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

PETITIONER: Carlsbad Technology, Inc.
RESPONDENT: HIF Bio, Inc.
LOCATION: HIF BIO, INC.

DOCKET NO.: 07-1437
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2006-2009)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

CITATION: 556 US (2009)
GRANTED: Oct 14, 2008
ARGUED: Feb 24, 2009
DECIDED: May 04, 2009

ADVOCATES:
Glenn W. Rhodes - argued the cause for the petitioner
Theodore S. Allison - argued the cause for the respondents

Facts of the case

The purported inventors of an anti-cancer agent, Jong-Wan park and Yang-Sook Chun through HIF Bio Inc., sued Carlsbad Technology, Inc. in a California court for various claims regarding ownership of the invention. The case was removed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. After dismissing the federal claim, it declined supplemental jurisdiction on the state claims and remanded the case back to state court.

On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that it did not have jurisdiction to review the remand order. It reasoned that when the district court declined supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims in the case, it necessarily found that the claims lacked federal subject matter jurisdiction.

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?

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

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 24, 2009 in Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 04, 2009 in Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Justice Thomas has our opinion this morning in case 07-1437, Carlsbad Technology, Inc. versus HIF Bio, Inc.

Clarence Thomas:

This case comes to us on a writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and it's not nearly as entertaining.

After respondent files a lawsuit in a California state court, petitioner removed the case to federal court and sought dismissal of the lawsuit's only federal claim.

The District Court dismissed the federal claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

It then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1367(c)(3) which provides that a District Court may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over claim if it has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction that would be federal claims.

The District Court remanded the case to state court.

Petitioner appealed arguing that the District Court abused its discretion in declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.

The Court of Appeals concluded that appellate review of the District Court's decision was barred by 28 U.S.C. 1447 (c) and (d) which this Court has interpreted to preclude appellate review of remand orders that are based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The Court of Appeals held that the appellate review bar applied in this case because the District Court's remand order could be colorably characterized as a remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

We disagree.

And in an opinion filed with the clerk today, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

We conclude that a District Court's order remanding a case to state courts after declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction is not a remand based on a lack of jurisdiction for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. 1447 (c) and (d).

Such remand orders are not based on the absence of jurisdiction but on a District Court's discretionary decision not to hear the claims.

The opinion of the Court is unanimous.

Justices Stevens and Scalia have also filed concurring opinions.

And Justice Breyer has filed a concurring opinion in which Justice Souter has joined.