United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
N. STIVERS, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand (DN 10) and Defendants' Motion for Leave to File
Sur-Reply (DN 16). For the reasons discussed below, the
motions are DENIED.
action arises from a sexual assault that Plaintiff Adrienne
Howell (“Howell”) allegedly experienced while
working for Father Maloney's Boys & Girls Haven
(“BGH”)-a residential institution that provides
treatment to at-risk youth. (Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, 10, DN
1-2). Specifically, the Complaint alleges that one of
BGH's residents-R.B.L.-choked Howell unconscious and
sodomized her while she was working in a secluded barn.
(Compl. ¶¶ 20-23).
filed a personal injury suit in Jefferson Circuit Court
against several defendants, including: (i) BGH and its Chief
Executive Officer, Jeff Hadley (collectively “BGH
Defendants”), (ii) R.B.L., and (iii) the Kentucky
Cabinet for Health and Family Services (the
“Cabinet”), Scott Brinkman
(“Brinkman”), and Vickie Yates Brown Glisson
(“Glisson”) (collectively “CHFS
Defendants”). (Compl. ¶¶ 2-7, 34-86). Though
the Complaint is somewhat unclear, it appears that Howell is
suing the CHFS Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
claiming that they violated her due process rights and
engaged in “arbitrary conduct” when they,
inter alia, placed R.B.L. at BGH without properly
vetting him and then subsequently failed to ensure that BGH
had appropriate safety and security measures, thereby
“creat[ing] the opportunity for and facilitat[ing]
R.B.L.'s attack . . . .” (Compl. ¶¶
36-42). Howell raises a similar claim against BGH Defendants
on the theory that they are subject to the Fifth
Amendment's due process clause because “the
functions [they] perform are subsidized by public funds . .
. .” (Compl. ¶¶ 43-54). Further, Howell seems
to raise several common-law claims based on BGH Defendants'
alleged duty to protect her; within these claims, she cites
KRS 342.610(4)-a workers' compensation statute that
allows employees who suffer injuries due to their
employer's deliberate acts to forego workers'
compensation proceedings and bring a civil action instead.
(Compl. ¶¶ 55-76). Finally, Howell asserts BGH
Defendants are liable because R.B.L. assaulted her and
subjected her to false imprisonment.(Compl. ¶¶ 77-83).
Defendants subsequently removed the action to this Court.
(See Notice Removal, DN 1). In support of removal,
CHFS Defendants pointed out that the Complaint raised a
federal question-thereby subjecting the case to this
Court's removal jurisdiction-and noted that they had
obtained consent for removal from all defendants “to
have been served properly with process . . . .” (Notice
removing the case to this Court, CHFS Defendants moved to
dismiss the Complaint. (Mem. Supp. Joint Mot. Dismiss Compl.,
DN 4-1 [hereinafter CHFS Defs.' Mot. Dismiss]). In their
motion, CHFS Defendants argue, inter alia, that
Plaintiff's claims against them must be dismissed
because-since CHFS Defendants are entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity-this Court lacks jurisdiction to review
that claim. (CHFS Defs.' Mot. Dismiss 7-10).
Plaintiff moved to remand this matter to state court.
(Pl.'s Mot. Remand, DN 10). Defendants also moved for
leave to file a sur-reply. (Defs.' Mot. Leave File
Sur-Reply, DN 16). The motions are ripe for
action arises under the laws of the United States, and this
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1331 and 1367.
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (DN 10)
raises several arguments in support of her motion, each of
which can be sorted into one of three categories. First,
Plaintiff raises two arguments regarding whether this Court
has jurisdiction over the case. (Pl.'s Mot. Remand 3-6).
Second, Plaintiff argues that remand is warranted due to four
distinct defects in the procedure CHFS Defendants used to
remove the case warrant remand. (Pl.'s Mot. Remand 6-7).
Finally, Plaintiff claims that this Court has the discretion
to decline to exercise jurisdiction over the case and that,
pursuant to principles of judicial economy and comity, this
Court should abstain from exercising jurisdiction. (Pl.'s
Mot. Remand 7-9). Each argument is addressed below.