United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
ORDER AND OPINION
RICHARD M. GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on Plaintiff Rita Davis'
motion to remand (Dkt. No. 10). For the reasons below, this
Court grants Plaintiffs motion to remand.
Rita Davis filed a Complaint in the Hampton County Court of
Common Pleas on September 24, 2018, alleging that the
Defendants Hampton Regional Medical Center and the South
Carolina Association of Counties (collectively
"Defendants") illegally garnished her wages for an
outstanding medical debt. (Dkt. No. 1-1.) Plaintiff asserted
causes of action for common law conversion, and violation of
the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code, South Carolina
Unfair Trade Practices Act, South Carolina Constitution,
Federal Fair Debt Collection Act, and the Federal
Constitution. (Dkt. No. 1-1 at ¶¶ 18 - 47.) On
October 23, 2018, Defendants removed the case to this Court
based on federal question jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 1.)
Thirteen days later, on November 5, 2018, Plaintiff filed an
Amended Complaint that removed all claims under the Fair Debt
Collection Act and the Federal Constitution but was otherwise
unchanged. (Dkt. No. 9.)
moves to remand the case, arguing that the Court lacks
jurisdiction as the case no longer includes federal claims.
(Dkt. No. 10.) Defendants oppose the motion. (Dkt. Nos. 14,
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Strawn v. AT
& T Mobility LLC, 530 F.3d 293, 296 (4th Cir. 2008)
(citation omitted). A defendant removing a case to federal
court bears the burden of establishing that federal
jurisdiction is proper. Id. (citations omitted). The
existence of federal jurisdiction is determined at the time
the defendant files his notice of removal. See Pullman
Co. v. Jenkins, 305 U.S. 534, 537 (1939) (citations
omitted). "On a motion to remand, the court must
strictly construe the removal statute and resolve all doubts
in favor of remanding the case to state court, indicative of
the reluctance of federal courts to interfere with matters
properly before a state court." Gallagher v. Fed.
Signal Corp., 524 F.Supp.2d 724, 726 (D. Md. 2007)
(citation omitted). If there is any doubt regarding the
existence of federal jurisdiction, the case must be remanded.
Md. Stadium Auth. v. Ellerbe Becket Inc., 407 F.3d
255, 260 (4th Cir. 2005) citing Mulcahey v. Columbia
Organic Chem. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994).
is no doubt that this Court lacks either federal question or
diversity jurisdiction. All parties are citizens of South
Carolina (Dkt. No. 9 at ¶¶ 1 - 4.) and the Amended
Complaint no longer contains any claims under federal law or
the Constitution. Instead, the Defendants argue that the
Court should continue to exert jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1367, which provides for supplemental jurisdiction
over claims that otherwise would not fall under the
Court's subject matter jurisdiction. § 1367(c)
[T]he district courts 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
(3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it
has original ...