Thomas v. Bzoskie et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING Report and Recommendation 24 , overruling 26 Plaintiff's Objections, and denying 4 Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to State Court (Written Opinion). Signed by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim on 08/16/2017. (JMK) cc: DeSean Lamont Thomas. Modified on 8/16/2017 (lmb).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 16-3805 (JRT/KMM)
DESEAN LAMONT THOMAS,
PASTOR JAMES BZOSKIE,
LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN VERBY,
LIEUTENANT HEART, JOHN DOE,
and DAKOTA COUNTY MINNESOTA,
AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT
DENYING MOTION TO REMAND
Desean Lamont Thomas, No. 228679, Minnesota Correctional FacilityRush City, 7600 525th Street, Rush City, MN 55069, pro se plaintiff.
Jeffrey A. Timmerman and Helen R. Brosnahan, Assistant Dakota County
Attorneys, DAKOTA COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, 1560
Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033, for defendants.
On May 8, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Katherine Menendez issued a
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the Court deny Plaintiff
Desean Lamont Thomas’s motion to remand this case. The Magistrate Judge found that
Thomas’s allegations established original jurisdiction for the Court because many of his
claims arise under federal law. Specifically, she noted that Thomas brought claims
against Defendants for violating his federal constitutional rights, including equal
protection and religious freedom rights. She also found that his state-law claims for
breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tort-liability are factually intertwined
with his federal constitutional claims, and thus the Court has supplemental jurisdiction
over those state-law claims as well.
On May 18, 2017, Thomas timely filed objections to the R&R on two grounds.
First, Thomas argues that removal is prejudicial because it will preclude Thomas from
conducting discovery in this case. Specifically, Thomas asserts that the Magistrate Judge
seeks to “merge” this action with his other federal action where the discovery period has
closed. 1 Second, Thomas asserts that the Magistrate Judge wrongly concluded that this
Court has jurisdiction over his state-law claims.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Upon the filing of a report and recommendation by a magistrate judge, a party
may “file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections should specify
the portions of the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation to which objections are
made and provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958, 2008
WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008).
The Court reviews de novo any portion of an R&R “that has been properly
objected to.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). Accordingly, the
Court reviews the R&R de novo in light of Thomas’s objections.
Thomas is likely referring to Case No. 15-2197, an action that Thomas instituted against
the same Defendants, which appears to involve many of the same claims.
The Court will reject Thomas’s first objection that removal is inappropriate
because it will preclude him from conducting discovery in this case. The Court has not
determined whether to grant Defendants’ motion to consolidate this case with Thomas’s
other federal case. (See Defs.’ Mot. to Dismiss or for Consolidation & Partial Dismissal,
Nov. 30, 2016, Docket No. 12.) Thus, as the cases have not yet been merged, it is
undetermined whether Thomas will be precluded from conducting discovery in this
Second, Thomas does not appear to challenge the R&R’s determination that it has
original jurisdiction over his federal claims and that his state-law claims are based on the
same predicate facts as his federal claims. Instead, Thomas appears to contend that his
state law claims belong in state court. However, when state-law claims are factually
intertwined with federal-law claims, a federal court has supplemental jurisdiction to hear
those state law claims as well. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) (providing a district court has
supplemental jurisdiction over state-law claims that are a part of the same case or
controversy as the claims that fall within the district court’s original jurisdiction). There
is no reason why the Court should decline to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction here.
Thus, as removal to federal court was proper, the Court will overrule Thomas’s
objections, adopt the R&R, and deny his motion to remand this case to state court.
Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, the
Court OVERRULES Thomas’s Objections [Docket No. 26], ADOPTS the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge [Docket No. 24].
IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED that Thomas’s Motion to Remand [Docket No. 4] is DENIED.
DATED: August 16, 2017
at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
_____________s/John R. Tunheim__________
JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Court
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