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James A. Kay, Jr v. the County of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION


November 26, 2012

JAMES A. KAY, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES; THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT; LEROY BACA, THE SHERIFF OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. Wu, U.S. District Judge

ORDER GRANTING STIPULATIONS BETWEEN THE PARTIES TO 1) DISMISS SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION OF THE WITHIN COMPLAINT [42 U.S.C. SECTION 1983]; AND 2) REMAND THE WITHIN MATTER TO THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

ORDER RE: STIPULATIONS TO AMEND AND REMAND

This action arises out of the refusal of the Sheriff of Los Angeles County to issue a concealed weapons permit to plaintiff, James A. Kay, Jr.

Plaintiff filed this action in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against the within defendants. Defendants timely removed this case to this Court. Plaintiff now presents stipulations between the parties to amend the within Complaint by dismissing the Section 1983 cause of action, thereby leaving only state law claims and to remand the action back to the state court. Defendants do not oppose these requests. As explained below, the stipulations are GRANTED.

Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that leave to amend a complaint shall be "freely given when justice so requires." The decision to grant leave to amend rests with the sound discretion of the trial court. See Swanson v. US Forest Service, 87 F.3d 339, 343 (9th Cir. 1996). In making this assessment, courts consider the following factors: "(1) undue delay; (2) bad faith; (3) futility of amendment; and (4) prejudice to the opposing party." Forsyth v. Humana, Inc., 114 F.3d 1467, 1482 (9th Cir. 1997). Here, the Court concludes that all factors favor granting the leave to amend. Plaintiff did not delay in moving for leave to amend, as this stipulation was brought within a short time after the filing of the Complaint in state court and Defendants' removal to this Court. Plaintiff has not demonstrated bad faith because Plaintiff is entitled to make the strategic choice to file federal and state claims in state court, and after removal, to dismiss his federal claim and move for remand. Baddie v. Berkeley Farms, Inc., 64 F.3d 487, 491 (9th Cir. 1995). Amendment is also not futile because the Amended Complaint may proceed with the remaining state law claims. Finally, Defendant's non-opposition to the stipulation indicates they will not suffer prejudice if leave to amend is granted. For these reasons, the stipulation for leave to amend is GRANTED.

The parties also stipulate that the within action be remanded to state court. Once all federal claims have been dismissed, thereby leaving only pendent state claims, the district court has discretion "either to retain jurisdiction to adjudicate the pendent state claims or to remand them to state court." Lee v. City of Beaumont, 12 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 1993); 28 U.S.C. §1367(c)(3). As there are no federal claims remaining, Defendants do not oppose the stipulation for remand. The Court thereby exercises its discretion and GRANTS the stipulation to remand this case to state court.

For the foregoing reasons, the requests are GRANTED. The proposed Amended Complaint is deemed FILED as of the date of this Order. The case is also REMANDED to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. All hearing currently scheduled concerning this matter are hereby VACATED. Fed R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20121126

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