United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR VOLUNTARY
DISMISSAL OF FEDERAL CLAIMS AND FOR REMAND
Oki Mollway United States District Judge.
David Henry, M.D., filed a Complaint in state court against
Defendants The Queen's Medical Center
(“QMC”); Kathleen Mah, M.D.; Leslie Chun, M.D.;
Robert Hong, M.D.; Robb Otani, M.D.; Mihae Yu, M.D.; and several
Doe parties, asserting federal and state-law claims relating
to the suspension of Henry's medical privileges at QMC.
See ECF No. 7-9. Defendants removed the case to
federal court based on federal question jurisdiction.
See ECF No. 1.
now seeks to voluntarily dismiss his federal due process
claims pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Provided that the federal claims are
dismissed, Henry also seeks remand of this case to state
court. See ECF No. 36. Defendants do not oppose
dismissal of the federal claims, but argue that they will
suffer prejudice if the case is remanded to state court.
See ECF No. 43, PageID #s 605-06.
to decide this motion without a hearing pursuant to Local
Rule 7.2(d), this court dismisses the federal claims asserted
in the Complaint given the absence of any indication that
Defendants will thereby suffer legal prejudice. The court
further declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
the remaining state-law claims. Accordingly, the court grants
Henry's motion for voluntary dismissal and motion for
alleges that he had privileges to practice at QMC from
September 2015 until April 2016, when Mah informed Henry that
his surgical privileges were suspended. See ECF No.
7-9, PageID #s 228, 231. The suspension is now in effect.
See ECF No. 36-1, PageID # 455. Henry alleges that
Defendants' true reason for the suspension is to drive
him out of practice in Hawaii. See ECF No. 7-9,
PageID # 232. Henry also alleges that, in suspending him,
Defendants have violated QMC's medical staff bylaws,
contravened Mah's representations to him, and violated
section 480-2 of Hawaii Revised Statutes, as well as his
rights to fairness and due process. See Id. at
filed an initial complaint in state court in April 2017 and
an amended complaint (“Complaint”) in July 2017.
See ECF Nos. 7-3, 7-9. The Complaint asserted the
following counts: “Breach of Contract/Promissory
Estoppel” (Count I), “Denial of Common Law Fair
Procedure Rights” (Count II), “Violations of
Procedural and Substantive Due Process” (Count III),
“Intentional Interference” (Count IV),
“H.R.S. Chapter 480, Unfair Competition and Methods of
Com[p]etition” (Count V), “Intentional Infliction
of Emotional Distress” (Count VI), “Injunctive
Relief” (Count VII), and “Declaratory
Relief” (Count VIII). ECF No. 7-9, PageID #s 251-58.
August 2017, Defendants removed the case to federal court,
arguing that there was federal question jurisdiction over
Henry's due process claims and the alleged violations of
the Healthcare Quality Improvement Act of 1986
(“HCQIA”) referenced in Counts II and III.
See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 3-4; 42 U.S.C. § 11101
(1986). Shortly thereafter, Defendants filed their
answer to the Complaint. ECF No. 6. Over the next year, the
parties participated in several settlement conferences.
See ECF Nos. 20, 22, 33, and 35.
18, 2018, both parties filed dispositive motions. ECF Nos.
36, 37. Henry filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the
federal due process claims pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and for remand under 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c). ECF No. 36. Defendants filed a motion
for summary judgment. ECF No. 37. On June 20, 2018,
Defendants also filed a motion to dismiss Henry's demand
for punitive damages. ECF No. 46.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW.
Rule 41(a)(2) Voluntary Dismissal.
41(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
plaintiff to dismiss an action without a court order by
filing a notice of dismissal before the opposing party serves
either an answer or a motion for summary judgment. When, as
in the present case, an opposing party has served an answer,
a plaintiff may voluntarily dismiss an action only by court
order pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2). Rule 41(a)(2) states,
“Except as provided in Rule 41(a)(1), an action may be
dismissed at the plaintiff's request only by court order,
on terms that the court considers proper.”
motion for voluntary dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2) is
addressed to the district court's sound
discretion.” Stevedoring Servs. of Am. v. Armilla
Int'l B.V.,889 F.2d 919, 921 (9th Cir. 1989).
“The purpose of the rule is to permit a plaintiff to
dismiss an action without prejudice so long as the defendant
will not be prejudiced, or unfairly affected by
dismissal.” Id. (citation omitted). Therefore,
“[a] district court should grant a motion for voluntary
dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2) unless a defendant can ...