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Holm v. Bunny's of Urbana, Inc.

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

August 13, 2013

MATTHEW A. HOLM, Plaintiff,
BUNNY'S OF URBANA, INC. et al., Defendants.


DAVID G. BERNTHAL, Magistrate Judge.

On April 15, 2013, Plaintiff Matthew Holm brought suit against Defendants Bunny's of Urbana, Inc., Randall Lee Danley, Robert Fiscus, the City of Urbana, and Urbana police officer Nathan C. Hills in the Champaign County, Illinois, Circuit Court (Case No. 2013-L-67). On April 23, 2013, Defendants Hills and the City of Urbana removed the case to federal court. (#1.) On June 13, 2013, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (#8) that excused Defendant City of Urbana and added Urbana police officer Susanne Robinson. On June 20, 2013, Defendant Bunny's filed a Motion to Remand Count I of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (#10). On July 3, 2013, Plaintiff filed a response in opposition (#12).

After careful consideration of the parties' arguments, the Court recommends, pursuant to its authority under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), that Defendant Bunny's Motion to Remand (#10) be DENIED.

I. Background

The following background is taken from Plaintiff's amended complaint and response to Defendant's motion to remand. On August 11, 2012, Defendants Danley and Fiscus patronized Defendant Bunny's of Urbana, a tavern, and became intoxicated. At approximately 1:45 a.m., Defendants Danley and Fiscus attacked Plaintiff with knives outside of Defendant Bunny's premises. Two employees of Defendant Bunny's witnessed the attack and called the police. Defendants Robinson and Hills, City of Urbana police officers, arrived on the scene and arrested Plaintiff. Defendants Robinson and Hills transported Plaintiff to Carle Hospital for medical attention.

On the way to the hospital, Plaintiff complained that his handcuffs were too tight. Upon arriving at Carle, Plaintiff renewed his complaint that his handcuffs were too tight. Doctors at Carle examined Plaintiff and then released him to the custody of the Urbana police officers. The police officers then took Plaintiff to the Champaign County Sheriff's office to be booked. When Plaintiff's handcuffs were removed, it was discovered that the top of his left wrist was lacerated. The police transported Plaintiff back to Carle Hospital for further medical attention. After another examination, doctors performed surgery upon Plaintiff to repair the laceration. The charges against Plaintiff were later dropped.

Plaintiff brings a federal claim alleging that Defendants Robinson and Hills violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment right to be free from excessive force. Plaintiff also brings state law claims alleging Defendants Danley and Fiscus are liable for battery and Defendant Bunny's is liable under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, 235 ILCS 5/6-21. The Court now considers its ability to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the latter claim.

II. Supplemental Jurisdiction

Defendant Bunny's argues that Count I, alleging a violation of Illinois Dram Shop Act, should be remanded to state court because this Court cannot, or should decline to, exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the claim.

A. Legal Standard

28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) provides that "in any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution." A claim arises out the same case or controversy when the federal and state claims share "a common nucleus of operative facts" and the claims are such that one would "ordinarily expect to try them all in one judicial proceeding." United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 725 (1966); see Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Wis. Sys. v. Phoenix Int'l Software, Inc., 653 F.3d 448, 468 (7th Cir. 2011).

A district court may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state court claim if: (1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of state law; (2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims which the district court has original jurisdiction; (3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction; or (4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c); Hansen v. Bd. of Trs. of Hamilton Se. Sch. Corp., 551 F.3d 599, 608 (7th Cir. 2008). In deciding whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, a district court "should consider and weigh the factors of judicial economy, convenience, fairness and comity.'" Sellars v. City of Gary, 453 F.3d 848, 852 (7th Cir. 2006) (quoting Wright v. Assoc. Ins. Cos., Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1251 (7th Cir. 1994)).

B. Discussion

Defendant Bunny's argues that this Court cannot not exercise supplemental jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367 because Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Bunny's does not form a common case or controversy with Plaintiff's other claims. In particular, Defendant Bunny's asserts that the Illinois Dram Shop Act claim and the basis for the ...

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