United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
K&F RESTAURANT HOLDINGS, LTD., d/b/a IZZO'S ILLEGAL BURRITO, ET AL
DONALD J. ROUSE, JR., ET AL
RULING AND ORDER
W. deGRAVELLES JUDGE
the Court are two matters. The first is the objection by
plaintiffs K&F Restaurant Holding, Ltd, K&F
Restaurant Operations, LLC, G&O Pizza Holdings, Ltd.
d/b/a Lit Pizza, G&O Restaurant Operations, LLC, LIT
Pizza, Osvaldo Fernandez and A. Gary Kovacs
(“Plaintiffs”) (Doc. 29) to a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) of the Magistrate
Judge (Doc. 25), recommending denial of Plaintiffs'
Motion to Remand. (Doc. 5). The second matter is
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Voluntary Dismissal of
Claims with prejudice. (Doc. 37.) Defendants Donald J. Rouse,
Jr., Donald J. Rouse, Sr., Thomas B. Rouse, Allison Rouse
Royster, Rouse's Enterprises, L.L.C. and NARF Management,
LLC (“Defendants”) oppose both the Objection and
the Motion for Partial Dismissal. (Doc. 39.) Plaintiffs have
filed a reply. (Doc. 40.)
reasons which follow, Plaintiffs' objection is overruled
and their motion to dismiss their federal claims with
prejudice is granted. Because this leaves only state law
claims before the Court, the Court chooses to decline to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3) and therefore
dismisses the case without prejudice.
filed suit in state court on May 14, 2018. (Doc. 1-2 at
1-31.) Defendants removed the case to this Court on June 14,
2018. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiffs filed their Motion to Remand on
July 6, 2018 (Doc. 5), which was opposed by Defendants. (Doc.
12.) After hearing oral argument on January 22, 2019 (Doc.
24), the Magistrate Judge issued his R&R on January 24,
2019, recommending that the motion be denied. (Doc. 25.) A
more complete statement of the underlying dispute,
allegations and procedural background are set out in the
R&R and will not be repeated here.
TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
R&R, the Court found that, despite Plaintiffs'
protestations to the contrary, Plaintiffs had plead claims
arising under federal statutes including the Trade Secrets
Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1832 and the Racketeer Influence and
Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C.
§ 1962, et seq. (Doc. 25 at 5.) Nothing in
Plaintiffs' Objection persuades this Court otherwise and
indeed, a careful review of the pleadings convinces the Court
that the Magistrate Judge's R&R was entirely correct.
nonetheless ask this Court to grant their motion to dismiss
these federal claims with prejudice and then, lacking federal
question jurisdiction, can and should overrule the Magistrate
Judge's R&R and remand the case to state court. But
Defendants correctly contend that “a post-removal
amendment to a petition that deletes all federal claims,
leaving only pendent state claims, does not divest
the district court of its properly triggered subject
matter jurisdiction.” (Doc. 39 at 4, quoting Spear
Mktg., Inc. v. BancorpSouth Bank, 791 F.3d 586, 592
(5th Cir 2015) (quoting Hook v. Morrison
Milling Co., 38 F.3d 776, 779-80 (5th Cir.
1994) (emphases in original quote). Whether subject matter
jurisdiction exists “is resolved by looking at the
complaint at the time the petition for removal is
filed.” (Doc. 39 at 4), (citing Spear
Mktg., at 592, quoting Brown v. Sw. Bell Tel.
Co., 901 F.2d 1250, 1254 (5th Cir 1990),
(emphasis in original quote)).
although the Court chooses to grant Plaintiffs' motion to
dismiss his federal claims, this does not automatically
deprive the Court of jurisdiction nor does it mandate remand.
The Court finds the R&R correctly decided and the
Plaintiffs' objection is overruled.
TO DISMISS FEDERAL CLAIMS
argue that, despite the fact that the case is less than a
year old, little if any discovery has been done and no trial
date has been set, the Court should nonetheless exercise its
discretion to retain supplemental jurisdiction of the state
claims primarily because “[p]laintiffs' claims are
well-known to the Court, they are ripe for disposition in the
Motion to Dismiss filed by the Rouse's Defendants in July
[and] there are no exceptional circumstances present for
declining jurisdiction.” (Doc 39 at 7.) But Plaintiffs
argue that this case involves different facts and some
different parties from those of the other case handled by
this Court involving K&F to which Defendants
refer. (Doc. 40 at 3)
Court agrees with Plaintiffs. “Our general rule is to
dismiss state claims when the federal claims to which they
are pendent are dismissed.” Enochs v. Lampasas
County, 641 F.3d 155, 159 (5th Cir 2011).
Plaintiffs cite this Court's opinion in Savoy v.
Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury, Civ. Action No.
15-128, 2015 WL 3773418 (M.D. La. June 16, 2015) where, under
similar circumstances, the court refused to keep the case
with only state law claims remaining once the federal claims
were dismissed. Like in Savoy, this Court has
devoted “hardly any federal resources, let alone a
significant amount of resources” to the state law
claims. Savoy, 2015 WL 3773418 at 3, quoting
Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350
(1988). Nor have the parties. Defendants have failed to
demonstrate how they would be prejudiced if the case is
refiled in state court. There are no suggestions that any of
the parties, witnesses or evidence would not be subject to
the jurisdiction of the state court.
as Plaintiffs' federal law claims have been dismissed,
the Court exercises its discretion and declines supplemental
jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). Therefore, Plaintiffs'
objection the R&R of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. 29) is
overruled and Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Voluntary