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MURPHY v. UNITED STATES

April 19, 1978

Gerald B. MURPHY, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES of America et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBINSON, JR.

 AUBREY E. ROBINSON, Jr., District Judge.

 While an inmate at the Lorton Reformatory, Plaintiff Gerald B. Murphy was allegedly beaten and stabbed by other inmates. This attack is attributed to the negligence of the Defendants in providing for his security.

 This case is before the Court on the Motion of Defendants Delbert C. Jackson, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, Marion D. Strickland, Superintendent of Correctional Facilities at Lorton Reformatory, and the District of Columbia (hereafter District of Columbia Defendants) to Dismiss the Complaint. The basis for the motion is that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction as to the claims asserted against these Defendants.

 Jurisdiction over the other Defendants in this case, the Attorney General of the United States and the United States (hereafter Federal Defendants), is based on the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671, et seq., and its jurisdictional counterpart, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b). *fn1" There is no challenge to jurisdiction over the Federal Defendants. *fn2"

 Pendent party jurisdiction is the basis for Plaintiff's claims against the District of Columbia Defendants. The issue presented is whether the principle of pendent jurisdiction may be applied so as to join the District of Columbia Defendants, over whom no independent basis of jurisdiction is asserted.

 The Supreme Court discussed pendent claim jurisdiction in United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S. Ct. 1130, 16 L. Ed. 2d 218 (1966):

 
Pendent jurisdiction, in the sense of judicial power, exists whenever there is a claim "arising under [the] Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority . . .," U.S.Const., Art. III, § 2, and the relationship between that claim and the state claim permits the conclusion that the entire action before the court comprises but one constitutional "case." The federal claim must have substance sufficient to confer subject matter jurisdiction on the court . . . The state and federal claims must derive from a common nucleus of operative fact. But if, considered without regard to their federal or state character, a plaintiff's claims are such that he would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding, then, assuming substantiality of the federal issues, there is power in federal courts to hear the whole.

 Id. at 725, 86 S. Ct. at 1138. United Mine Workers of America, supra, and Rosado v. Wyman, 397 U.S. 397, 90 S. Ct. 1207, 25 L. Ed. 2d 442 (1970), expressly permit a federal court to exercise pendent jurisdiction over state claims against the same party over which subject matter jurisdiction exists for some other claim or claims.

 Courts have split over the application of the principle of pendent jurisdiction to the joinder of state claims over parties other than those over whom subject matter jurisdiction has been independently obtained. The basis for permitting the joinder of pendent parties is derived from United Mine Workers of America, supra :

 
Under the rules, the impulse is toward entertaining the broadest possible scope of action consistent with fairness to the parties; joinder of claims, parties and remedies is strongly encouraged.

 Id. 383 U.S. at 724, 86 S. Ct. at 1138.

 Hipp v. United States, 313 F. Supp. 1152 (E.D.N.Y.1970), presents a well-reasoned discussion in favor of permitting jurisdiction over pendent parties. Plaintiffs in that case were passengers in a Navy ambulance involved in a collision with an automobile. Plaintiffs sought damages against the United States and the driver of the automobile, basing jurisdiction on the Federal Tort Claims Act. The Hipp court stated:

 
The case of a joint tort-feasor made a defendant in a case under the Federal Tort Claims Act is peculiarly appropriate for application of the principle of "the conservation of judicial energy and the avoidance of a multiplicity of litigation" because the "plaintiff's claims are such that he would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding." If the cases were tried separately, each defendant ...

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