United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
ELIZABETH R. EVANS, Plaintiff,
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; GLENN HAMILTON, individually and in his official capacity as Circuit Clerk of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi; and MARVEL HOWARD, DANIEL JACKSON, JOHN nmi MONTGOMERY, ORLANDO K. TRAINER, and JOE WILLIAMS, individually and in their official capacities as members of the Board of Supervisors of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING ALL DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
GLEN H. DAVIDSON, District Judge.
Presently before the Court are a motion to dismiss  filed by Defendants Glenn Hamilton and Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, and a motion to dismiss  filed by Defendants Marvel Howard, Daniel Jackson, John Montgomery, Orlando K. Trainer, and Joe Williams. Upon due consideration and for the reasons stated below, the Court finds that both motions should be granted.
A. Factual and Procedural Background
On October 21, 2013, Plaintiff Elizabeth R. Evans ("Plaintiff") initiated this action in the Circuit Court of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi against Defendants Oktibbeha County, Mississippi; Glenn Hamilton, individually and in his official capacity as Circuit Clerk of Oktibbeha County; and Marvel Howard, Daniel Jackson, John Montgomery, Orlando K. Trainer, and Joe Williams, all individually and in their official capacities as members of the Board of Supervisors of Oktibbeha County. On December 9, 2013, Defendants removed the action to this Court on the bases of federal question jurisdiction and supplemental jurisdiction over any pendent state-law claims.
Plaintiff asserts causes of action for a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; a Fourteenth Amendment due process violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; a Fourteenth Amendment equal protection violation under § 1983; and First Amendment free speech retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges the following facts:
Plaintiff... was formerly employed as Deputy Circuit Clerk of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi for over twenty-three (23) years. During this time, Plaintiff, an African-American female Democrat, served under two different circuit clerks, Angie McGinnis, a white female Democrat, and... Miriam Cook, also a white female Democrat.
In 2011, [Defendant] Glenn Hamilton, a white male Republican, ran for the position of circuit clerk against Teresa Davis Roberson, an African-American female Democrat, and Dave Holly, a white male Democrat. Plaintiff openly supported Ms. Roberson.
Shortly after Defendant Hamilton won the election, he terminated Plaintiff and replaced her with Melody Monts, a white female who had only twenty-two months experience working in the circuit clerk's office, compared to Plaintiff's twenty-three years of experience.
Pl.'s Compl.  ¶¶ 8-10.
In lieu of answering the complaint, the Defendants filed the present motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff sought and was granted five separate extensions of time to file her response to the motions to dismiss. Even so, Plaintiff filed her response to the motions to dismiss approximately one month past the extended deadline. Defendants Glenn Hamilton and Oktibbeha County filed a motion to strike  Plaintiff's response to the motions to dismiss as untimely. Plaintiff filed a response to the motion to strike, arguing that the Court should consider her response, even though it was untimely filed, because Defendants suffered no prejudice as a result of the untimely filing. The Court need not rule on the motion to strike, because whether or not the Court considers Plaintiff's response to the motions to dismiss, Plaintiff's complaint fails to satisfy the Rule 12(b)(6) standard and thus must be dismissed.
B. Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a party to move for dismissal of a complaint when the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, but such motions "are viewed with disfavor and are rarely granted." Kocurek v. Cuna Mut. Ins. Soc'y, 459 F.Appx. 371, 373 (5th Cir. 2012) (citing Gregson v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 322 F.3d 883, 885 (5th Cir. 2003)). In ruling on a motion to dismiss brought under Rule 12(b)(6), "courts must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, ' but are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'" Wood v. Moss, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 134 S.Ct. 2056, 2065 n.5, 188 L.Ed.2d 1039 (May 27, 2014) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (intemal quotation marks omitted)). "[P]laintiff's must allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action in order to make out a valid claim.'" Webb v. Morella, 522 F.Appx. 238, 241 (5th Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (quoting City of Clinton, Ark. v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp., 632 F.3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010)).
Although "a complaint need not pin plaintiff's claim for relief to a precise legal theory" nor present "an exposition of his legal argument, " see Skinner v. Switzer, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 131 S.Ct. 1289, 1296, 179 L.Ed.2d 233 (Mar. 7, 2011), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, " Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). "A claim is facially plausible if the plaintiff pleads facts that allow a court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Boyd v. Farrin, ___ F.Appx. ___, 2014 WL 3586661, at *2 (5th Cir. July 22, 2014) (per curiam) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937). "[C]onclusory allegations or legal ...