Johnson v. Clayton et al

Filing 120

ORDERED that the Motion for Summary Judgment 79 is DISMISSED for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion to Remand 82 this case back to state court is GRANTED. Signed by Chief Judge Robert C. Jones on 5/11/11. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MMM)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ALEESHA JOHNSON, as natural parent of ) JEREMIAH L. SCOTT, JR., a minor, and ) JAYLA-LYNN SCOTT, a minor, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) ) ) GRACE CLAYTON, individually and as ) adoptive parent of STACEY CLAYTON; ) STACEY CLAYTON, a minor, individually;) FELICIA TUCKER, individually and in her ) official capacity; WILLIE STEWART, individually) and in his official capacity; SUSAN) ROTHSCHILD, individually and in her official) capacity; NANCY MCLANE, individually and in) her official capacity; CLARK COUNTY) DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES;) COUNTY OF CLARK, a political subdivision of) the State of Nevada; DOES I-X, individuals; and ) ROE CORPORATIONS I-X, ) ) Defendants. ) ) ___________________________________ ) 2:08-cv-1810-RCJ-LRL ORDER 21 Currently before the Court are Defendants Grace and Stacey Clayton’s (collectively 22 “Clayton Defendants”) Motion for Summary Judgment (#79) and Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand 23 24 (#82). BACKGROUND 25 In December 2008, Defendants Felicia Tucker, Susan Rothschild, Nancy Mclane, Clark 26 County Department of Family Services, and County of Clark (collectively “County Defendants”) 27 filed a petition of removal to this Court based on federal question jurisdiction. (Pet. for Removal 28 (#1) at 2-3). In support of the petition, County Defendants attached Plaintiffs’ complaint filed 1 originally in the District Court of Clark County. (Compl. (#1) at 5). The complaint alleged that 2 Plaintiffs sought compensation from all defendants for damages “sustained due to the sexual 3 abuse of the minor children Jeremiah L. Scott, Jr., and Jayla-Lynn Scott, while in the custody, 4 care, and control of the above named [d]efendants.” (Id. at 6). Plaintiffs alleged the following 5 causes of action: (1) violation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Tucker and 6 Stewart; (2) violation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Rothschild, Clark County, 7 and Mclane; (3) violation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Clark County; (4) 8 negligence against Tucker, Stewart, Rothschild, Mclane, and Clark County; (5) negligence against 9 Grace Clayton; (6) assault and battery by Stacey Clayton; (7) intentional infliction of emotional 10 distress by Stacey Clayton; and (8) liability for willful acts of child against Stacey Clayton. (Id. at 11 9-16). 12 In March 2009, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Willie Stewart, without prejudice, from the 13 lawsuit. (Stewart Dismissal (#15) at 2). In April 2010, this Court granted the parties’ stipulation 14 and order of dismissal, with prejudice, as to the County Defendants. (See Order (#117)). The 15 only remaining defendants in this case are Grace and Stacey Clayton. 16 DISCUSSION 17 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), “in any civil action of which the district courts have 18 original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that 19 are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the 20 same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). 21 The district courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim if the district 22 court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). The 23 Ninth Circuit has held that a “dismissal on the merits is different from a dismissal on jurisdictional 24 grounds. If the district court dismisses all federal claims on the merits, it has discretion under § 25 1367(c) to adjudicate the remaining claims; if the court dismisses for lack of subject matter 26 jurisdiction, it has no discretion and must dismiss all claims.” Herman Family Revocable Trust 27 v. Teddy Bear, 254 F.3d 802, 806 (9th Cir. 2001). 28 Here, the Court lacks original jurisdiction over the claims in this case because all federal 2 1 jurisdiction claims against the County Defendants have been dismissed pursuant to a settlement 2 agreement. (See Order (#117) at 2). Because this Court lacks federal question jurisdiction, and 3 diversity jurisdiction never existed, the Court finds that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the 4 four remaining state-law claims against the Clayton Defendants. Accordingly, the Court 5 dismisses the Clayton Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (#79) for lack of subject-matter 6 jurisdiction and grants Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand (#82) the case back to state court for 7 adjudication of the remaining state-law claims against the Clayton Defendants. Alternatively, the 8 Court finds that, even if it had the discretion to retain jurisdiction over the state-law claims pursuant 9 to § 1367(c), the Court declines to exercise that discretion. CONCLUSION 10 11 12 13 14 For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that the Motion for Summary Judgment (#79) is DISMISSED for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion to Remand (#82) this case back to state court is GRANTED. 15 16 DATED: This _____ day of May, 2011. 11th 17 18 _________________________________ United States District Judge 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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