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Friday, February 22, 2013

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today, a reversal

In Northeastern Rural Electric v. Wabash Valley Power (SD Ind., Barker), a 30-page ruling, Judge Hamilton writes:

This appeal tests the boundaries of federal-question subject matter jurisdiction. The issue is whether a claim for breach of a longterm requirements contract for wholesale electricity arises under federal law or state law. We conclude that the claim arises under state law, that the district court therefore lacked jurisdiction to enter its preliminary injunction, and that the case should be remanded to state court. * * *

Northeastern has pled a state law breach of contract claim that does not arise under federal law. The claim does not seek to enforce or challenge any duty or liability created by a federally-filed tariff, nor does the claim necessarily arise under federal law through complete preemption. In light of this conclusion, we also of course reject Wabash Valley’s request for sanctions on the theory that the appeal was frivolous. Because the district court lacked jurisdiction to issue its preliminary injunction, we VACATE the preliminary injunction and REMAND the case so that the district court may remand it to state court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 22, 2013 11:44 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions