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Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc.

Docket No.: 07-1437
Certiorari Granted: Oct 14 2008
Argued: February 24, 2009
Decided: May 4, 2009

PartyNames: Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Carlsbad Technology, Inc.
Respondent: HIF Bio, Inc.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Carlsbad Technology, Inc.
v.
HIF Bio, Inc.
Background:

In Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 357 (1988), this Court held that district courts could remand removed claims upon deciding not to exercise supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). However, in Powerex Corp. v. Reliant Energy Servs., Inc., 127 S. Ct. 2411, 2416 (2007), the Court stated that "it is far from clear . . . that when discretionary supplemental jurisdiction is declined the remand is not based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction for purposes of § 1447(c) and § 1447(d)" and noted that "[w]e have never passed on whether Cohill remands are subject-matter jurisdictional for purposes of post-1988 versions § 1447(c) and § 1447(d)." Construing Powerex as leaving the question open, the Federal Circuit held that a remand based on declining supplemental jurisdiction can be colorably characterized as a remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, thus disagreeing with the nine other federal courts of appeals that have construed Cohill as distinguishing between remands for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and remands based on declining to exercise subject matter jurisdiction that already exists. Thus, this petition presents the question posed but left unanswered in Powerex that is now the subject of a direct conflict among the circuits:

Question Presented:

1. Whether a district court's order remanding a case to state court following its discretionary decision to decline to exercise the supplemental jurisdiction accorded to federal courts under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) is properly held to be a remand for a "lack of subject matter jurisdiction" under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) so that such remand order is barred from any appellate review by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d).

Question:

Is a federal district court order to remand a case to state court properly understood as stripped of any federal claims when the district court declines supplemental jurisdiction and is thus barred from federal appellate review?

Holding: reversed and case remanded
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By: Justice Clarence Thomas
Read CARLSBAD TECH., INC. V. HIF BIO, INC. opinion (PDF)
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