United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant New Mexico Department
of Health's Motion for Clarification, filed on August 30,
2017 (Doc. 87). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73(b), the parties have consented to me serving
as the presiding judge and entering final judgment.
See Docs. 5-9. Having considered the record,
submissions of counsel, and relevant law, the Court makes the
Court set out this matter's complicated procedural
history in its Memorandum Opinion and Order dated January 23,
2017. See Doc. 15 at 1-7. Relevant to the Motion at
hand, the Court restates the following: Plaintiff's
former employer, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH),
terminated Plaintiff in August 2010. See Doc. 10-1
at 9. After some procedural complications (see Doc.
15 at 1-7), Plaintiff filed a “Request for Hearing and
Motion for Entry of Default/Waiver Against the State
Personnel Board and the Department of Health” with the
New Mexico State Personnel Board (SPB) on July 8, 2011.
See Doc. 1-D at 17. The SPB entered its Final
Decision on April 27, 2012, affirming Plaintiff's
dismissal. Doc. 1-D at 12-13.
filed a Notice of Appeal under Rule 74 and Motion for
Certification to the Court of Appeals on May 17, 2012.
Doc. 3-1. Plaintiff named both the DOH and the SPB
as Appellees in the case caption. See Id. at 1.
Plaintiff included two counts in her appeal: first, she
sought reversal of the SPB's decision upholding her
termination; second, she asked the court for a declaratory
judgment finding that the SPB and/or the DOH “waived,
denied, or defaulted on [Plaintiff's] appeal of her
termination by their failure to schedule [her] hearing within
a reasonable time.” Id. at 4-5. Apparently
intending to dismiss Plaintiff's Appeal in its entirety,
the First Judicial District Court affirmed the SPB's
decision to terminate Plaintiff and also found that
“[t]he procedural irregularities alleged by [Plaintiff]
do not constitute waiver or default.” Doc. 10
at 4; see also Doc. 10-6.
appealed this decision, along with a prior decision out of
the Fourth Judicial District Court, which dismissed SPB from
the case. See Arellano v. N.M. Dep't of Health,
2016 WL 4942708, at *1-2 (N.M. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2016).
Finding that both orders were appealable and noting a
typographical error in the First Judicial District
Court's order, the New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed
both orders and remanded the case to the First Judicial
District Court for further proceedings. Id. at *2.
This decision effectively reinstated Count II. Id.
at *1; see also Doc. 3 at 3 (noting a state court
judge “dismissed Count II” and the New Mexico
Court of Appeals “reinstated Count II”).
remand, Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment with
respect to Count II on September 5, 2016. Doc. 1-B. The
district court entered an order on November 1, 2016, finding
that “Count II is a claim against the [SPB] only[,
]” and the SPB “is not currently a party in this
matter.” Doc. 1-C at 1. The court granted
Plaintiff's motion to join the SPB as a party, and it
deferred Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment until
the SPB received a summons and responded to Plaintiff's
motion. Id. at 1-2. After Plaintiff served the SPB,
counsel for the SPB removed the lawsuit to this Court on
December 5, 2016. See Docs. 1 ¶ 5; 3
filed an Amended Complaint in this Court. Doc. 33 (Am.
Compl.) ¶ 1.Plaintiff mentions state law in two
different paragraphs: (1) Plaintiff asserts that she brought
her “claims under [sic] Due Process Clause of the Fifth
and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,
under 42 U.S.C. §1983, pursuant to Article II, Section
18 of the New Mexico Constitution and state law as it relates
to Declaratory Judgements, §44-6-1 et seq.”
(see Id. ¶ 1); (2) with respect to Count III,
Plaintiff asserts that the “SPB failed to conduct
Plaintiff's post-termination hearing within a meaningful
time . . . under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico
Constitution” (see Id. ¶ 35). Of
significance to this motion to clarify, the Amended Complaint
expressly noted that it “does not withdraw or amend or
dismiss any of her claims against the New Mexico Department
of Health made in her cause nos. D-101-CV-2011-03710 or
D-412-CV-2012-00238.” Am. Compl. ¶ 6.
Memorandum Opinion and Order filed August 28, 2017, the Court
expressly dismissed all federal claims. It found that
“the federal due process claims fail to state a viable
federal cause of action because neither the SPB nor the DOH
are ‘persons' amenable to suit under section
1983.” Doc. 86 at 4. It nevertheless appeared to the
Court that Plaintiff had attempted to assert a claim under
both the federal and state constitutions in Count
III of her Amended Complaint. Am. Compl. ¶ 33.
Because “[n]either party addressed Plaintiffs claim
under the New Mexico Constitution, ” the Court declined
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over such a state claim
and instead remanded that claim to the state court for
further proceedings. Id. at 6-7. That is the
“remaining state claim” the Court referenced in
its Memorandum Opinion and Order.
also seeks clarification and asserts that “by only
remanding only [sic] some of the State law claims, the Court
is putting Plaintiff in the position of appealing some State
law claims to the Federal Court of Appeals and others to the
New Mexico Court of Appeals when both appeals should
economically and logically go to the same appellate
court.” Doc. 88 at 2. To the extent the Court's
August 28, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order was unclear, the
Court dismissed only the federal claims and remanded any
and all of Plaintiff's state law claims, asserted
against either or both defendants, to the First Judicial
District Court. The Court retains no jurisdiction over any
state law claims.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The Court has considered the Motion
and the Response and is able to resolve the Motion in the
absence of a reply brief.
 While the state court found that
Plaintiff's original Count II was against the SPB only
(see Doc. 1-C at 1), it appears Plaintiff may have
attempted to assert the Declaratory Judgment claim in Count
II in the Amended Complaint against both Defendants. See
Am. Compl. ¶ 32. Counts ...