United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Lamont Thomas, pro se plaintiff.
Jeffrey A. Timmerman and Helen R. Brosnahan, Assistant Dakota
County Attorneys, for defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION DENYING MOTION TO REMAND
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
8, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Katherine Menendez
issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”)
recommending that the Court deny Plaintiff Desean Lamont
Thomas's motion to remand this case. The Magistrate Judge
found that Thomas's allegations established original
jurisdiction for the Court because many of his claims arise
under federal law. Specifically, she noted that Thomas
brought claims against Defendants for violating his federal
constitutional rights, including equal protection and
religious freedom rights. She also found that his state-law
claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and
tort-liability are factually intertwined with his federal
constitutional claims, and thus the Court has supplemental
jurisdiction over those state-law claims as well.
18, 2017, Thomas timely filed objections to the R&R on
two grounds. First, Thomas argues that removal is prejudicial
because it will preclude Thomas from conducting discovery in
this case. Specifically, Thomas asserts that the Magistrate
Judge seeks to “merge” this action with his other
federal action where the discovery period has
closed. Second, Thomas asserts that the Magistrate
Judge wrongly concluded that this Court has jurisdiction over
his state-law claims.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the filing of a report and recommendation by a magistrate
judge, a party may “file specific written objections to
the proposed findings and recommendations.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR
72.2(b)(1). “The objections should specify the portions
of the magistrate judge's report and recommendation to
which objections are made and provide a basis for those
objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958,
2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008).
Court reviews de novo any portion of an R&R
“that has been properly objected to.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR
72.2(b)(3). Accordingly, the Court reviews the R&R de
novo in light of Thomas's objections.
Court will reject Thomas's first objection that removal
is inappropriate because it will preclude him from conducting
discovery in this case. The Court has not determined whether
to grant Defendants' motion to consolidate this case with
Thomas's other federal case. (See Defs.'
Mot. to Dismiss or for Consolidation & Partial Dismissal,
Nov. 30, 2016, Docket No. 12.) Thus, as the cases have not
yet been merged, it is undetermined whether Thomas will be
precluded from conducting discovery in this matter.
Thomas does not appear to challenge the R&R's
determination that it has original jurisdiction over his
federal claims and that his state-law claims are based on the
same predicate facts as his federal claims. Instead, Thomas
appears to contend that his state law claims belong in state
court. However, when state-law claims are factually
intertwined with federal-law claims, a federal court has
supplemental jurisdiction to hear those state law claims as
well. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) (providing a
district court has supplemental jurisdiction over state-law
claims that are a part of the same case or controversy as the
claims that fall within the district court's original
jurisdiction). There is no reason why the Court should
decline to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction here.
as removal to federal court was proper, the Court will
overrule Thomas's objections, adopt the R&R, and deny