Citizens for Responsible Charter Schools et al v. Menlove et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION and ORDER denying 17 Motion to Remand to State Court. Signed by Judge Ted Stewart on 5/21/2014. (tls)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE
CHARTER SCHOOLS, LLC, a Utah
Limited Liability Corporation, and GARY
DAVIS, individually and as manager of
Citizens for Responsible Charter Schools,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO
MARTELL MENLOVE, in his official
capacity as Superintendent of the Utah State
Office of Education and State School Board;
and JENNIFER YOUNGFIELD, in her
official capacity as School Construction and
Facilities Safety Specialist Utah State Office
Case No. 2:14-CV-278 TS
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Objection to Notice of Removal and Motion
to Remand. 1 Defendants oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion and contend that jurisdiction is proper before
this Court. For the reasons discussed more fully below, the Court will deny Plaintiffs’ Motion.
Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit to “vindicate the due process and other constitutional rights
of [Plaintiffs], . . . who as residents of Washington City seek to enjoy their right of safety and
municipal participation involving zoning and land issues around their homes.” 2 Plaintiffs’
Docket No. 17.
Docket No. 2 Ex. 2, at 1.
Complaint brings five causes of action, including a “Federal Substantive Due Process Claim.” 3
Plaintiffs’ claims are all based on a central theme—that Utah’s laws and regulations for approval
of a new charter school impinge on Plaintiffs’ rights.
Plaintiffs filed suit in Utah state court. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs named as
Defendants two Utah state officials, Martell Menlove and Jennifer Youngfield. Two private
entities—Dixie Boyer, LC and Dixie Montessori—subsequently sought to intervene as
Defendants in the state case. The state court granted Dixie Boyer’s and Dixie Montessori’s
Motions to Intervene.
On April 16, 2014, Dixie Montessori filed a Notice of Removal to this Court. 4 In that
Notice, the remainder of the Defendants consented to removal. 5 Defendants based their removal
on this Court’s original jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ federal due process claim. Defendants also
asserted that this Court could properly exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ related
state-law claims because those claims arise out of the same operative facts as Plaintiffs’ federal
In this Motion, Plaintiffs seek to remand this matter to Utah state court.
Plaintiffs argue that remand is appropriate in this instance because (1) their claims do not
contain a substantial federal question; (2) their claims raise a novel or complex issue of state law;
(3) their state-law claims substantially predominate over their federal claims; and (4) there are
other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction. Defendants contend that federal question
Id. Ex. 2, at 10.
See Docket No. 2.
Id. at 4.
jurisdiction is appropriate on the face of Plaintiffs’ Complaint and, because Plaintiffs’ state-law
claims implicate the same facts, witnesses, and challenged statutes as Plaintiffs’ federal claim,
supplemental jurisdiction is proper over those claims as well.
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and, as such, must have a statutory basis
to exercise jurisdiction. The burden of establishing subject-matter jurisdiction is on the party
asserting jurisdiction.” 6 “If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 7
Defendants assert that jurisdiction is proper pursuant to this Court’s federal question
jurisdiction, found in 28 U.S.C. § 1331. That section provides that the federal “district court
shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties
of the United States.” 8 “A case arises under federal law within the meaning of § 1331 . . . if a
well-pleaded complaint establishes either that federal law creates the cause of action or that the
plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal
In the instant suit, Plaintiffs’ first cause of action is for federal substantive due process
violations. Plaintiffs’ Complaint explicitly states that Defendants’ actions will “deprive them
of due process of law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002).
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc., v. McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677, 689–90 (2006)
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
Constitution.”10 Thus, this action arises under the Constitution and federal law and jurisdiction
is proper pursuant to § 1331. Because the Court finds that federal law creates Plaintiffs’ first
cause of action, it need not address whether plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on
resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” 11
It is well-settled law that a federal district court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over state-law claims that arise from the same case or controversy as a claim that falls under the
court’s original jurisdiction. 12 “A claim is part of the same case or controversy if it ‘derive[s]
from a common nucleus of operative fact.’” 13 Here, there is no question that Plaintiffs’ federal
due process claim arises from the same common nucleus of operative facts as their state-law
claims. Therefore, at this juncture, jurisdiction is proper over those claims pursuant to the
Court’s supplemental jurisdiction. 14
Based on the foregoing, it is hereby
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Objection to Notice of Removal and Motion to Remand
(Docket No. 17) is DENIED.
Docket No. 2 Ex. 2, at 11.
Empire, 547 U.S. at 689–90.
See Price v. Wolford, 608 F.3d 698, 702 (10th Cir. 2010).
Id. at 702–03 (quoting City of Chi. v. Int’l Coll. of Surgeons, 522 U.S. 156, 165
See 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
DATED this 21st day of May, 2014.
BY THE COURT:
United States District Judge
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