Littlejohn et al v. Janssen Research & Development LLC, et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge [#23] is SUSTAINED, ADOPTED, and INCORPORATED herein. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendants' motion to stay [#13] is denied , and the plaintiffs motion to immediately remand or shorten the briefing schedule [#18] is granted. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that this case is remanded to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri, from which it was removed. Termi nate Case. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on April 13, 2015. (Docket sheet and certified copy of Memorandum and Order sent to: Thomas L. Kloeppinger, Clerk,Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis,State of Missouri,10 North Tucker,St. Louis, MO 63101 this date.)(MCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
KIEONNA LITTLEJOHN, et al.,
JANSSEN RESEARCH &
DEVELOPMENT, LLC, et al.,
) Case No. 4:15CV194 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on a motion to stay by several defendants, as
well as the plaintiffs’ motion to immediately remand. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), the motions were referred to United States Magistrate Judge Nannette A.
Baker. Judge Baker filed a Report and Recommendation, in which she
recommended that the motion to stay be denied and the motion to remand be
granted. She advised the parties that they had fourteen days to file written
objections to her recommendations. See Section 636(b)(1)(C).
The moving defendants filed timely objections. The plaintiffs also filed a
memorandum alerting the Court that one plaintiff’s citizenship had been misstated
in the Report and Recommendation.
I have reviewed de novo all matters relevant to the motions, and I conclude
that the defendants’ objections have no merit. Although plaintiff Kieonna
Littlejohn is a citizen of Illinois who has alleged she first suffered injury in
Missouri,1 rather than a citizen of Missouri as the Report and Recommendation
states, substituting her actual alleged citizenship does not change the fact that there
is no complete diversity among the parties. As such, I agree with Judge Baker that
this court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this action.
Contrary to the defendants’ objections, Judge Baker properly determined
that in an action with multiple potential jurisdictional deficiencies, this Court has
discretion over which jurisdictional issue to resolve first. See, e.g., Ruhrgas AG v.
Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 585 (1999). Furthermore, this Court has
discretion to remand an action for lack of federal jurisdiction despite the existence
of a conditional transfer order to pending multidistrict litigation. See Rule 2.1(d),
Rules of Procedure of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Finally, even assuming the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals had explicitly
recognized fraudulent misjoinder as an exception to the complete-diversity
requirement and that a lack of personal jurisdiction over a nondiverse defendant
supported the theory that parties had been fraudulently misjoined, personal
jurisdiction over the nondiverse defendants is not so improbable here to
(See Pet., Doc. 15, p. 3.)
demonstrate that the parties have been “egregiously” misjoined. In re Prempro
Prods. Liab. Litig., 591 F.3d 613, 622 (8th Cir. 2010).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the
United States Magistrate Judge [#23] is SUSTAINED, ADOPTED, and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendants’ motion to stay [#13] is
denied, and the plaintiffs’ motion to immediately remand or shorten the briefing
schedule [#18] is granted.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that this case is remanded to the Circuit Court
of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri, from which it was removed.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 13th day of April, 2015.
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