Terrell v. City of Bessemer

In Terrell v. City of Bessemer, 406 So. 2d 337 (Ala. 1981) the Court recognized a limited exception to the general rule against prosecuting the same cause of action in two different courts, noting that where a single wrongful act gives rise to both a state cause of action and a federal cause of action, the plaintiff may include his state-law claim with his federal claim and request the court to exercise its power of pendent jurisdiction to hear both claims. Terrell, 406 So. 2d at 339-40. The plaintiff in Terrell included his state-law claims with his federal-law claims; however, the federal district court refused to exercise its discretionary power of pendent jurisdiction. The Court concluded that in a situation where the plaintiff has combined state-law claims with federal claims in an action filed in a federal court and the federal court declines to exercise its discretionary power of pendent jurisdiction over the state-law claims, the plaintiff "should be afforded an opportunity to pursue his alleged common law theories of recovery in state court." 406 So. 2d at 339.