No supplemental jurisdiction without original jurisdiction

The plaintiff in Arena v. Graybar Electric Company (No. 10-31096, Jan. 25, 2012) asserted a federal claim under the Miller Act (the statute for contractors’ claims on government projects) and related state law claims.  The Court found that failure to comply with a bonding requirement was fatal to the Miller Act claim, and thus to supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims.  The district court allowed an amendment to assert diversity jurisdiction, but the Court remanded for consideration of evidence submitted in response to that amendment that would defeat diversity if credited.   Echoing its recent decision in Enochs v. Lampasas County, 641 F.3d 155 (5th Cir. 2011), which voided a judgment on state law claims after dismisal of the federal claim, the Court reminded: “The court’s reasoning of judicial efficiency to resolve [plaintiff’s] state-law claims comes into play only when jurisdiction is proper.”  Op. at 9.

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