United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 9, 2018, Plaintiff Ann Moody filed a complaint in the
Circuit Court of Calhoun County, Alabama, naming seven
defendants: (1) Oxford Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
(“Oxford EMS”); (2) Oxford EMS's Board of
Directors (“the Board”); (3) Gregory Skinner, the
Chairman of the Board; (4) Patrick Miller, the Vice-Chairman
of the Board; (5) Randall Beshears, a member of the Board;
(6) Ricky Howell, the Director of Oxford EMS; and (7) the
City of Oxford. (See Doc. 1-1 at 5-7). The complaint
raises thirteen counts, of which only one is a federal cause
of action. (See Doc. 1-1 at 13-17; Doc. 1-2 at 2-
removed the case to federal court, asserting that the court
has original jurisdiction over the federal cause of action
under 28 U.S.C. 1331, and supplemental jurisdiction over the
remaining state law causes of action under 28 U.S.C. §
1367. (Doc. 1 at 3-4). On its own motion, the court ordered
Defendants to show cause why the court should not decline to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law causes
of action. (Doc. 4). Defendants have filed their responses.
(Docs. 5, 6, 7). The City of Oxford takes no position on
whether this court should decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction (doc. 6 at 4), and the remaining defendants
argue that that the court should exercise supplemental
jurisdiction (docs. 5, 7).
the court finds that the state law claims substantially
predominate over the single federal claim, the court declines
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. For the
reasons set out in more detail below, the court
SEVERS Count Eight from the other counts.
The court REMANDS Counts One through Seven
and Nine through Thirteen to the Circuit Court of Calhoun
Moody alleges that in 1997, she began working as an office
manager for a predecessor to Oxford EMS, a company she calls
Oxford EMS 1990. (Doc. 1-1 at 8). At some point, Oxford EMS
1990's then-director, Randy Third, and Oxford EMS's
current director, Mr. Howell, asked Ms. Moody to sign some
paperwork, which turned out to be an application to
incorporate and organize the company that would become Oxford
EMS. (Id. at 8-9). Unbeknownst to Ms. Moody, the
application represented that Ms. Moody was an elector of the
City of Oxford, a position that she has never held.
(Id. at 9). In 2009, the City of Oxford's City
Council approved the application, resulting in the formation
of Oxford EMS. (Id. at 10).
2014, Ms. Moody became Oxford EMS's office manager. (Doc.
1-2 at 8). In March and November 2016, Ms. Moody's
coworker Missy Hall filed ethics complaints against Mr.
Howell, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Beshears-all
officers of Oxford EMS. (Doc. 1-1 at 14, 17). Ms. Moody's
complaint does not reveal the basis for those ethics
complaints, but she does allege that she cooperated with the
Alabama Ethics Commission's investigation, and in fact
soon filed her own ethics complaint against Mr. Howell.
(Id.). The Commission eventually concluded that it
did not have jurisdiction over any of the Oxford EMS officers
because they were not public employees or public officers.
(Id. at 15, 17).
Moody alleges that several things happened after she filed
her ethics complaint. First, as a result of her cooperation
with the Alabama Ethics Commission, Mr. Howell began
retaliating against her, resulting in her being placed on
paid administrative leave in July 2017. (Doc. 1-2 at 8-9).
Her employment was terminated in January 2018. (Id.
at 9). Second, at some point, Mr. Howell obtained her
identifying information and used it to his own benefit and
for the purpose of obstructing justice. (Id. at
10-11). Third, the Board, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Miller, and Mr.
Beshears allowed Mr. Howell to cover up his wrongdoing by
failing to place him on administrative leave while they
investigated her complaints. (Id. at 12). She also
contends that they failed to adequately investigate her
complaints and that they failed to take appropriate
disciplinary action against Mr. Howell. (Id.).
on those factual allegations, Ms. Moody asserts the following
(1) an order dissolving Oxford EMS, appointing a receiver,
and awarding attorneys' fees and costs;
(2) a declaratory judgment that Mr. Howell and the employees
of Oxford EMS are public employees under Alabama law;
(3) a declaratory judgment that Mr. Howell, Mr. Skinner, Mr.
Miller, Mr. Beshears, and two non-defendants are public
officials under Alabama law;
(4) a declaratory judgment that all funds received by Oxford
EMS are ...