The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Knoll Gardner United States District Judge
This matter is before the court on (1) the Memorandum of Law of Plaintiff, J.R. Peters, Inc., Concerning Subject Matter Jurisdiction filed August 12, 2011; (2) Defendant, Robert B. Peters, Memorandum Showing Cause Why the United States District Court has Subject Matter Jurisdiction in the Within Matter, which memorandum was filed August 15, 2011; (3) the Amended Motion to Dismiss Claim Against Defendant, Virginia Peters, Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6), which motion was filed by defendant Virginia Peters on August 17, 2011; and (4) Defendant Virginia Peters, Memorandum Showing Cause Why the United States District Court has Subject Matter Jurisdiction in the Within Matter, which memorandum was filed August 19, 2011.
For the following reasons I conclude that this court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the within matter. Accordingly I remand the case back to the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
Specifically, I conclude that plaintiff's claim is based on state contract law and does not raise a federal question. Accordingly, no federal question jurisdiction is established. Additionally, both plaintiff and defendants appear to be citizens of Pennsylvania, thereby precluding jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship.
Having concluded that this court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the case, I dismiss defendant Virginia Peters' amended motion to dismiss, without prejudice for her to raise the issues contained therein as preliminary objections in state court.
On January 11, 2011 plaintiff J.R. Peters, Inc. filed a Complaint against defendants Robert B. Peters and Virginia Peters in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. On February 18, 2010 defendants filed a Notice of Removal, removing the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1338, 1441 and 1446.
On February 25, 2011, defendant Virginia Peters filed her Motion to Dismiss Claim Against Defendant, Virginia Peters, Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) and in the Alternative a Motion for a More Definite Statement Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(e). On March 8, 2011, Defendant, Robert B. Peters, Motion for a More Definite Statement Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e) was filed.
By Order dated July 11, 2011 and filed July 12, 2011, I granted each defendant's motion for a more definite statement and dismissed defendant Virginia Peters' motion to dismiss without prejudice. I gave plaintiff until August 1, 2011 to file an amended complaint in accordance with the Order. I also directed all parties to file a memorandum of law showing cause why this court's subject matter jurisdiction is or is not proper.
On August 1, 2011 plaintiff filed its Amended Complaint. On August 12, 2011 plaintiff filed its memorandum of law contending that this court lacked jurisdiction. On August 18, 2011 defendant Robert B. Peters filed his memorandum of law contending that this court's jurisdiction was proper. On August 19, 2011 defendant Virginia Peters filed her brief, which adopted the factual and legal positions of defendant Robert B.
Peters, also contending that this court's jurisdiction was proper.
On March 8, 2011 defendant Robert B. Peters and Nutridyne, LLC (as plaintiffs) filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in a separate action in federal court, case number 11-cv-1651, against plaintiff J.R. Peters, Inc. (as defendant). In that action plaintiffs Robert B. Peters and Nutridyne, LLC sought a declaratory judgment confirming that Robert B. Peters was the "sole and exclusive inventor of the invention", that he "was entitled to obtain a Patent", and that "as patentee, had the exclusive right to grant and convey all his interest in the Patent to the [Nutridyne] LLC by an assignment in writing." *fn1
On April 14, 2011, J.R. Peters, Inc. as the defendant in the separate action, filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses of J.R. Peters, Inc. to Complaint for Declaratory Judgment. As an affirmative defense, J.R. Peters, Inc. contested this court's subject matter jurisdiction over the dispute. *fn2 This Opinion does not address either the jurisdiction or merits of that action.
When considering whether a remand is proper, "the court looks to plaintiff's complaint, as stated at the time of removal, and the defendant's notice of removal." MCS Services, Inc. v. Johnsen, 2002 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 16910 at *10-11 (E.D.Pa. Aug. 13, 2002) (Surrick, J.).
However, if a plaintiff drops all of the federal claims upon which removal was based, "a district court has wide discretion in deciding whether to retain jurisdiction over the pendent state law claims." Hunter v. Temple University School of Medicine, 2003 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 20210 at *3 (E.D.Pa. Oct. 29, 2003) (Schiller, J.) citing 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Therefore, I will consider plaintiff's ...