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Smith v. Smith

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

January 3, 2017

RALPH SMITH PLAINTIFF
v.
BONITA SMITH; MIKE MOZINGO; JANE HUTTO; ANCE KING; WAYNE GENERAL HOSPITAL; ADELINE TURNER; MONICA DOHERTY; AND JANE DOES 1-5 DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KEITH STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (“Motion to Dismiss”) [8] filed by Defendant Wayne General Hospital, the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (“Motion for Judgment”) [11] filed by Defendant Jane Hutto, and the Motion for Leave to Amend (“Motion to Amend”) [20] and Motion to Withdraw [21] filed by Plaintiff Ralph Smith. After reviewing the submissions of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds the following:

1. the Motion to Amend [20] is well taken and should be granted;
2. the Motion to Withdraw [21] is well taken and should be granted;
3. the Motion to Dismiss [8] should be denied as moot; and
4. the Motion for Judgment [11] should be deferred.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This matter is centered around the 2015 justice court judge election in Wayne County, Mississippi. Plaintiff Ralph Smith (“Plaintiff”) defeated the incumbent, Jane Hutto (“Hutto”), in the primary election in August 2015. (See Amended Complaint [20-1] at ¶ 11.) Prior to the general election, Plaintiff visited the home of Mike Mozingo (“Mozingo”), who allegedly attacked and assaulted him, leading him to seek medical treatment at Wayne General Hospital (the “Hospital”). (See Id. at ¶¶ 12-17.) During his visit to the Hospital's emergency room, his injuries were photographed by Monica Doherty (“Doherty”) and/or Adaline Turner (“Turner”), who then disseminated these photographs through social media. (See Id. at ¶ 20.) Plaintiff alleges that these photographs were circulated throughout Wayne County by Doherty and/or Turner, as well as Bonita Smith (“Smith”) and Ance King (“King”), in order to interfere with the justice court judge election. (See Id. at ¶¶ 24-28.) It is Plaintiff's belief that the circulation of these photographs led to his loss in the general election. (See id. at ¶ 29.)

         Plaintiff filed this action on September 22, 2016, against Smith, Mozingo, Hutto, King, the Hospital, Turner, and Doherty. On November 21, 2016, the Hospital filed its Motion to Dismiss [8], and on November 28, 2016, Hutto filed her Motion for Judgment [11]. Plaintiff filed his first Motion to Amend [14] on November 29, 2016. He then filed his Motion to Stay Proceedings on December 6, 2016. On December 7, 2016, he filed his Motion to Withdraw [21] these two previous motions and filed his second Motion to Amend [20]. Plaintiff filed his Response [24] to the Motion for Judgment [11] on December 16, 2016, and Hutto filed her Reply [26] on December 22, 2016.

         In the Amended Complaint [20-1], Plaintiff brings federal claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986 against Smith, Mozingo, Hutto, King, Turner, and Doherty, as well as various state law claims against all defendants.

         II. MOTION TO AMEND [20]

         Because no response was filed opposing Plaintiff's Motion to Amend [20], the Court will grant it as unopposed pursuant to Local Uniform Civil Rule 7(b)(3)(E), and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [8] and Motion for Judgment [14] will be analyzed using the Amended Complaint [20-1].

         Furthermore, Plaintiff's Motion to Withdraw [21], which requests that his previous Motion to Amend [14] and Motion to Stay Proceedings [18] be withdrawn, shall also be granted.

         III. MOTION ...


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