(CN) – A federal appeals court can review a district court’s order remanding a case to state court after the district court declined to consider any state-law claims, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday.
The justices overturned the Federal Circuit’s decision not to review remand orders for a patent infringement lawsuit against Carlsbad Technologies. The federal appeals court said it was barred from reviewing the orders, because the orders rested on the lower court’s lack of subject-matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state-law claims.
In the underlying case, HIF Bio accused Carlsbad of violating state and federal law in a patent case.
Carlsbad successfully removed the case to federal court in Los Angeles on the grounds that HIF Bio’s complaint contained one racketeering claim involving federal law.
Carlsbad then moved to dismiss the only federal claim for failure to state a claim.
The district court granted the motion and sent the case back to the state court, but declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims.
The Federal Circuit dismissed Carlsbad’s appeal, finding that the remand order could “be colorably characterized as a remand based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”
The high court agreed to hear the case, because the issue had yet to be addressed by the Supreme Court.
The justices concluded that the Federal Circuit isn’t barred from reviewing the remand orders, because “such remand orders are not based on a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”