United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a Motion to Remand filed by plaintiffs Haley
Maynor and Lee Maynor, II. Doc. 22. Defendants Chennault
International Airport Authority (“Chennault”) and
Randolph Robb oppose remand. Doc. 26. This motion has been
referred to the undersigned for review, report, and
recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
reasons stated below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that
the Motion to Remand be GRANTED.
suit arises from injuries plaintiffs allege they sustained
when Haley Maynor, an employee of Chennault, was allegedly
sexually harassed, assaulted, and battered by her supervisor,
Randolph Robb. Doc. 1, att. 1, pp. 1-4. On October 12, 2018,
plaintiffs filed suit in the 14thJudicial District
Court, Parish of Calcasieu, alleging violations of state and
federal law. Id. Made defendants therein were
Chennault and Randolph Robb. Id. at 1.
November 16, 2018, Chennault removed the suit asserting we
had federal question jurisdiction based on plaintiffs'
federal claims. Doc. 1. On April 5, 2019, plaintiffs were
granted leave to amend their complaint. Doc. 17. In the
Amended Petition for Damages plaintiffs now assert claims
under only state law and “specifically waive any
remedies and causes of action under any Federal law which are
not otherwise recoverable pursuant to La. R.S. 23:303, et
seq.” Doc. 18, p. 2. The federal claims were
subsequently and voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. Docs.
April 18, 2019, plaintiffs filed the instant motion for
remand. Doc. 22. They assert the case should be remanded
because the remaining claims deal with a complex issue of
state law. Id. at 2. They aver defendants will not
be prejudiced by having to litigate the claims in Louisiana
state court. Id. at att. 1, p. 5. Defendants oppose
remand. Doc. 26. They argue the court should retain
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims because
plaintiffs' state law claims are substantially similar to
the claims plaintiffs initially asserted under federal law
and they dispute plaintiffs' assertion that these claims
raise any novel or complex issues of state law. Id.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute.”
Gunn v. Minton, 133 S.Ct. 1059, 1064 (2013)
(internal quotation omitted). Generally, a defendant may
remove a civil action to federal court if the federal court
has original jurisdiction over the action. 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). However, the federal district court must remand the
action to state court if it finds that it lacks subject
matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The removing
party bears the burden of showing that removal was
procedurally proper, and that federal jurisdiction exists.
See De Aguilar v. Boeing Co., 47 F.3d 1404, 1408
(5th Cir. 1995).
28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal courts have original
jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
“The presence or absence of federal-question
jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well-pleaded complaint
rule,' which provides that federal jurisdiction exists
only when a federal question is presented on the face of the
plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint.”
Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 107 S.Ct. 2425, 2429
(1987). This rule recognizes the axiom “that a
plaintiff is master of his complaint and may generally allege
only a state law cause of action even where a federal remedy
is also available.” Bernhard v. Whitney Nat'l
Bank, 523 F.3d 546, 551 (5th Cir. 2008).
question jurisdiction is most frequently invoked by
plaintiffs asserting a cause of action created by federal
law. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), “in 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.”
Plaintiffs asserted a federal claim on the face of their
initial complaint by alleging defendants were liable under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, et seq. Doc. 1, att. 1, p. 3.
All of their state law claims were “part of the same
case or controversy.” See 28 U.S.C. §
1367(a). Accordingly, removal was proper because this court
had subject matter ...