United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
WOOD, ATTER & WOLF, P.A., on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
SOLANTIC CORPORATION d/b/a CARESPOT EXPRESS HEALTHCARE, Defendant.
MORALES HOWARD UNILED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court sua sponte. Federal courts are
courts of limited jurisdiction and therefore have an
obligation to inquire into their subject matter jurisdiction.
See Kirkland v. Midland Mortg. Co., 243 F.3d 1277, 1279-80
(11th Cir. 2001). This obligation exists regardless of
whether the parties have challenged the existence of subject
matter jurisdiction. See Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co.,
168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999) (“[I]t is well
settled that a federal court is obligated to inquire into
subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it
may be lacking.”). “In a given case, a federal
district court must have at least one of three types of
subject matter jurisdiction: (1) jurisdiction under a
specific statutory grant; (2) federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331; or (3) diversity
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).”
Baltin v. Alaron Trading Corp., 128 F.3d 1466, 1469
(11th Cir. 1997).
5, 2019, Defendant Solantic Corporation, d/b/a CareSpot
Express Healthcare (CareSpot), filed Defendant's Notice
of Removal of Civil Action (Doc. 1; Notice) removing this
case from the Fourth Judicial Circuit in and for Duval
County, Florida. See Notice at 1. In the Notice,
CareSpot asserts that this Court has federal question
jurisdiction over the instant action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 because all of Plaintiff's state based claims
require interpretation and application of the HITECH Act,
which is part of the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPPA”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 1320d; 45 C.F.R. § 164.524. Notice at 2-3.
Plaintiff's five counts against CareSpot include
allegations of violations of Florida's Deceptive and
Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) (Counts I & II),
violation of Florida's Consumer Collection Practices Act
(FCCPA) (Count III), unjust enrichment (Count IV), and
negligence (Count V). See Doc. 4 at 10, 12, 14, 15,
17 (Complaint). Plaintiff's claims are predicated on
CareSpot's alleged violation of duties imposed upon it by
the terms of the HITECH Act. Id. at 10-11, 13,
15-18. At bottom, Plaintiff asserts that CareSpot imposed
charges against it for copies of medical records, where such
charges exceeded the limits laid out in federal law.
Id. at 6-7. Based on the current filings before the
Court however, it is not clear that the Court possesses
federal question jurisdiction over this matter.
have consistently held that HIPPA, of which the HITECH Act is
a part, does not create a private right of action. Sneed
v. Pan Am. Hosp., 370 Fed.Appx. 47, 50 (11th Cir. 2010)
(“We decline to hold that HIPPA creates a private right
of action . . . .”); Rois v. Partners in Primary
Care, P.A., SA-18-CV-538-FB, 2019 WL 668509, *6 (W.D.
Tex. Feb. 15, 2019) (“HIPPA (and the HITECH ACT as part
of its statutory and regulatory scheme) do not provide for a
private right of action . . . .”); Ruggieri v. City
of Hoover, No. 2:18-cv-476-VEH, 2018 WL 3548733, *6
(N.D. Ala. July 24, 2018) (no private right of action under
HIPPA); Sullivan v. Clallam County Pub. Health
Dist., No. 3:16-cv-5280-RJB, 2016 WL 3059409, *2 (W.D.
Wash. May 31, 2016) (HITECH Act does not give rise to a
private cause of action).
consequence of the absence of a private right of action,
federal courts have concluded that federal question
jurisdiction is similarly lacking for claims asserting HITECH
Act and HIPPA violations. See Webb v. Smart Document
Solutions, LLC, 499 F.3d 1078, 1083 (9th Cir. 2007) (in the
context of a HIPPA claim “where there is no federal
private right of action, federal courts may not entertain a
claim that depends on the presence of federal question
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331”); Haith
ex. rel. Accretive Health, Inc. v. Bronfman, 928
F.Supp.2d 964, 970-72 (N.D. Ill. 2013) (“the fact that
Plaintiffs state law claims turn in part on the application
of federal laws - the HIPPA, the HITECH Act, the FDCPA, and
the federal securities laws - is not enough” to
“fall within the ‘arising under' jurisdiction
of § 1331”). In light of this authority, the Court
presently cannot conclude that it has subject matter
jurisdiction over this action.
it is ORDERED:
is directed to SHOW CAUSE by written response no later than
August 1, 2019, why this case should not be remanded to state
court for lack of federal question jurisdiction.
 In citing to the aforementioned cases,
the Court notes that “[a]lthough an unpublished opinion
is not binding . . ., it is persuasive authority.”
United States v. Futrell, 209 F.3d 1286, 1289 (11th
Cir. 2000) (per curiam); see generally Fed. R. App.
P. 32.1; 11th Cir. R. 36-2 (“Unpublished opinions are
not considered binding precedent, but they may be cited as
 CareSpot does not assert that the
Court could otherwise exercise jurisdiction over this matter
by virtue of diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.
§ 1332. In this regard, the Court notes that Plaintiffs
Complaint may contain allegations sufficient to establish
diversity among the parties. Complaint at 2. However, the
Complaint suggests, at most, that CareSpot overcharged
Plaintiffs by $19.25. Id. at 6. Nothing else in the
Complaint, or in CareSpot's Notice, ...