United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand. Dkt. # 14. Defendant opposes the motion. Dkt. # 18.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES the Motion.
to its complaint, Plaintiff sought to develop on its
properties, and approached Defendant for an evaluation of the
properties. Dkt. # 1 (Compl.) at ¶¶ 3.1-2.
Plaintiff submitted its permit application to Defendant, and
worked diligently with Defendant to obtain its substantive
review. Id. at ¶ 3.2. Defendant allegedly
cancelled Plaintiff's initial permit application.
Id. Plaintiff appealed Defendant's decision to
cancel the application. Id. The parties resolved the
issue through a judicially approved stipulation, and agreed
that Plaintiff would submit another permit application to
Defendant for an evaluation of the properties. Id.
at ¶ 3.3. After submitting its second permit
application, Plaintiff had multiple communications with
Defendant regarding the status of the application.
Id. at ¶¶ 3.5, 3.7-11. Several weeks
passed without a response from Defendant about the status of
the application. Id. at ¶ 3.14. Plaintiff
further alleges that it learned that Defendant had issued its
evaluation of Plaintiff's properties without proper
notification to Plaintiff or its authorized agent as required
by Washington law. Id. at ¶ 3.15. Because
Defendant failed to provide proper notice, Plaintiff missed
the deadline to appeal Defendant's decision regarding its
evaluation of the properties. Id. at ¶ 3.16.
August 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant in
King County Superior Court. Plaintiff alleged claims of
procedural due process under the Bellevue Land Use Code,
Washington Constitution, U.S. Constitution, and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Dkt. # 1 (Compl.) at ¶¶ 4.3, 4.4, 5.3,
and 6.3. On August 19, 2016, Defendant filed a notice of
removal with the Court asserting federal question
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c). Id. at
now seeks an order remanding its claims to state court. Dkt.
# 14. Plaintiff argues that the Court should decline
supplemental jurisdiction because its claims involve novel
and complex issues of state law, and its state law claims
substantially predominate over its federal claims.
Id. at 3. Alternatively, Plaintiff moves the Court
to remand by abstention, invoking the Pullman
abstention doctrine. Id. at 4. Defendant argues that
remand is not appropriate because Plaintiff's claims
involve the same nucleus of facts, and Plaintiff's claims
do not support Pullman abstention. Dkt. # 18 at 1.
jurisdiction is strictly construed in favor of remand, and
any doubt as to the right of removal must be resolved in
favor of remand. Harris v. Bankers Life & Cas.
Co., 425 F.3d 689, 698 (9th Cir. 2005). The party
seeking a federal forum has the burden of establishing that
federal jurisdiction is proper. Abrego Abrego v. Dow
Chem. Co., 443 F.3d 676, 682-83 (9th Cir. 2006). The
removing party must carry this burden not only at the time of
removal, but also in opposition to a motion for remand.
See Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d
1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009). “If at any time before
final judgment it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
timely removed this case from state court to federal court
based upon Plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Dkt. # 1 (Compl.) at ¶¶ 4.3, 4.4, 5.3, and 6.3.
Federal question jurisdiction is proper when civil actions
arise under the Constitution, laws, or treatises of the
United States. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. A civil action that
originated in state court may be removed from state court to
federal court if original jurisdiction exists in the federal
court at the time the complaint is filed. 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). The Court has original jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331(a). Therefore, subject matter jurisdiction
argues that its state law claims warrant remand. Courts have
supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims that are
“so related” to the claims over which the court
has original jurisdiction that “they form part of the
same case or controversy under Article III of the United
States Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). A state
law claim is part of the same case or controversy when it
shares a “common nucleus of operative fact” with
the federal claims and the state and federal claims would
normally be tried together. Bahrampour v. Lampert,
356 F.3d 969, 978 (9th Cir. 2004).
face, Plaintiff's complaint presents a federal question:
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the U.S. Constitution. Dkt. # 1 (Compl.) at
¶¶ 4.3, 4.4, 5.3, and 6.3. Plaintiff also alleges
claims under the Bellevue Land Use Code and Washington
Constitution. Id. Plaintiff's state law claims
arise out of the same nucleus of operative facts as its
federal claims-that Defendant violated Plaintiff's
procedural due process rights when it failed to provide
proper notice of its evaluation of Plaintiff's ...