United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON, JUDGE
the Court is the Response to the Order to Show Cause [DE 12].
On November 16, 2018, Magistrate Judge Michael G. Gotsch,
Sr., ordered the Corizon Defendants (Corizon Health, Inc. and
Corizon, LLC), to show cause why this case should not be
remanded to the Marion Superior Court.
Gotsch correctly set forth this case's intricate history
as follows: on August 11, 2016, Defendants, Corizon Health,
Inc. and Corizon, LLC (“the Corizon Defendants”)
filed a Notice of Removal in Jarvis v. Corizon, LLC,
et al., Case No. 3:16-cv-525-RL-MGG (“the ‘525
Case”). On October 27, 2016, this Court remanded the
‘525 Case back to Marion Superior Court because the
Notice of Removal was defective and was not cured in a timely
manner. [DE 32, ‘525 Case.] At the time this Court
remanded the ‘525 Case, Dr. Davis had not been served.
In fact, the Court explicitly rejected the Corizon
Defendants' invitation to deny Plaintiff's motion to
remand “because Dr. Davis could simply file a notice of
removal himself once he is served, which would bring the case
back to federal court and amount to a waste of
resources.” [DE 32 at 8, ‘525 Case.]
return to Marion Superior Court, Plaintiff's case
proceeded to the point of having a trial scheduled for
October 23, 2018. However, review of the Marion Superior
Court docket reveals no evidence that Dr. Davis was ever
officially served even despite attempts in June 2018 at
service by publication. [DE 1-5 & DE 1-6.] All the docket
shows is that an attorney entered his appearance for Dr.
Davis on July 12, 2018. Four days later, that same attorney
filed the Notice of Removal on behalf of Dr. Davis in the
instant action. The removal invokes jurisdiction based on
federal question. [DE 1-1; 1 at 2.] It is unclear why this
case has a different cause number assigned to it than the
number it was assigned when it was removed back in 2016. In
any event, not surprisingly, the Corizon Defendants and
Defendant Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc.
(“ACH”) consented to the renewed removal.
on October 19, 2018, counsel for Dr. Davis and ACH filed
their Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice indicating that
all matters had been resolved between them and Plaintiff. [DE
9.] Accordingly, I dismissed Davis and ACH as Defendants on
November 5, 2018, leaving only the Corizon Defendants in this
case. [DE 10.] Recall that the claims against the Corizon
Defendants are supplemental claims based on state law. The
issue, therefore, is whether I should keep the case in
federal court or remand the remaining supplemental claims
back to Marion County Superior Court.
Judge Gotsch asked the Corizon Defendants to weigh in on
whether the case should continue here or be remanded. Its
response was an odd one. On the one hand, Corizon tells me
that it admits that “Plaintiff's only federal claim
was against Dr. Davis, and with the dismissal of Dr. Davis,
Plaintiff has no other claims that implicate federal
law.” [DE 12 at 2.] This is confirmed by the fact that
the civil cover sheet accompanying the removal in this action
states that jurisdiction is solely based on federal question
jurisdiction. [DE 1-1.] But then the Corizon Defendants also
mention in its filing with the court that there is
“complete diversity” anyway. [DE 12 at 2.]
I'm not so sure about that. It is true that the Corizon
Defendants say that Corizon Inc. is “incorporated in
Delaware and headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.”
Id. But it doesn't say a whiff about the
citizenship of Corizon LLC. Nor does it say anything about
the amount in controversy.
diversity jurisdiction has not been properly invoked, and
federal jurisdiction cannot be conferred by consent of the
parties. Gainesville v. Brown-Crummer Invest. Co.,
277 U.S. 54, 59 (1928); Kanzelberger v.
Kanzelberger, 782 F.2d 774, 777 (7th Cir. 1986).
What's more, “federal courts are obliged to police
the constitutional and statutory limitations on their
jurisdiction. That is why, even at the appellate level, the
court must satisfy itself that there is federal jurisdiction
over the case.” Kanzelberger, 782 F.2d at 777.
question thus becomes whether I should keep jurisdiction over
the supplemental claims. This is a discretionary call. The
Seventh Circuit suggests remanding state law claims when they
are all that is left in a case prior to trial. Payne for
Hicks v. Churchich, 161 F.3d 1030, 1043 (7th Cir. 1998)
(“when the district court dismisses all federal claims
before trial, the usual and preferred course is to remand the
state claims to the state court unless there are
countervailing considerations.”); Wright v.
Associated Ins. Cos., Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1251 (7th Cir.
1994) (stating the general rule that “when all federal
claims are dismissed before trial, the district court should
relinquish jurisdiction over pendent state-law claims rather
than resolving them on the merits.”). In its response
the Corizon Defendants request that I exercise discretion to
keep this case in federal court to prevent any “further
complexity” in remanding the case back to state court.
[DE 12 at 2.] I'm not sure what that means. If anything,
the complexity is keeping it here. After all, the case
resided in state court for two years before it was removed
here for a second time. A trial was set for a few months down
the road when the case was re-removed. It seems to me that
the best exercise of discretion under these circumstances is
to return the case to the place where it was litigated for so
therefore ORDERED that this action is REMANDED pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c) back to the Marion County Superior