United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon the Joint Motion (ECF DKT
#16) to Proceed as Proposed by the Parties. For the following
reasons, the Joint Motion is denied. The above-captioned case
is dismissed without prejudice for want of jurisdiction.
Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. filed its Complaint for
Declaratory Judgment on March 1, 2019. Plaintiff alleges that
it entered into an agreement with Defendant Laborers'
International Union of North America, Local 860 to settle
pending grievances over hiring and assignment of employees
for the I-271 Project. Plaintiff alleges Defendant “has
since attempted to impose additional requirements
not included in the Settlement Agreement upon [Plaintiff] and
is threatening additional grievances and/or
litigation on [Plaintiff's] current hiring
methods.” (Complaint, ECF DKT #1 at ¶ 12).
(Emphasis added). Plaintiff contends it has no adequate
remedy at law and asks the Court to enforce the Settlement
Agreement and order Defendant to comply with its terms.
answered on April 9, 2019, and asserts Counterclaims for
Declaratory Judgment; Breach of Labor Contract pursuant to
Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C.
§ 185); and Specific Performance. Defendant alleges that
Plaintiff has refused to abide by the terms of the Settlement
Agreement and has initiated a frivolous Declaratory Judgment
lawsuit in order to thwart the intent of the parties'
contract and to cause imminent injury to Local 860 and its
a Telephonic Case Management Conference on June 6, 2019, the
Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause “why its
Complaint should not be dismissed for failing to set forth a
case or controversy justiciable in federal court . . . [and]
to convince the Court that Plaintiff is not simply asking for
an improper advisory opinion.” (ECF DKT #13).
filed a timely response (ECF DKT #15). Plaintiff argues that
a real and immediate dispute exists between parties having
adverse legal interests and that the genuine and substantial
controversy warrants the issuance of a declaratory judgment.
Telephone Status Conference on July 3, 2019, the Court
committed to consider Plaintiff's contentions and ordered
the parties to file a proposal as to how the case should
parties ask the Court to retain jurisdiction over the case;
but if the Court were inclined to dismiss the Complaint, then
maintain jurisdiction over Defendant's Counterclaims.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
Bender v. Williamsport Area School District, 475
U.S. 534, 541 (1986) (citing Marbury v. Madison, 1
Cranch 137, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)). “Subject matter
jurisdiction is the unwaivable sine qua non for
exercise of the federal judicial power.” Crabtree
v. Wal-Mart, 2006 WL 897210 at *1 (E.D.Ky. April 4,
2006), slip copy; Richmond v. International Business
Machines Corporation, 919 F.Supp. 107 (E.D.N.Y. 1996)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)). Want of subject matter
jurisdiction may be raised at any time by the parties or by
the Court on its own initiative. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and
12(h)(3); Clark v. Paul Gray, Inc., 306 U.S. 583
(1939). “[D]efects in subject matter jurisdiction
cannot be waived by the parties and may be addressed by a
court on its own motion at any stage of the
proceedings.” Curry v. U.S. Bulk Transport,
Inc., 462 F.3d 536, 540 (6th Cir. 2006), citing
Owens v. Brock, 860 F.2d 1363, 1367 (6th Cir. 1988). The
burden rests upon the plaintiff to establish affirmatively
that the Court possesses subject matter jurisdiction over the
case or controversy. See e.g., Thomson v. Gaiskill,
315 U.S. 442 (1942).
courts have original jurisdiction over “actions
arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (emphasis
added). Original federal question jurisdiction exists
“only [in] those cases in which a well-pleaded
Complaint establishes either that federal law creates the
cause of action or that the plaintiff[‘]s right to
relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial
question of federal law.” Eastman v. Marine
Mechanical Corp., 438 F.3d 544, 550 (6th Cir. 2006);
Thornton v. Southwest DetroitHosp., 895
F.2d 1131, 1133 (6th Cir. 1990) (quoting Franchise Tax
Bd. v. Constr. LaborersVacation Trust, 463
U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)). “[The well-pleaded complaint]
rule provides that ‘federal jurisdiction exists only
when a federal question is presented on the face of ...