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Schultz v. Ichimoto

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 10, 2010

RODNEY SCHULTZ AND PATRICIA SCHULTZ, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SAKAYE ICHIMOTO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS OR FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON FEDERAL CLAIMS FOR WANT OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION AND FOR DISMISSAL OF STATE LAW CLAIMS (Doc. 142) AND VACATING ORAL ARGUMENT SET FOR MARCH 22, 2010

Defendants George A. Wolfe and Frances E. Wolfe have filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings or for summary judgment that Plaintiffs' First Claim for Relief for cost recovery under CERCLA § 107, the Third Claim for Relief for declaratory relief under CERCLA § 113, and Fourth Claim for Relief for contribution under California Health & Safety Code § 25363(e) on the ground that Plaintiffs failed to comply with the statutory 60-day pre-litigation notice requirements under both federal and state law, which notices are mandated in order to confer subject matter jurisdiction on this Court over their citizen suit.*fn1

Defendants also request that the state law claims for equitable indemnity/contribution, continuing nuisance, negligence, trespass, products liability, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).*fn2

Defendants Wolfe's motion is joined by Defendants Margaret Jamison, William O. Jamison, Cinda A. Jamison, Sakaye Ichimoto, individually and as Trustee of the Ichimoto Trust Agreement dated September 22, 1988, and Vic Manufacturing Company.

Joinders or timely oppositions to the motion have not been filed by Defendants Estate of George T. Ichimoto; Walter Colburn Tuttle, individually and as Trustee under the Walter Colburn Tuttle and June Hadley Tuttle Revocable Living Trust Agreement dated April 22, 1981; Estate of Mary J. Tuttle aka June Hadley Tuttle, deceased; Drew A. Ratzloff and Cindy Ratzloff, individually and as Trustees of the Ratzloff Family Trust; Jewel Donathan; Clarence Soltau; Edeltrude Soltau; Anthony Alves, individually and dba Alves and Williams Enterprises, Devere Williams dba Alves and Williams Enterprises; Juanita Price; Technichem, Inc.; M.B.L., Inc.; and Hoffman/New Yorker, Inc. dba NJHNY, Inc.*fn3

Plaintiffs have filed a Statement of Non-Opposition to dismissal of the First, Third and Fourth Claims for Relief for want of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs also do not oppose to the dismissal of the state law claims pursuant to Section 1367(c)(3). This case is at an early stage, there is no federal interest in purely local claims, and the state courts are better equipped to deal with matter of state law. See Imagineering, Inc. v. Kiewit Pac. Co., 976 F.2d 1303, 1309 (9th Cir.1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 1004 (1993).

Accordingly:

1. Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or For Summary Judgment on Federal Claims for Want of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and For Dismissal of State Law Claims is GRANTED;

2. Oral Argument set for March 22, 2010 is VACATED;

3. Counsel for Defendants George A. Wolfe and Frances E. Wolfe shall prepare and lodge a form of order and judgment, including dismissal of all counter-claims and cross claims, consistent with this Memorandum Decision within five (5) court days following service of this Memorandum Decision.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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