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United States v. Bolivar County

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

December 28, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
v.
BOLIVAR COUNTY DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Debra M. Brown, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are two motions filed by Bolivar County: (1) “Defendant's Motion for Declaratory Judgment, ” Doc. #11; and (2) “Defendant's Motion to Deposit Funds, ” Doc. #16.

         I

         Background and Procedural History

         On November 17, 2015, the United States of America filed a complaint in this Court against Bolivar County, seeking declaratory, equitable, and monetary relief. Doc. #1. The complaint asserted a claim under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-12117, for alleged discrimination by the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility (“BCRCF”) against Tommey Gomillia, an applicant for a correctional officer position. Id. On March 17, 2016, this Court entered a consent decree (“Consent Decree”), agreed to by the parties, terminating this action. Doc. #10.

         Of relevance here, the Consent Decree: (1) prohibits Bolivar County from engaging in any act or practice of employment discrimination in violation of Title I of the ADA; (2) directs Bolivar County to provide training on Title I of the ADA; and (3) requires Bolivar County to file biannual reports on its efforts to comply with the Consent Decree. Id. at 3-4. Additionally, paragraph 12 of the Consent Decree provides:

         12. Bolivar County shall offer to Mr. Gomillia:

a. Within one (1) year of the effective date of this Consent Decree, the first available position of Correctional Officer at BCRCF, with a remedial seniority date of September 6, 2011, subject to passing all physical and/or other applicable preemployment requirements. Bolivar County shall apply the remedial seniority date of September 6, 2011 to salary increases (such that Mr. Gomillia will be instated at the salary he would have been entitled to had he been employed since the remedial seniority date), all non-competitive job benefits that are based on time served in the position, and competitive seniority status for all purposes.
b. Adjustment of Mr. Gomillia's retirement date, with all associated rights and benefits, to reflect no lost time between September 2011 and the date of his reinstatement under paragraph 12(a).
c. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Consent Decree, a total monetary award of $99, 999.99, which includes:
i. A monetary award in the gross amount of $47, 072.00, which will be designated as back pay. This monetary amount shall be subject to any applicable federal, state, and local taxes, in addition to other payroll tax withholding deductions, and Bolivar County shall issue an IRS Form W-2 to Mr. Gomillia for this amount.
ii. A monetary award of $3, 363.95, which will be designated as accumulated interest on the back pay. This amount shall not be subject to withholding deductions, and Bolivar County shall issue an IRS Form 1099-INT to Mr. Gomillia for this amount.
iii. A monetary award of $49, 564.04, which will be designated as compensatory damages. This amount shall not be subject to withholding deductions, and Bolivar County shall issue an IRS Form 1099 to Mr. Gomillia for this amount.

Id. at 5-6.

         On May 4, 2016, Bolivar County filed the instant motion for declaratory judgment. In its motion, Bolivar County seeks “declaratory relief adjudicating, construing and interpreting whether the phrase a ‘total monetary award of $99, 999.99' in Section IV Individual Relief Section 12 (a)-(c) of the Consent Decree (Doc. 10) entered by the Court on March 17, 2016, requires Bolivar County to pay $8, 371.14, above the agreed upon amount, ” relative to “the dispute concerning the payment of $8, 371.14 to the Public Employees Retirement System on behalf of Tommey Gomillia.” Doc. #11 at 1. More precisely, Bolivar County, in its accompanying memorandum brief, requests an interpretation by the Court which would result in an order “(a) declaring that Bolivar County owes ‘a ...


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