Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ninth Circuit Notes Split Re Reviewability of Remand Based on Declining Supplemental Jurisdiciton

Per California Dept. of Water Resources v. Powerex Corp., --- F.3d ----, 2008 WL 2797031 (9th Cir. Jul 22, 2008):

As DWR notes, the Federal Circuit has come to the opposite conclusion, holding that "a remand based on declining supplemental jurisdiction must be considered within the class of remands described in § 1447(c) and thus barred from appellate review by § 1447(d)." HIF BIO, Inc. v. Yung Shin Pharm. Indus. Co., 508 F .3d 659, 667 (Fed.Cir.2007). That decision, which split with several circuits, id. at 665, found support in the Supreme Court's recent statement that "[i]t is far from clear ... that when discretionary supplemental jurisdiction is declined the remand is not based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction for purposes of § 1447(c) and § 1447(d)." Powerex Corp. v. Reliant Energy Servs., Inc., 127 S.Ct. 2411, 2418-19 (2007).

The Federal Circuit's disagreement does not give a three-judge panel in this circuit license to overrule the binding, authoritative decision of a prior three-judge panel. See Miller v. Gammie, 335 F.3d 889, 899 (9th Cir.2003) (en banc). Similarly, that the question remains unanswered by the Supreme Court does not relax our obligation to abide by stare decisis. In light of clear precedent, then, we hold that review of a district court's decision to decline an exercise of supplemental jurisdiction is not barred by § 1447(d).


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