prejudice or
delay here. Defendant has not answered
Plaintiff’s complaint, much less commenced
defending this claim, or moved for summary
See Shilling v. Nw. Mut. Life
Plaintiff’s response was filed within a
month of removal and therefore has not
caused undue delay.
There is no
evidence of bad faith or that Plaintiff
intended to force Defendant to incur the
expense of the removal process.
dismissing this claim in an attempt to
destroy federal subject matter jurisdiction
so her case may be remanded, but even if
Defendant is correct, such “jurisdictional
maneuvering” is not evidence of bad faith.
Id. “[I]t is not bad faith for a plaintiff
to bring both State and federal claims in
State court and then, upon removal, seek
dismissal of the federal claims and remand
to State court.”
Ramotnik v. Fisher, 568
F.Supp.2d 598, 603 (D.Md. 2008).
Verbal v. Giant of Md., LLC, 204 F.Supp. 3d 837, 841 (D.Md.
2016) (alteration in original).
Accordingly, by separate order, the motion to remand will
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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