United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
WILLIAM H. STEELE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
complaint asserts both state and federal causes of action.
Because the parties were not completely diverse when suit was
filed, the Court does not possess diversity jurisdiction.
(Doc. 1 at 1-4). The complaint asserts subject matter
jurisdiction based solely on the basis of federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, with the
state claims falling within the Court's supplemental
jurisdiction. (Id. at 4). The Court has by separate
order resolved the defendants' motions for summary
judgment. The Court granted the motions as to the only
federal claim but denied the motions in part as to the state
claims. (Doc. 145 at 35).
general, “[i]n any civil action of which the district
courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall
have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are
so related to claims in the action within such original
jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or
controversy under Article III of the United States
Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). “The
district courts may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over a claim under subsection (a) if …
the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has
original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
Because the Court has dismissed all claims over which it has
original jurisdiction, the Court has discretion to dismiss
the remaining state claims under Section 1367(c). The Court
afforded the parties an opportunity to file briefs addressing
how the Court should exercise its discretion, (Doc. 146), and
they have done so. (Docs. 151, 152). The plaintiffs favor
dismissal with leave to re-file in state court, (Doc. 152),
while the defendants favor the Court's retention of
supplemental jurisdiction. (Doc. 151).
exercising its discretion under Section 1367(c), “the
court should take into account concerns of comity, judicial
economy, convenience, fairness, and the like.” Cook
ex rel. Estate of Tessier v. Sheriff of Monroe County,
402 F.3d 1092, 1123 (11th Cir. 2005) (internal
quotes omitted); accord Estate of Amergi ex rel. Amergi
v. Palestinian Authority, 611 F.3d 1350, 1366
(11th Cir. 2010). However, “[w]e have
encouraged district courts to dismiss any remaining state
claims when, as here, the federal claims have been dismissed
prior to trial.” Raney v. Allstate Insurance
Co., 370 F.3d 1086, 1089 (11th Cir. 2004).
This preference exists because, “in the usual case in
which all federal-law claims are eliminated before trial, the
balance of factors to be considered under the pendent
jurisdiction doctrine - judicial economy, convenience,
fairness, and comity - will point toward declining to
exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state-law
claims.” Carnegie-Mellon University v. Cohill,
484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7 (1988).
preference for declining supplemental jurisdiction is
particularly strong when the federal claims “have
dropped out of the lawsuit in its early stages.”
Cohill, 484 U.S. at 350. The preference, however,
also applies when, as here, the federal claims are removed on
motion for summary judgment. See, e.g., Michael Linet,
Inc. v. Village of Wellington, 408 F.3d 757, 763
(11th Cir. 2005); Murphy v. Florida Keys
Electric Cooperative Association, 329 F.3d 1311, 1320
(11th Cir. 2003); Graham v. State Farm Mutual
Insurance Co., 193 F.3d 1274, 1282 (11th Cir.
1999) (“If no federal claim survives summary judgment,
the court sees no reason why the other claims should not be
dismissed or remanded pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1367(c)(3).”). In such a situation, considerations of
comity and fairness among the parties continue to favor
dismissal. See United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383
U.S. 715, 726 (1966) (“Needless decisions of state law
should be avoided as a matter of comity and to promote
justice between the parties, by procuring for them a
surer-footed reading of applicable law. Certainly, if the
federal claims are dismissed before trial, ... the state
claims should be dismissed as well.”). Thus, retention
of jurisdiction will be indicated only if considerations of
judicial economy and convenience favor such retention and do
so with sufficient force to outweigh the continuing pull of
comity and fairness towards dismissal.
on judicial economy are measured in order to “support
the conservation of judicial energy and avoid multiplicity in
litigation” or “substantial duplication of
effort.” Parker v. Scrap Metal Processors,
Inc., 468 F.3d 733, 746 (11th Cir. 2006)
(internal quotes omitted). The Court discerns no appreciable
negative impact on judicial economy by dismissing the
remaining state law claims for re-filing in state court. The
defendants suggest it would be grossly inefficient for the
litigation as to those claims to recommence in state court,
(Doc. 151 at 2-3), but the Court cannot agree. The defendants
appear to assume that a new lawsuit would engender new
discovery and motion practice, but they offer no reason to
believe they could not persuade a state judge that the
plaintiffs should not get two bites at that apple. They
suggest the two remaining claims involve no novel or
difficult state law questions, but the Court's order on
motion for summary judgment makes clear that the defendants
press a welter of legal defenses to the fraud claim that
admit of no easy solution and are thus apt for resolution by
a state judge schooled in such matters.
convenience, the defendants are a resident of Baldwin County
and a domestic corporation with its principal place of
business in Baldwin County. (Doc. 1 at 3; Doc. 31 at 2; Doc.
34 at 1). Both are represented by counsel in Mobile. It is
difficult to imagine how state litigation in Baldwin County
could be meaningfully inconvenient to the defendants;
certainly they identify no source of inconvenience.
Court has repeatedly engaged in a similar analysis after all
federal claims were dismissed on motion for summary judgment
and decided not to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
remaining state claims in the absence of diversity
jurisdiction. This case offers no more compelling an
argument for exercising supplemental jurisdiction than did
summary, after weighing the relevant factors as identified
and expounded upon by controlling authority, the Court
concludes that it should exercise its discretion not to
retain supplemental jurisdiction. In such a case, the proper
course is to “dismis[s] [the state claims] without
prejudice so that the claims may be refiled in the
appropriate state court.” Crosby v. Paulk, 187
F.3d 1339, 1352 (11th Cir. 1999).
reasons set forth above, the Court exercises its discretion
in favor of not retaining supplemental jurisdiction over the
plaintiffs' remaining state law claims. This action is
dismissed without prejudice to the
plaintiffs' ability to re-file their claims for fraud and
breach of fiduciary duty in the appropriate state
 Other Eleventh Circuit cases affirming
a trial court's decision to decline supplemental
jurisdiction after dismissing all federal claims on motion
for summary judgment include, without limitation, Betts
v. Hall, 679 Fed.Appx. 810, 814 (11th Cir.
2017); Okonkwo v. Callins Law Firm, LLC, 668
Fed.Appx. 875, 876 (11th Cir. 2016); Trigo v.
City of Doral, 663 Fed.Appx. 871, 875 (11th
Cir. 2016); Estate of Owens v. GEO Group, Inc., 660
Fed.Appx. 763, 775-77 (11th Cir. 2016);
Amerijet International, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County,
627 Fed.Appx. 744, 754 n.7 (11th Cir. 2015);
Maughon v. City of Covington, 505 Fed.Appx. 818, 823
(11th Cir. 2013); Finn v. Haddock, 459
Fed.Appx. 833, 838 (11th Cir. 2012); Handi-Van
Inc. v. Broward County, 445 Fed.Appx. 165, 170
(11th Cir. 2011); Dockens v. DeKalb County
School System, 441 Fed.Appx. 704, 709 (11th
Cir. 2011); Linares v. Armour Correctional Health
Services, Inc., 385 Fed.Appx. 926, 929 (11th
Cir. 2010); Dukes v. Georgia, 212 Fed.Appx. 916, 917
(11th Cir. 2006); Arnold v. Tuskegee
University, 212 Fed.Appx. 803, 811 (11th Cir.
2006); Lingo v. City of Albany, 195 Fed.Appx. 891,
894 (11th Cir. 2006); Austin v. City of
Montgomery, 196 Fed.Appx. 747, 755 (11th Cir.
2006); and Ingram v. School Board, 167 Fed.Appx.
107, 108-09 (11th Cir. 2006).
 The defendants rely on a case from the
Second Circuit that they believe offers an easier path
forward, (Doc. 151 at 2), but the Court is bound by the
rulings of the ...