United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
JACQUELYN L. JELINSKI
CHRISTINA O'MALLEY-BEAGLE, et al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT
JACKSON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI'S,  MOTION FOR SUMMARY
SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the Motion  for Summary Judgment Based on
State Law Immunity filed by Defendant Jackson County,
Mississippi. After due consideration of the Motion , the
record, and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that
Jackson County's Motion  for Summary Judgment should
be granted, and Plaintiffs' claim against Jackson County
should be dismissed with prejudice.
Relevant Factual Background
time on or prior to March 21, 2013, Defendant Eaton
Properties, LLC (“Eaton”), contracted with
Defendant homeowners Christina O'Malley-Beagle
(“Ms. O'Malley-Beagle”) and Mark D. Beagle
(“Mr. Beagle”) (collectively, the
“Beagles”) to construct a home at 7401 Belle
Fontaine Road, Ocean Springs, Mississippi (the
“Property”). See, e.g., Dep. of
Christopher Eaton [99-3] at 7. Eaton applied for a building
permit for a single-family residence, see
Application [99-2] at 12-14, and on March 28, 2013, the
Jackson County Planning Department issued a residential
building permit for a new residence on the Property,
see Permit [99-2] at 10-11. Defendant Luiz Rodriguez
(“Mr. Rodriguez”) was a subcontractor who
constructed outdoor stairs at the Property. Dep. of Luiz
Rodriguez [99-4] at 2.
August 16, 2013, Jackson County Inspector Brian Autenrieth
(“Mr. Autenrieth”) conducted final electrical and
mechanical inspections on the Property, both of which it
passed. See Inspection History [99-2] at 25-26. The
Jackson County Department of Code Enforcement Building
Inspection issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the Property
the same date.
to Marcus Catchot (“Mr. Catchot”), Jackson
County's Rule 30(b)(6) designee in this case, when a
Certificate of Occupancy is issued by Jackson County,
“that means you've met all the standards with
everything that Jackson County has adopted at that
time.” Dep. of Jackson Cty.'s Rule 30(b)(6)
Designee [99-10] at 61. The parties do not dispute that the
applicable building code at the time was the 2012
International Residential Code (“IRC”).
See Order [99-1] at 1; see also Jackson
Cty.'s Mem.  at 2; Pl.'s Mem.  at 2.
point, the Beagles began offering the Property as a
short-term rental property. Plaintiff Jacquelyn L. Jelinski
(“Plaintiff” or “Ms. Jelinski”) and
her family rented the Property for a vacation beginning on
July 8, 2016. Dep. of Christina O'Malley-Beagle [110-12]
at 12-15; Pl.'s Dep. [110-10] at 15. Plaintiff alleges
that on July 10, 2016, as she was walking down the exterior
stairs, her foot slipped off the stairs, causing her to fall
backwards onto her left foot. Pl.'s Dep. [110-10] at
16-19. Plaintiff suffered a dislocated and fractured ankle
and sought emergency medical treatment. Id. at
27-29. After Plaintiff returned home to Texas, a surgeon
installed a plate and 11 screws in her ankle. Id. at
October 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint  in this
Court against Defendants Our Lost Horizon, LLC; Ms.
O'Malley-Beagle; Mr. Beagle; and Christopher Eaton d/b/a
Eaton Properties, LLC. Compl.  at 4-6. Plaintiff has
amended her Complaint several times, with the operative
pleading now being the Fourth Amended Complaint , which
was filed on January 12, 2017. The Fourth Amended Complaint
 advances claims against Ms. O'Malley-Beagle; Mr.
Beagle; Eaton; Mr. Rodriguez; LARS Home Consulting, LLC; and
Jackson County, Mississippi (“Jackson County”).
4th Am. Compl.  at 1.
Fourth Amended Complaint  is the first pleading to name
Jackson County as a Defendant. See 3d Am. Compl. 
at 1-11; 2d Am. Compl.  1-11; 1st Am. Compl.  at 1-11;
Compl.  at 1-11. According to Plaintiff, she has provided
Jackson County notice of her claim in accordance with the
requirements of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, Mississippi
Code §§ 11-46-1, et seq.
(“MTCA”). Id. at 11.
Fourth Amended Complaint  advances a negligence claim
against Jackson County for purportedly negligently inspecting
and approving the stairs as being code compliant when they
were not, for negligently failing to follow its own ordinance
and/or code in inspecting and approving the stairs, and for
negligently failing to properly train and supervise its
employees, including its building inspectors. 4th Am. Compl.
 at 10-12. Plaintiff maintains that at the time of
inspection and issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, the
stairs did not comply with the 2012 IRC with respect to tread
depth and nosing size. See Id. at 4; Pl.'s Mem.
 at 2.
County has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment  seeking
dismissal of Plaintiff's claim against it. Jackson County
contends that it is entitled to immunity under the MTCA,
specifically under Mississippi Code §§
11-46-9(1)(d) and 11-46-9(1)(h). Mot.  at 2. Jackson
County also argues that Plaintiff's claim is time-barred
by the one-year statute of limitations set forth in the MTCA.
Id. (citing Miss. Code Ann. § 11-46-11(3)(a)).
Plaintiff responds that Jackson County is not entitled to
immunity under sections ...