United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
PULLIAM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has under consideration a Motion to Dismiss to
Allow for Plaintiffs to File Their Claims in State Court
(ECF No. 58). The motion is fully ripe and ready for ruling.
2017, Plaintiffs commenced a state action in Karnes County,
Texas, against Dr. Rayford Mitchell and BR Healthcare
Solutions, LLC (“BR”). See ECF No. 58-1.
In August 2017, the United States of America
(“USA”) moved to be substituted as a defendant in
lieu of Dr. Mitchell and filed a notice of removal.
See ECF No. 58-2. To allow for Statutory Notice of
claims against USA to proceed, the federal court granted
USA's motion to dismiss without prejudice on September
20, 2017, see ECF No. 58-3, and remanded the case to
Karnes County on October 3, 2017, see ECF No. 58-4.
Eight months later, Plaintiffs filed a notice of non-suit
without prejudice. See ECF No. 58-5.
days following that dismissal, Plaintiffs commenced this
medical malpractice action against USA and BR asserting
jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act as to USA and
supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) as
to BR. See Pl.'s Orig. Compl. (ECF No. 1). Just
over a year later, Plaintiffs completed the settlement of
their claims with USA. See Joint Stip. Dismissal
(ECF No. 34). Three months later, Plaintiffs moved to amend
their complaint to remove USA as a defendant, which the Court
granted while noting that no defendant had filed a response
to the motion. See ECF Nos. 47, 56.
this case lacks any current federal claim, Plaintiffs filed
the motion now before the Court on September 25, 2019,
arguing that the Court should decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining claims. While
agreeing that the matter is within the discretion of the
Court, BR urges the Court to retain supplemental jurisdiction
based upon its view of the factors to be considered in
deciding whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. In
reply, Plaintiffs' strenuously disagree with BR's
assessment of the relevant factors. BR objects that the reply
exceeds the ten-page limit established by the local rules and
highlights an alleged pattern of Plaintiffs violating local
rules. Because it need not consider the reply brief to decide
the jurisdic-tional issue presented, it does not consider the
reply brief or BR's objections.
do not identify the legal basis for their motion. Based on
the motion and response, the parties agree that resolution of
the motion depends on consideration of factors relevant to
supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a),
which ultimately invoke the Court's discretion.
Furthermore, the motion clearly reflects that Plaintiffs seek
to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claims so that they may
proceed with them in state court. Rule 41(a) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure governs voluntary dismissals by
plaintiffs. Rule 41(a)(1) provides two ways for plaintiffs to
voluntarily dismiss an action without court order. Because
those two circumstances are absent in this case, Plaintiffs
may not voluntarily dismiss this case without court order.
appears that Plaintiffs proceed with their motion under Rule
41(a)(2), which provides that this “action may be
dismissed at the plaintiff's request only by court order,
on terms that the court considers
proper.” A dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2) is without
prejudice unless the court orders otherwise. Fed.R.Civ.P.
41(a)(2). This rule essentially invokes the Court's
discretion, which includes whether dismissal is warranted at
all, whether the dismissal should be with or without
prejudice, and what terms the court deems proper for a
warranted dismissal. See United States v. $13, 275.21,
More or Less, in U.S. Currency, No. SA-06-CA-171-XR,
2007 WL 316455, at *5 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 31, 2007). Given the
briefing in this case, that discretion also appears
intertwined with the discretion to decline supplemental
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). See
Heggemeier v. Caldwell Cnty., Tex., 826 F.3d 861, 872
(5th Cir. 2016) (per curiam) (recognizing that whether to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction is within discretion of
terms, § 1367(c) provides four alternate reasons that a
court may invoke to “decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over a claim”:
(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
determining whether a court has abused its discretion in
retaining or declining supplemental jurisdiction over State
claims, the Fifth Circuit has considered these enumerated
reasons as statutory factors to be balanced with the common
law factors of “judicial economy, convenience,
fairness, and comity” identified in Carnegie-Mellon
Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7 (1988).
See, e.g., Enochs v. Lampasas
Cnty., 641 F.3d 155, 161-62 ...