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District Court Dismissed Invasion of Privacy Claim and Referred Stay Violation Claim

By David Tanabe posted 04-21-2022 08:39

  
BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN

 

In Reinhardt v. Rent-A-Center West, Inc., No. 21-CV-2158 (NEB/LIB), 2022 WL 161571 (D. Minn. Jan. 18, 2022), the district court refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim for invasion of privacy and referred to the bankruptcy court the other claim for violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362.

In the case, the defendants attempted to repossess a mattress and box spring after the plaintiff filed a bankruptcy petition. The plaintiff sued the defendants on the following claims: (1) violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(k) and (2) state law invasion of privacy. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to refer the matter to the bankruptcy court.

In response to the motion, the plaintiff argued that courts in the District of Minnesota have historically retained jurisdiction over actions with both a Section 362(k) claim and an additional count. In rejecting the argument, the court noted that it had original jurisdiction over the Section 362(k) claim, but the additional count for invasion of privacy was not the type of claim that the district court had historically exercised supplemental jurisdiction to retain, such as federal claims of action or disputes that arose outside the bankruptcy proceedings. As such, the district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the claim for invasion of privacy.

For the Section 362(k) claim, the court held that referral to the bankruptcy court was appropriate and would not impair the plaintiff’s right to a jury trial.

The state law claim for invasion of privacy was dismissed without prejudice.

Co-Editors in Chief
Karl J. JohnsonTaft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
David M. TanabeWinthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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