|CHICAGO v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS (96-910)|
91 F.3d 981, reversed and remanded.
[ OConnor ]
[ Ginsburg ]
Opinion of the Court
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., PETITIONERS v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF
SURGEONS et al.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT
[December 15, 1997]
Justice OConnor delivered the opinion of the Court.
The city of Chicago, like municipalities throughout the country, has an ordinance that provides for the designation and protection of historical landmarks. Chicago Municipal Code, Art. XVII, §§2120580 through 2120920 (1990). The citys Landmarks Ordinance is administered by the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks (the Chicago Landmarks Commission or the Commission). Pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Review Law, Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 735, §§5/3103, 5/3104 (Supp. 1997), judicial review of final decisions of a municipal landmarks commission lies in state circuit court. In this case, we are asked to consider whether a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking judicial review of decisions of the Chicago Landmarks Commission may be removed to federal district court, where the case contains both federal constitutional and state administrative challenges to the Commissions decisions.
Respondents International College of Surgeons and the United States Section of the International College of Surgeons (collectively ICS) own two properties on North Lake Shore Drive in the city of Chicago. In July 1988, the Chicago Landmarks Commission made a preliminary determination that seven buildings on Lake Shore Drive, including two mansions on ICSs properties, qualified for designation as a landmark district under the citys Landmarks Ordinance. In June 1989, the city council enacted an ordinance (the Designation Ordinance) designating the landmark district.
In February 1989, after the Commissions preliminary determination, ICS executed a contract for the sale and redevelopment of its properties. The contract called for the developer, whose interest has since been acquired by respondent Robin Construction Company, to demolish all but the facades of the two mansions and to construct a high-rise condominium tower. In October 1990, ICS applied to the Landmarks Commission for the necessary permits to allow demolition of a designated landmark. The Commission denied the permit applications, finding that the proposed demolition would adversely affect and destroy significant historical and architectural features of the [landmark] district. App. 49. ICS then reapplied for the permits under a provision of the Landmarks Ordinance allowing for exceptions in cases of economic
hardship. The Commission again denied the appli-
cations, finding that ICS did not qualify for the hardship exception.
Following each of the Commissions decisions, ICS filed actions for judicial review in the Circuit Court of Cook County pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Review Law. Both of ICSs complaints raised a number of federal constitutional claims, including that the Landmarks and Designation Ordinances, both on their face and as applied, violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses and effect a taking of property without just compensation under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, and that the manner in which the Commission conducted its administrative proceedings violated ICSs rights to due process and equal protection. The complaints also sought relief under the Illinois Constitution as well as administrative review of the Commissions decisions denying the permits.
The defendants (collectively the City), who are petitioners in this Court, removed both lawsuits to the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. The District Court consolidated the cases. After dismissing some of the constitutional claims and exercising supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the City, ruling that the Landmarks and Designation Ordinances and the Commissions proceedings were consistent with the Federal and State Constitutions, and that the Commissions findings were supported by the evidence in the record and were not arbitrary and capricious.1
The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded the case to state court, concluding that the District Court was without jurisdiction. 91 F.3d 981 (1996). The Seventh Circuit began its analysis by construing this Courts decisions in Chicago, R. I. & P. R. Co. v. Stude, 346 U.S. 574 (1954), and Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S. 348 (1961), which it read to suggest that the character of the state judicial action is significant when assessing whether proceedings to review state and local administrative decisions can be removed to federal court. 91 F.3d, at 988. The court reasoned that, while Stude and Horton establish that proceedings to conduct de novo review of state agency action are subject to removal, the propriety of removing proceedings involving deferential review is still an open question. Relying on decisions from other Courts of Appeals that interpret the scope of a district courts diversity jurisdiction, the court determined that deferential review of state agency action was an appellate function that was inconsistent with the character of a court of original jurisdiction. 91 F.3d, at 990 (citing Fairfax County Redevelopment & Housing Authority v. W. M. Schlosser Co., 64 F.3d 155 (CA4 1995), and Armistead v. C & M Transport, Inc., 49 F.3d 43 (CA1 1995)). Accordingly, the court concluded, a proceeding to review state administrative action under a deferential standard is not a civil action within a district courts original jurisdiction under the removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), and so cannot be removed. 91 F.3d, at 990.
The court then applied those principles to this case. The court began by observing that, under the Illinois Administrative Review Law, judicial review of local administrative decisions is deferential and not de novo, because the reviewing court must accept the agencys findings of fact as presumptively correct and cannot hear new evidence. Id., at 991992 (discussing Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 735, §5/3110).2 Of the various claims raised in ICSs complaints,
the court explained, the as-applied constitutional challenges and the claims requesting administrative review of the Commissions decisions are bound by the administrative record, but the facial constitutional challenges are independent of the record and so would be removable to federal court if brought alone. The court then addressed whether, when the state action involves both claims that, if brought alone, would be removable to federal court [and] issues that clearly are grounded in the administrative record, removal of the entire state action to the district court is possible. 91 F.3d, at 993. The court ruled that, because some of the claims involve deferential review, the case removed to the district court cannot be termed a civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction within the meaning of
We granted certiorari to address whether a case containing claims that local administrative action violates federal law, but also containing state law claims for on-the-record review of the administrative findings, is within the jurisdiction of federal district courts. 520 U.S. ___ (1997). Because neither the jurisdictional statutes nor our prior decisions suggest that federal jurisdiction is lacking in these circumstances, we now reverse.
We have reviewed on several occasions the circumstances in which cases filed initially in state court may be removed to federal court. See, e.g., Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 391392 (1987); Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58, 63 (1987); Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust for Southern Cal., 463 U.S. 1, 712 (1983). As a general matter, defendants may remove to the appropriate federal district court any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The propriety of removal thus depends on whether the case originally could have been filed in federal court. Caterpillar Inc., supra, at 392; Franchise Tax Bd., supra, at 8. The district courts have original jurisdiction under the federal question statute over cases arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. §1331. It is long settled law that a cause of action arises under federal law only when the plaintiffs well-pleaded complaint raises issues of federal law. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., supra, at 63.
In this case, there can be no question that ICSs state court complaints raised a number of issues of federal law in the form of various federal constitutional challenges to the Landmarks and Designation Ordinances, and to the manner in which the Commission conducted the administrative proceedings. It is true, as ICS asserts, that the federal constitutional claims were raised by way of a cause of action created by state law, namely, the Illinois Administrative Review Law. See Howard v. Lawton, 22 Ill. 2d 331, 333, 175 N. E. 2d 556, 557 (1961) (constitutional claims may be raised in a complaint for administrative review). As we have explained, however, [e]ven though state law creates [a partys] causes of action, its case might still arise under the laws of the United States if a well-pleaded complaint established that its right to relief under state law requires resolution of a substantial question of federal law. Franchise Tax Board, 463 U.S., at 13; see also id., at 2728 (case arises under federal law when federal law creates the cause of action or . . . the plaintiffs right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law); Gully v. First Nat. Bank in Meridian, 299 U.S. 109, 112 (1936) (federal question exists when a right or immunity created by the Constitution or laws of the United States [is] an element, and an essential one, of the plaintiff
As for ICSs accompanying state law claims, this Court has long adhered to principles of pendent and ancillary jurisdiction by which the federal courts original jurisdiction over federal questions carries with it jurisdiction over state law claims that derive from a common nucleus of operative fact, such that the relationship between [the federal] claim and the state claim permits the conclusion that the entire action before the court comprises but one constitutional case.
Here, once the case was removed, the District Court had original jurisdiction over ICSs claims arising under federal law, and thus could exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the accompanying state law claims so long as those claims constitute other claims that form part of the same case or controversy. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). We think it clear that they do. The claims for review of the Commissions decisions are legal claims, in the sense that that term is generally used in this context to denote a judicially cognizable cause of action. And the state and federal claims derive from a common nucleus of operative fact, Gibbs, supra, at 725, namely, ICSs unsuccessful efforts to obtain demolition permits from the Chicago Landmarks Commission. That is all the statute requires to establish supplemental jurisdiction (barring an express statutory exception, see §1367(a)). ICS seemed to recognize as much in the amended complaint it filed in the District Court following removal, stating that the nonfederal claims are subject to this Courts pendent jurisdiction. App. 143. We conclude, in short, that the District Court properly exercised federal question jurisdiction over the federal claims in ICSs complaints, and properly recognized that it could thus also exercise supplemental jurisdiction over ICSs state law claims.
ICS, urging us to adopt the reasoning of the Court of Appeals, argues that the District Court was without jurisdiction over its actions because they contain state law claims that require on-the-record review of the Landmarks Commissions decisions. A claim that calls for deferential judicial review of a state administrative determination, ICS asserts, does not constitute a civil action of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
That reasoning starts with an erroneous premise. Because this is a federal question case, the relevant inquiry is not, as ICS submits, whether its state claims for on-the-record review of the Commissions decisions are civil actions within the original jurisdiction of a district court: The district courts original jurisdiction derives from ICSs federal claims, not its state law claims. Those federal claims suffice to make the actions civil actions within the original jurisdiction of the district courts for purposes of removal. §1441(a). The Court of Appeals, in fact, acknowledged that ICSs federal claims, if brought alone, would be removable to federal court. 91 F.3d, at 993. Nothing in the jurisdictional statutes suggests that the presence of related state law claims somehow alters the fact that ICSs complaints, by virtue of their federal claims, were civil actions within the federal courts original jurisdiction.
Having thus established federal jurisdiction, the relevant inquiry respecting the accompanying state claims is whether they fall within a district courts supplemental jurisdiction, not its original jurisdiction. And that inquiry turns, as we have discussed, on whether the state law claims are so related to [the federal] claims that they form part of the same case or controversy. §1367(a); see Gibbs, supra, at 725, n. 12 (distinguishing between the issue whether a claim for relief qualifies as a case arising under the Laws of the United States and the issue whether federal and state claims constitute one case for pendent jurisdiction purposes). ICSs proposed approachthat we first determine whether its state claims constitute civil actions within a district courts original jurisdictionwould effectively read the supplemental jurisdiction statute out of the books: The whole point of supplemental jurisdiction is to allow the district courts to exercise pendent jurisdiction over claims as to which original jurisdiction is lacking.
The dissent attributes a different line of argument to ICS. Post, at 13. That argument, roughly speaking, is that federal jurisdiction would lie over ICSs federal claims if they had been brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because review would then range beyond the administrative record; but ICS deliberately confined review of its claims to the administrative record by raising them under the Illinois Administrative Review Law, thereby assuring itself a state forum. See Brief for Respondents 2126. The essential premise of ICSs argument is that its actions arise solely under state law and so are not within the district courts federal question jurisdiction, and that §1367(a)which presupposes a civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdictionis thus inapplicable. Brief for Respondents 1521.
That reasoning is incorrect because ICS in fact raised claims not bound by the administrative record (its facial constitutional claims), see supra, at 5, and because, as we have explained, see supra at 67, the facial and as-applied federal constitutional claims raised by ICS arise under federal law for purposes of federal question jurisdiction. See New Orleans Public Service, Inc. v. Council of City of New Orleans, 491 U.S. 350, 372 (1989) (a facial challenge to an allegedly unconstitutional . . . zoning ordinance is a claim which we would assuredly not require to be brought in state courts). ICS submits, however, that although its complaints contain some claims that arise under federal law, its actions nonetheless do not fall within the district courts original jurisdiction over federal questions. Brief for Respondents 2021, 26. Understandably, ICS does not rest this proposition on the notion that its federal claims are so insubstantial as not to establish federal jurisdiction. See, e.g., Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 817 (1986); Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc., 438 U.S. 59, 7071 (1978); Gibbs, 383 U.S., at 725. It follows, then, that ICSs view that the district courts lack jurisdiction even over the federal claims in its actions stems from the mistaken ideaembraced by the court below, see 91 F.3d, at 993994, and n. 14that the other, nonfederal claims somehow take the complaints in their entirety (including the federal claims) out of the federal courts jurisdiction. ICSs rationale thus ultimately devolves into the erroneous argument we ascribe to it: that its state law claims for on-the-record review of the Commissions decisions must be civil actions within the district courts original jurisdiction in order for its complaints to be removable to federal court.
To the extent that ICS means to suggest not only that a claim involving deferential review of a local administrative decision is not a civil action in the original jurisdiction of the district courts, but also that such a claim can never constitute a claim so related to claims within such original jurisdiction that [it] form[s] part of the same case or controversy for purposes of supplemental jurisdiction, we disagree with its reasoning. There is nothing in the text of §1367(a) that indicates an exception to supplemental jurisdiction for claims that require on-the-record review of a state or local administrative determination. Instead, the statute generally confers supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims in the same case or controversy as a federal question, without reference to the nature of review. Congress could of course establish an exception to supplemental jurisdiction for claims requiring deferential review of state administrative decisions, but the statute, as written, bears no such construction.
Nor do our decisions in Chicago, R. I. & P. R. Co. v. Stude, 346 U.S. 574 (1954), and Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S. 348 (1961), on which ICS principally relies, require that we read an equivalent exception into the statute. Both Stude and Hortonto the extent that either might be read to establish limits on the scope of federal jurisdictionaddress only whether a cause of action for judicial review of a state administrative decision is within the district courts original jurisdiction under the diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332 not whether it is a claim within the district courts pendent jurisdiction in federal question cases. Even assuming, arguendo, that the decisions are relevant to the latter question, both Stude and Horton indicate that federal jurisdiction generally encompasses judicial review of state administrative decisions.
In Stude, for instance, a railroad company challenging the amount of a condemnation assessment attempted to establish federal jurisdiction by two separate routes. First, the railroad filed a complaint seeking review of the amount of the assessment in federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, and second, it filed an appeal from the assessment in state court and then undertook to remove that case to federal court. As to the action filed directly in federal court, this Court upheld its dismissal, finding that state eminent domain proceedings were still pending and that the complaint thus improperly attempted to separate the question of damages and try it apart from the substantive right from which the claim for damages arose. 346 U.S., at 582. ICS emphasizes the Courts observation in this interlocutory context that a district court does not sit to review on appeal action taken administratively or judicially in a state proceeding. Id., at 581. By that remark, however, the Court did not suggest that jurisdiction turned on whether judicial review of the administrative determination was deferential or de novo. The decision, in fact, makes no reference to the standard of review.
Moreover, reading the Courts statement broadly to suggest that federal courts can never review local administrative decisions would conflict with the Courts treatment of the second action in the case: the railroads attempt to remove its state court appeal to federal court. With respect to that action, the Court held that removal was improper in the particular circumstances because the railroad was the plaintiff in state court. But the Court observed that, as a general matter, a state court action for judicial review of an administrative condemnation proceeding is in its nature a civil action and subject to removal by the defendant to the United States District Court. Id., at 578579; see County of Allegheny v. Frank Mashuda Co., 360 U.S. 185, 195 (1959) (Although holding that the respondent could not remove a state condemnation case to the Federal District Court on diversity grounds because he was the plaintiff in the state proceeding, the Court [in Stude] clearly recognized that the defendant in such a proceeding could remove in accordance with §1441 and obtain a federal adjudication of the issues involved). If anything, then, Stude indicates that the jurisdiction of federal district courts encompasses
ICSs claims for review of the Landmarks Commissions decisions.
Horton is to the same effect, holding that a district court had jurisdiction under the diversity statute to review a state workers compensation award. 367 U.S., at 352. The bulk of the opinion addresses the central issue in the case, whether the suit satisfied the amount-in-controversy threshold for diversity jurisdiction. See id., at 352354; id., at 355363 (Clark, J., dissenting). But the plaintiff also alleged, based on Stude, that diversity jurisdiction was lacking because the action was an appeal from a state administrative order, to which the Court simply responded that, [a]side from many other relevant distinctions which need not be pointed out, the suit in fact was a trial de novo and not an appellate proceeding. 367 U.S., at 354355. The Court did not purport to hold that the de novo standard was a precondition to federal jurisdiction.
Any negative inference that might be drawn from that aspect of Horton, even assuming that the decision speaks to the scope of supplemental (and not diversity) jurisdiction, would be insufficient to trump the absence of indication in §1367(a) that the nature of review bears on whether a claim is within a district courts supplemental jurisdiction. After all, district courts routinely conduct deferential review pursuant to their original jurisdiction over federal questions, including on-the-record review of federal administrative action. See Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 105107 (1977). Nothing in §1367(a) suggests that district courts are without supplemental jurisdiction over claims seeking precisely the same brand of review of local administrative determinations. Cf. Board of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central School Dist., Westchester Cty. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 206 (1982) (interpreting Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e), which contemplates deferential review of state administrative action).
The dissent disagrees with our conclusion that §1367(a) encompasses state law claims for on-the-record review of local administrative action, but it is unclear exactly why, for the dissent never directly challenges our application of that statute to ICSs claims. In fact, the dissent only makes passing reference to the terms of §1367(a), which, in our view, resolve the case. In this light, the dissents candid misgivings about attempting to square its position with the text of the jurisdictional statutes, see post, at 2, 1011, are understandable. And the failure to come to grips with the text of §1367(a) explains the dissents repeated assumption, post, at 1, 4, 9, 12, that the jurisdictional analysis of diversity cases would be no different. But to decide that state law claims for on-the-record review of a local agencys decision fall within the district courts supplemental jurisdiction under §1367(a), does not answer the question, nor do we, whether those same claims, if brought alone, would substantiate the district courts original jurisdiction over diversity cases under §1332. Ultimately, the dissent never addresses this case as it is presented: a case containing federal questions within the meaning of §1331 and supplemental state law claims within the meaning of §1367(a).
Of course, to say that the terms of §1367(a) authorize the district courts to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims for on-the-record review of administrative decisions does not mean that the jurisdiction must be exercised in all cases. Our decisions have established that pendent jurisdiction is a doctrine of discretion, not of plaintiff
The supplemental jurisdiction statute codifies these principles. After establishing that supplemental jurisdiction encompasses other claims in the same case or controversy as a claim within the district courts original jurisdiction, §1367(a), the statute confirms the discretionary nature of supplemental jurisdiction by enumerating
the circumstances in which district courts can refuse its exercise:
(c) The district courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim under subsection (a) if
(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has original jurisdiction,
(3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction, or
(4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
Depending on a host of factors, thenincluding the circumstances of the particular case, the nature of the state law claims, the character of the governing state law, and the relationship between the state and federal claimsdistrict courts may decline to exercise jurisdiction over supplemental state law claims. The statute thereby reflects the understanding that, when deciding whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, a federal court should consider and weigh in each case, and at every stage of the litigation, the values of judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and comity. Cohill, supra, at 350. In this case, the District Court decided that those interests would be best served by exercising jurisdiction over ICSs state law claims. App. to Pet. for Cert. 45a46a.
In addition to their discretion under §1367(c), district courts may be obligated not to decide state law claims (or to stay their adjudication) where one of the abstention doctrines articulated by this Court applies. Those doctrines embody the general notion that federal courts may decline to exercise their jurisdiction, in otherwise exceptional circumstances, where denying a federal forum would clearly serve an important countervailing interest, for example where abstention is warranted by considerations of proper constitutional adjudication, regard for federal-state relations, or wise judicial administration. Quackenbush v. Allstate Ins. Co., 517 U.S. ___, ___ (1996) (slip op., at 9) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). We have recently outlined the various abstention principles, see ibid., and need not elaborate them here except to note that there may be situations in which a district court should abstain from reviewing local administrative determinations even if the jurisdictional prerequisites are otherwise satisfied.
The District Court properly recognized that it could exercise supplemental jurisdiction over ICSs state law claims, including the claims for on-the-record administrative review of the Landmarks Commissions decisions. ICS contends that abstention principles required the District Court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, and also alludes to its contention below that the District Court should have refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). We express no view on those matters, but think it the preferable course to allow the Court of Appeals to address them in the first instance. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
1. The District Court also dismissed a third action filed by ICS, which is not in issue here. That action sought review of ICS's unsuccessful efforts to obtain approval for its proposed development under the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Chicago Municipal Code ch. 194B (1973), which, in addition to the Designation Ordinance, restricts modification of ICSs properties.
2. Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 735, §5/3110 (Supp. 1997) provides: Every action to review any final administrative decision shall be heard and determined by the court with all convenient speed. The hearing and determination shall extend to all questions of law and of fact presented by the entire record before the court. No new or additional evidence in support of or in opposition to any finding, order, determination or decision of the administrative agency shall be heard by the court. The findings and conclusions of the administrative agency on questions of fact shall be held to be prima facie true and correct.