United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on motions by both parties.
Defendant Lourdes Medical Center has moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. No. 6) as well as
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint filed thereafter (Doc. No.
17). Plaintiff Tonnesha Kidd requests that this matter be
remanded to state court (Doc. No. 8) and has also filed a
Second Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 21) along with a brief
that requests leave to amend (Doc. No. 22) and other assorted
documents (Doc. Nos. 23-26).
reasons below, Plaintiff's motion to remand is
DENIED. Defendant's motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is GRANTED IN
PART, and Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend
is DENIED. Because the Court grants
Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint, Defendant's first motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint is DENIED AS MOOT.
matter stems from an employment dispute between pro
se Plaintiff Tonnesha Kidd and Defendant Lourdes Medical
Center, where Plaintiff formerly worked as a nurse.
relevant facts are largely procedural. On September 6, 2018,
Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant in state court,
alleging breach of contract, fraud, defamation, retaliation,
and civil conspiracy. (Doc. No. 1-1, Ex. A at ¶¶
9-50.) In her retaliation claim, Plaintiff alleged that
Defendant engaged in several retaliatory acts in response to
her “protected conduct according to the Civil Rights
Act of 1964.” (Id. at ¶¶ 39-40, 42.)
She also alleged that Defendant's conduct violated
“the federally protected rights of Plaintiff.”
(Id. at ¶ 43.)
on Plaintiff's retaliation allegations, Defendant removed
the action to this Court under its federal question
jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 1 at ¶¶ 6-9.) Defendant
asked the Court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's state law claims. (Id. at
practice followed. After removal, Defendant filed its first
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint on December 7,
2018. (Doc. No. 6.) Rather than oppose Defendant's first
motion to dismiss, Plaintiff filed-within twenty-one days of
Defendant's motion-an Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 13
(“Amended Complaint”).) Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint re-asserted her original claims and added new ones.
Specifically, Plaintiff asserted claims for promissory
estoppel, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant
of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, defamation,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy to
defame, retaliation (again referencing federal law), a
violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employee
Protection Act, civil conspiracy, and constructive
termination. (Id. at ¶¶ 20-111.) Plaintiff
also filed a motion to remand, claiming that Defendant's
removal was not timely and that the Court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction to hear this case because Plaintiff filed
her retaliation claim under state law, not federal law. (Doc.
No. 8 at 6-8.)
then moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.
(Doc. No. 17.) In addition to opposing this motion (Doc. No.
22), Plaintiff requested leave to amend (id. at
same time as Plaintiff requested leave to amend, Plaintiff
filed a document entitled “Second Amended
Complaint.” (Doc. No. 21.) About a week after Plaintiff
filed her request for leave to amend and the Second Amended
Complaint, she also filed a five-sentence letter stating that
she “inadvertently didn't attach the amended
complaint to Leave to amend motion.” (Doc. No. 24.)
did not respond to Plaintiff's request for leave to amend
or file anything in response to Plaintiff's Seconded
Amended Complaint and her corresponding letter. Accordingly,
Plaintiff moved for a clerk's entry of default on her
Second Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 26), prompting Defendant
to respond by letter that no response to Plaintiff's
Second Amended Complaint was required because it was filed
without leave of the Court under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15 (Doc. No. 27).
Court now considers the parties' various filings,
beginning with Plaintiff's motion to remand. The Court
will then consider Defendant's two motions to dismiss,
followed by Plaintiff's request for leave to amend and
the document entitled Second Amended Complaint.
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand Plaintiff's
motion to remand contains two arguments: (1) that
Defendant's removal was not timely, and (2) that the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action
because Plaintiff filed her retaliation claim under state
law, not federal law, such that no ...