Barnes et al v. Washington Corporations
ORDER granting 10 Motion to Remand. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 5/16/2017. (APP)
MAY 1 6 2017
Cieri<, U.S District Court
District Of Montana
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
DANIEL A. BARNES and
DONALD J. HUGHES,
Plaintiffs Daniel Barnes and Donald Hughes ("Plaintiffs") originally filed
this action on September 13, 2016, before the Montana Fourth Judicial District
Court. On March 21, 201 7, Plaintiffs amended their complaint to include a claim
of age discrimination, stating in relevant part:
Defendant's termination of Plaintiffs constitutes a violation of the
federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29
U.S.C. § 626(e), and the Montana Human Rights Act, Montana
Code Annotated § 49-2-101, et seq., and entitles Plaintiffs to
damages arising out of Defendant's wrongful acts.
(Doc. 10-6, ~ 50). On March 30, 2017, Defendant Washington Corporations
("Defendant") removed to this Court on the grounds that Plaintiffs' reference to
the ADEA presents a claim for original jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1331.
(Doc. 1, ~ 5.)
Plaintiffs seek to remand this matter to State court, insisting that mere
reference to the ADEA does not create a federal question sufficient to warrant
removal. Easton v. Crossland Mortg. Co., 114 F.3d 979 (9th Cir. 1997); Rains v.
Criterion Systems, Inc., 80 F.3d 339 (9th Cir. 1996). Plaintiffs emphasize that
they did not file an ADEA claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") or exhaust any of the federal remedies required by the
EEOC. (Doc. 11 at 7.) "Rather, the claim was filed with and adjudicated solely by
the Montana Human Rights Bureau." (Id.) The ADEA was only referenced, as
argued by Plaintiffs, because Montana "relies on federal law in addition to its own
in construing Montana's discrimination laws." Estate of Welch v. Holcim, Inc.,
316 P.3d 823, ~ 20 (Mont. 2014). Defendants agree that absent a federal claim
under the ADEA, remand is appropriate.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs' unopposed motion (Doc. 10)
is GRANTED. Any implied claim under the ADEA is DISMISSED. In the
absence of jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 1331, this matter is REMANDED back
to the Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, Missoula County. The Clerk of
Court is directed to transfer the case file and close the case.
~y of May, 2017.
lloy, District Judge
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