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Sanact, Inc. v. U.S. Pipelining LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

June 29, 2018

SANACT, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
US PIPELINING LLC; JOHN DOES 1-5; JANE DOES 1-5; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-5; DOE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES 1-5; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-5; DOE ENTITIES 1-5, Defendant.

          ORDER ON JURISDICTION AND VENUE

          Helen Gillmor United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Sanact, Inc., doing business as Roto Rooter, filed suit against Defendant U.S. Pipelining, LLC seeking payment for services rendered to Defendant when it worked as a subcontractor on a construction project at the Kaanapali Alii condominium complex on the island of Maui.

         On June 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant U.S. Pipelining in the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit, State of Hawaii. Defendant U.S. Pipelining removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii on July 7, 2016, and unsuccessfully sought to consolidate the case with other pending cases in the District Court.

         Nearly two years later, in its May 2018 Pretrial Conference Statement, Defendant for the first time challenged jurisdiction and venue in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

         The Court finds that jurisdiction and venue in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii are proper.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant in the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit, State of Hawaii. (ECF No. 1-1).

         On July 7, 2016, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. (ECF No. 1).

         On August 5, 2016, Defendant filed its Answer. (ECF No. 11).

         On August 31, 2016, the case was assigned to the Honorable Derrick K. Watson.

         On October 7, 2016, Defendant U.S. Pipelining LLC filed a MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE, seeking to consolidate this action with other cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. US Pipelining v. Johnson Controls, Inc.; AOAO Kaanapali Alii; Allana Buick & Bers, 16-cv-00132 HG-RLP and Curaflo Services, LLC v. U.S. Pipelining LLC, 16-cv-00508 HG-KJM. (ECF No. 21).

         On December 6, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued an ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF U.S. PIPELINING LLC'S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE. (ECF No. 24). The Magistrate Judge granted consolidation of US Pipelining v. Johnson Controls, Inc.; AOAO Kaanapali Alii; Allana Buick & Bers, 16-cv-00132 HG-RLP and Curaflo Services, LLC v. U.S. Pipelining LLC, 16-cv-00508 HG-KJM and denied consolidation of the instant case Sanact, Inc. v. U.S. Pipelining LLC, 16-cv-00377 DKW-RLP.

         On January 3, 2017, the case was reassigned to the Honorable Helen Gillmor who was the District Judge in the other two cases involving U.S. Pipelining which it had attempted to consolidate with the case brought against it by Plaintiff Sanact, Inc. (ECF No. 25).

         On February 22, 2018, the Court held a Status Conference to set a firm trial date. (ECF No. 47).

         On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed its FINAL PRETRIAL STATEMENT. (ECF No. 57).

         On May 14, 2018, Defendant filed its PRETRIAL STATEMENT. (ECF No. 58).

         On May 15, 2018, the Magistrate Judge held a FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. (ECF No. 59).

         On May 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed its EXHIBIT LIST and PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT. (ECF Nos. 60, 61).

         On the same date, Defendant filed its PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT. (ECF No. 62).

         On May 31, 2018, Plaintiff filed its TRIAL BRIEF. (ECF No. 64).

         On the same date, Defendant filed its TRIAL BRIEF. (ECF No. 63).

         On June 21, 2018, the Court held its FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. (ECF No. 69). At the hearing, the Parties were offered the opportunity to speak on the issue of jurisdiction and venue raised in the Defendant's Pretrial Conference Statement and Trial Brief. Both Parties rested on the arguments presented in their Pretrial Conference Statements and Trial Briefs.

         ANALYSIS

         I. Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

         Subject matter jurisdiction is conferred on federal courts either through federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or through diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Peralta v. Hispanic Bus., Inc., 419 F.3d 1064, 1068 (9th Cir. 2005).

         A. No Federal Question Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

         There is no federal question presented in the Complaint. The basis for the Court's jurisdiction is diversity jurisdiction.

         B. The Court Has Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Based On Diversity

         28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) states that “[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000 ... and is between citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Section ...


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