United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
JOHN F. MCGUIRE, Plaintiff,
CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION et al., Defendants.
D. MERRYDAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Property Insurance Corporation moves (Doc. 13) unopposed to
remand John F. McGuire's claims (Counts I through V)
against Citizens. The Eleventh Amendment prohibits a federal
court's exercising supplemental jurisdiction against a
non-consenting state agency.[*] Pennhurst State Sch. &
Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89 (1984); Raygor v.
Regents of the Univ. of Minn., 534 U.S. 533 (2001).
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), Citizens's motion (Doc.
13) is GRANTED.
invokes (Count XI) original jurisdiction under the National
Flood Insurance Act against Capitol Preferred Insurance
Company, Inc., and invokes supplemental jurisdiction over the
remaining state law claims (Counts VI through X and XII
through XVII) against Capitol and O'Brien & Delzer,
Inc. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), a district court may
decline supplemental jurisdiction over a claim brought under
Section 1367(a) “if . . . in exceptional circumstances,
there are . . . compelling reasons for declining
deciding whether to decline jurisdiction a federal court must
consider the factors of “judicial economy . . . [and]
whether all the claims would be expected to be tried
together”. United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383
U.S. 715, 726 (1966); Palmer v. Hospital Authority of
Randolph County, 22 F.3d 1559, 1569 (11th Cir. 1994).
Judicial economy is best served by remanding the remaining
state law counts (V through X and XII through XVII) to state
court. “Indeed, the policy of supplemental jurisdiction
is to support the conservation of judicial energy and avoid
multiplicity in litigation . . . . Having a state court
rehash issues that have already been argued in federal court
is . . . likely to cause multiplicity in litigation.”
Parker v. Scrap Metal Processors, Inc., 468 F.3d
733, 746 (11th. Cir 2006). “Exceptional
circumstances” and “compelling reasons”
(for declining jurisdiction) exist when a federal court must
adjudicate a state law claim while an identical claim pends
in state court; exercising jurisdiction over the state law
claim is “a pointless waste of judicial
resources.” Hays County Guardian v. Supple,
969 F.2d 111, 125 (5th Cir. 1992) (Higginbotham, J.).
remanded state law claims (Counts I through V) against
Citizens are substantially similar to the remaining state law
claims against both Capitol and O'Brien. See Ambrosia
Coal and Const. Co. v. Pages Morales, 368 F.3d 1320,
1328 (11th Cir. 2004) (emphasizing the desirability of
avoiding piecemeal litigation across a parallel state action
and federal action). On the face of the complaint (the
plaintiff fails to attach copies of the insurance policies),
Counts I through V, VI through X, and XIII through XVII
present apparently identical legal issues, dependent on the
same facts and circumstances. Also, the plaintiff's
allegation (Count XII) of bad faith against Capitol is
intimately insinuated into the other state law claims.
Similar claims are normally and beneficially tried together.
The issues in this case “derive from a common nucleus
of operative fact, ” 383 U.S. 715 at 725, specifically,
damage to the plaintiff's property from Hurricane Hermine
and the defendants' alleged wrongs. Because the federal
court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the supplemental claims
against Citizens, Gibbs anticipates the state
court's hearing the remaining state law claims against
Capitol and O'Brien.
attempts his sole federal claim (Count XI) under the National
Flood Insurance Act (NFIA). A federal court has exclusive
jurisdiction over an action for breach of an insurance policy
issued under the NFIA. Hairston v. Travalers Cas. &
Sur. Co., 232 F.3d 1348, 1349 (11th Cir. 2000). Also,
Count XI fails to state a claim. First, McGuire fails to
specify under which section of the statute he sues. Second,
McGuire's conclusory allegations in Count XI lack the
requisite specificity and are merely “threadbare
recital[s]” of the elements of a generic claim. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
no later than APRIL 21, 2017, McGuire must amend the
complaint to state a claim under the NFIA against Capitol.
Counts I, II, III, IV, and V against Citizens; Counts VI,
VII, VIII, IX, X, and XII against Capitol; and Counts XIII,
XIV, XV, XVI, and XVII against O'Brien are SEVERED and
REMANDED. The clerk is directed to mail, as required by 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c), a certified copy of this order to the
clerk of the Circuit Court for Hernando County County.
Section 627.351(6)(a)(1), Florida Statutes, states that
Citizens is “a government entity that is an integral
part of the state, and . . . is not a ...