United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. ZEFF LAW FIRM OF GREGG L. ZEFF On behalf of Plaintiffs.
C. EASTLACK, JR. GEORGIOS FARMAKIS LILIA LONDAR WESLEY L.
FENZA WEIR & PARTNERS LLP On behalf of Defendants.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
before the Court is the motion of Plaintiffs to remand their
case to New Jersey state court. Previously, on November 16,
2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit affirmed this Court's grant of summary judgment
in Defendants' favor on all of Plaintiffs' claims,
except for their claims for violations of New Jersey's
Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”),
N.J.S.A. 34:19-1, et seq. The Third Circuit summarized
Plaintiffs' case and its decision:
This case arises from a vigorous dispute between the
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 1 as well as certain police
officers (“Plaintiffs”) on one side, and the City
of Camden, New Jersey and certain supervisory police
personnel (“Defendants”) on the other. Plaintiffs
claim that the City's “directed patrols”
policy constitutes an illegal quota system. Specifically,
they allege that the policy violates New Jersey's
anti-quota law. They also accuse Defendants of illegal
retaliation in violation of New Jersey's Conscientious
Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”), the First
Amendment, and the Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”). The district court granted summary
judgment to Defendants on all of Plaintiffs' claims.
[W]e will reverse the district court's order granting
summary judgment to Defendants on Plaintiffs' CEPA
claims. We will remand for proceedings consistent with this
opinion. We will affirm the district court's dismissal of
Plaintiffs' New Jersey anti-quota law, First Amendment
claims, and Officer Holland's FMLA claim.
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 1 v. City of
Camden, 842 F.3d 231, 236, 247 (3d Cir. 2016).
the Third Circuit's decision, Plaintiffs filed a motion
to remand their case to state court. They argue that because
no federal claims remain, and the basis for this Court's
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 has been
extinguished, the Court should decline to continue exercising
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining claims, which
are for violations of state law that the state court is best
suited to resolve.Defendants have opposed Plaintiffs'
motion, arguing that judicial economy concerns warrant this
Court's continuing jurisdiction over the matter.
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 under Article III of the United States
Constitution.” A district court may decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over a claim under subsection (a)
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
jurisdiction, (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. Id. § 1367(c).
on supplemental jurisdiction has been long established.
Pendent jurisdiction, in the sense of judicial power . . .
[is a] power [that does not] need not be exercised in every
case in which it is found to exist. It has consistently been
recognized that pendent jurisdiction is a doctrine of
discretion, not of plaintiff's right. Its justification
lies in considerations of judicial economy, convenience and
fairness to litigants; if these are not present a federal
court should hesitate to exercise jurisdiction over state
claims, even though bound to apply state law to them.
Needless decisions of state law should be avoided both as a
matter of comity and to promote justice between the parties,
by procuring for them a surer-footed reading of applicable
law. Certainly, if the federal claims are dismissed before
trial, even though not insubstantial in a jurisdictional
sense, the state claims should be dismissed as well.
Similarly, if it appears that the state issues substantially
predominate, whether in terms of proof, of the scope of the
issues raised, or of the comprehensiveness of the remedy
sought, the state claims may be dismissed without prejudice
and left for resolution to state tribunals.
United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S.
715, 726-27 (1966).
a “district court's decision whether to exercise
[supplemental] jurisdiction after dismissing every claim over
which it had original jurisdiction is purely
discretionary.” Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v. HIF
Bio, Inc., 556 U.S. 635, 639 (2009) (citing Chicago
v. International College of Surgeons, 522 U.S. 156, 173
(1997)) (“Depending on a host of factors, then -
including the circumstances of the particular case, the
nature of the state law claims, the character of the
governing state law, and the relationship between the state
and federal claims - district courts may decline to exercise
jurisdiction over supplemental state law claims.”)).
case, three factors compel the Court to decline to continue