United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND AND
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
ORDER is issued upon consideration of Plaintiff Maika
Sage's Motion to Remand (Dkt. 11, Cause No. 17-5775) and
Defendants' Motion to Consolidate (Dkt. 21, Cause No.
17-5277). Both matters have been fully briefed. The Court has
considered the pleadings and the remainder of the file here.
For the reasons discussed, Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
should granted, and Defendants' Motion to Consolidate
should be denied as moot.
MOTION TO REMAND
cases originate from the conduct of Defendants on March 24,
2014. On March 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in
Pierce County Superior Court, alleging violations of the
Washington Open Public Meetings Act, the Americans with
Disabilities Act, and constitutional rights under 28 U.S.C.
§1983. Defendants timely removed, and the case is now
pending in this district as Cause No. 17-5277 (hereinafter,
“Sage I”). The Court's original jurisdiction
over Sage I is not contested.
filing a second complaint with the District and waiting more
than sixty days, see RCW 4.96.020(4), on May 31,
2017, Plaintiff filed a second complaint in Pierce County
Superior Court. Defendants timely removed, and the case is
now pending in this district as Cause No. 17-5775
(hereinafter, “Sage II”). The Sage II Complaint,
the complaint at issue in Plaintiff's Motion to Remand,
alleges substantially the same facts as Sage I, but it
alleges only state law tort claims, specifically, violations
of two state law provisions, RCW 28A.605.020 (parents'
right to access school grounds) and Chapter 49.60 (Washington
Law Against Discrimination), and two common law claims for
tortious interference with a parent-child relationship and
negligence. Dkt. 3 at ¶¶43-49.
Notice of Removal in the second-filed case, Sage II, states:
7. This state-court action may be removed under 28 U.S.C.
§1441 because Plaintiff's underlying alleged facts
are the same as the previous State-Court Action that was
removed to federal court. Together, the underlying facts and
claims arise under the U.S. Constitution and laws of the
United States and thus, this Court has original jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. §1331, a federal question. Furthermore,
supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1367, in
particular pendant jurisdiction, applies because . . .
underlying alleged facts and named parties are the same as
those in Plaintiff's First State-Court Action [Sage I],
which was then removed to this Court.
Sage II, Dkt. 1 at ¶7.
question before this Court is whether it has original
jurisdiction over Sage II, because if it does not, Sage II
should be remanded and Sage II should not be consolidated
with Sage I.
28 U.S.C. §1331.
Notice of Removal invokes 28 U.S.C. §1331, federal
question jurisdiction, which gives district courts
“original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising
under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States.” “[T]he vast majority of cases brought
under the general federal-question jurisdiction of the
federal courts are those in which federal law creates the
cause of action[.]” Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v.
Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 808 (1986). The “mere
presence of a federal issue in a state cause of action does
not automatically confer federal-question jurisdiction,
” id. at 813, but state law claims
‘arise under' federal law if “vindication of
the state right necessarily turns upon ...