United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KINKEADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is pro se Plaintiff Matthew Ford's
Motion to Remand (the “Motion”) (Doc. No. 6). The
Court has considered the Motion, response, record, and
applicable law. For the reasons stated, the Court
GRANTS Ford's Motion.
Matthew Ford filed this action against Defendant Pennsylvania
Higher Education Assistance Agency, d/b/a FedLoan Servicing
(“PHEAA”), in the 44th Judicial District Court of
Dallas County, Texas, on August 27, 2018. Original Pet. (Doc.
No. 1-5). On October 18, 2018, ten days after Ford filed a
second amended petition in state court, PHEAA filed its
notice of removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1446 in this Court.
Removal Notice (Doc. No. 1). In its notice of removal, PHEAA
claims that “[t]his Court has federal question
jurisdiction [under 28 U.S.C. § 1331] because
Plaintiff's Second Amended Petition alleges a breach of
contract claim controlled by federal law.” Id.
at 1-2, ¶ 2. With respect to the remaining claims under
Texas state law, PHEAA avers that because they “share a
common nucleus of operative fact with [Ford's] federal
breach of contract claim, the Court has supplemental
jurisdiction over those claims.” Id. Within
six days of PHEAA filing its notice of removal, Ford filed a
motion for leave to file an amended complaint. Mot. (Doc. No.
5). Ford filed an accompanying proposed amended complaint
effectively voluntarily dismissing his breach of contract,
unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty claims and
adding a claim for usury in violation of Texas Finance Code
Chapter 306. Proposed Am. Compl. 12-15, ¶¶ 59-76
(Doc. No. 5-1).
United States Magistrate Judge granted Ford's motion for
leave to amend on July 26, 2019, and the Clerk of Court was
directed to file Ford's amended complaint on the docket.
Order (Doc. No. 12). The amended complaint-which no longer
pleads the breach-of-contract, unjust enrichment, and
breach-of-fiduciary duty claims- contains the following
causes of action: (1) violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade
Practices Act; (2) violation of Texas Debt Collection Act;
(3) usury in violation of Texas Finance Code Chapter 306; (4)
fraud; and (5) negligent misrepresentation.
Applicable Law and Analysis
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 . . . .”
28 U.S.C. § 1367. However, under 28 U.S.C. §
1367(c), a court may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over a claim if:
(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or
claims over which the district court has original
(3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it
has original jurisdiction, or
(4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling
reasons for declining jurisdiction.
may also consider common law factors of “judicial
economy, convenience, fairness, and comity” in deciding
whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Brookshire
Bros. Holding, Inc. v. Dayco Prods., Inc., 554 F.3d 595,
601-02 (5th Cir. 2009). “The general rule is that a
court should decline to exercise jurisdiction over remaining
state-law claims when all federal-law claims are eliminated
before trial . . . .” Id. at 602.
the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
the remaining state-law claims where the statutory and common
law factors favor remand. (The Court questions whether Ford
truly raised a federal question that would make the exercise
of jurisdiction over Ford's removed second amended
petition proper. Even if it did, Ford no longer pleads the
alleged federal claim.)
second, third, and fourth statutory factors under §
1367(c) favor remand because Ford's state-law claims
predominate over any federal claims where no federal claims
exist, see Enochs v. Lampasas Cty., 641 F.3d 155,
159 (5th Cir. 2011), and because all federal claims were
dismissed when the Magistrate Judge granted Ford's motion
for leave to file an amended complaint. Because the common
law factors favor remand, the fourth statutory factor is
satisfied because the common law factors are compelling
reasons for the Court to decline jurisdiction. Id.
The common law factors also favor remand. First, the judicial
economy factor favors remand where little federal resources
have been devoted to addressing Ford's state law claims.
Id. (citations omitted). Neither party will have to
“duplicate any research, discovery, briefing, hearings,
or other trial preparation work, because very little has been
done at this point.” Id. With respect to the
convenience factor, a remand will not inconvenience the
parties where they will not have to “duplicate any of
their previous efforts or expenses.” Id.
(citing Mendoza v. Murphy, 532 F.3d 342, 347 (5th
Cir. 2008)). Third, in considering the fairness factor, it is
not unfair for the parties to litigate Texas state-law claims
in Texas state court, and “there is nothing to indicate
that either party would [be] prejudiced by a remand.”
Id. (citing Parker & Parsley Petroleum Co.
v. Dresser Indus., 972 F.2d 580, 587 ...