United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Corey Thomas filed suit in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County, alleging that he was discriminated
against by his employer, the Sheriff's Office. Initially
the complaint included claims under both federal and state
law. The Defendant removed the action and Plaintiff amended
the complaint to delete the only federal claim. Now he seeks
remand to state court, which Defendant opposes. For the
following reasons, the court exercises its discretion to
court's subject matter jurisdiction is determined - and
vests - at the time of removal. Subsequent events do not
deprive the court of jurisdiction. St. Paul Mercury
Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 293 (1938).
When, however, all federal claims are dismissed, the court
has discretion to decline to continue to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
Plaintiff seeks this course, while Defendant opposes.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has set
forth a number of factors to consider in exercising
The statute then goes on to provide that courts “may
decline” to exercise supplemental jurisdiction in
certain circumstances. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). In
particular, a court has discretion to dismiss or keep a case
when it “has dismissed all claims over which it has
original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
Recent case law has emphasized that trial courts enjoy wide
latitude in determining whether or not to retain jurisdiction
over state claims when all federal claims have been
extinguished. See, e.g., Noble v. White, 996 F.2d
797, 799 (5thCir. 1993). Among the factors that
inform this discretionary determination are convenience and
fairness to the parties, the existence of any underlying
issues of federal policy, comity, and considerations of
judicial economy. Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill,
484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7 (1988); Growth Horizons, Inc. v.
Delaware Cty., 983 F.2d 1277, 1284 (3d Cir.
1993). The doctrine of supplemental jurisdiction “thus
is a doctrine of flexibility, designed to allow courts to
deal with cases involving pendent claims in the manner that
most sensibly accommodates a range of concerns and
values.” Cohill, 484 U.S. at 350.
Shanaghan v. Cahill, 58 F.3d 106 (4th
Cir. 1995). An analysis of those factors weighs in favor or
remand. There is no reason to conclude that the state court
is any less capable of resolving this dispute than this one,
or would it be any more inconvenient for the parties to
litigate there. Even if state law takes the lead of federal
law in interpreting and applying its statute, it is still a
state law cause of action.
who incorrectly asserts that this court may not continue to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction, does not present
information as to these factors. Defendant contends that the
factors favor retaining jurisdiction, reciting that the state
law cause of action parallels Title VII and that judicial
economy would be served by keeping the case here.
case cited by Defendant in arguing for the continued exercise
of supplemental jurisdiction, Hall v. Greystar Management
Services, L.P., 179 F.Supp.3d 534 (D.Md. 2016), is
readily distinguishable. That case had not even been removed
from state court, but began in federal court. It had been
pending for two and a half years in this court. The trial
judge had been called on to rule on several merits based
issues. Under those circumstances, the motion to
“remand” was denied.
in stark contrast, the case is truly at the threshold.
Amendment took place promptly after removal. While the state
law involved may parallel federal law in some respects, there
is no pressing reason for this court to retain jurisdiction.
there any bad faith to be discerned from Plaintiff's
original pleading of a federal claim and deletion by
amendment after removal. In a case assessing whether to allow
an amendment, this court noted:
There is little risk of undue prejudice or delay here.
Defendant has not answered Plaintiff's complaint, much
less commenced discovery, expended substantial time defending
this claim, or moved for summary judgment. See Shilling
v. Nw. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 423 F.Supp.2d 513, 518-19
(D.Md.2006) (granting leave to amend). Plaintiff's
response was filed within a month of removal and therefore
has not caused undue delay. See id. There is no
evidence of bad faith or that Plaintiff intended to force
Defendant to incur the expense of the removal process.
Id. Defendant suggests that Plaintiff is dismissing
this claim in an attempt to destroy federal subject matter
jurisdiction so her case may be remanded, but even if
Defendant is correct, such “jurisdictional
maneuvering” is not evidence of bad faith. Id.
“[I]t is not bad faith for a plaintiff to bring both
State and federal claims in State court and then, upon
removal, seek dismissal of the federal claims and remand to
State court.” Ramotnik v. Fisher, 568
F.Supp.2d 598, 603 (D.Md. 2008).
Verbal v. Giant of Md., LLC, 204 F.Supp.3d 837, 841
(D.Md. 2016) (alteration in ...