United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
S.O., INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF HER MINOR SON, B.O. PLAINTIFFS
HINDS COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL. DEFENDANTS
P. Jordan III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
There are four motions pending in this § 1983 case:
Defendants filed three separate Motions to Dismiss [10, 18,
20], each raising arguments as to why particular claims
should be dismissed as to certain defendants, and Plaintiffs
moved to amend their complaint . For the reasons that
follow, Defendant Hinds County School District's motion
to dismiss  is granted in part; Defendants Ben Lundy,
Tommy Brumfield, Michelle Ray, and Shannon Rankin's
motion to dismiss  is granted in part; Defendants Byram
Police Department and Officer Ricardo Montez Kincaid's
motion to dismiss  is denied; and Plaintiffs' motion
to amend  is denied.
are suing Defendants due to alleged conduct that occurred
during a disciplinary action at Byram Middle School.
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint  alleges that, on April
4, 2017, Defendant Shannon Rankin, a social-studies teacher,
accused Plaintiff B.O., a seventh-grade student, of selling
candy bars during class and directed him to go to the
assistant principal's office. Once there, Defendant Tommy
Brumfield, an assistant principal, proceeded to pat-down and
empty B.O.'s pockets in search of evidence pertaining to
the candy-bar sales but found nothing. During this pat-down,
B.O. alleges that he felt his penis being touched.
Brumfield found nothing in B.O.'s pockets, Defendant
Michelle Ray, another assistant principal, emptied B.O.'s
school bag and found various items, including a purse and
three Hinds County School District (“HCSD”)
calculators. B.O. claims that his math teacher authorized him
to carry these calculators and that the purse belonged to his
these searches, B.O. says he was forced to dig in a trash can
to search for any candy wrappers that were thrown away during
his trip to the assistant principal's office. B.O.
alleges that all of this occurred in the presence of
Defendant Officer Ricardo Montez Kincaid, an officer with the
Byram Police Department.
on these events, S.O. filed this suit individually and on
behalf of her minor son B.O. They assert claims under §
1983 for violating the Fourth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth
Amendments as well as various state-law causes of action.
Defendants, who were sued in their individual and official
capacities, have since filed multiple motions to dismiss [10,
18, 20] that identify purported deficiencies in
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint. Having been fully briefed,
the Court is ready to rule on these motions and otherwise
clean up the docket.
Hinds County School District's Motion to Dismiss
say Defendant HCSD is liable under § 1983 and state law
because its employees violated B.O.'s constitutional
rights and otherwise assaulted him. HCSD raises two issues in
its motion to dismiss . First, HCSD says that
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint should be dismissed because
it is unsigned. Second, HCSD contends that the Court cannot
hear Plaintiffs' state-law claims because Plaintiffs
failed to comply with the Mississippi Tort Claims Act's
(“MTCA”) notice provisions. See Miss.
Code Ann. § 11-46-11.
in regards to the unsigned Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs
filed a signed version of the signature page on June 26,
2017. See Attachment . While this entry is dated
35 days after Plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint, the
Court finds that Plaintiffs cured the defect and HCSD was not
prejudiced. Therefore, the Court will focus on HCSD's
is no dispute that Plaintiffs failed to give HCSD notice of
their state-law claims. Under the MTCA, a plaintiff wishing
to bring a tort claim against a government entity must
provide written notice of the claim “at least ninety
(90) days before instituting suit.” Miss. Code Ann.
§ 11-46-11(1). This pre-suit-notice requirement is
jurisdictional and “imposes a condition precedent to
the right to maintain an action.” Bunton v.
King, 995 So.2d 694, 695 (Miss. 2008) (quoting Miss.
Dep't of Pub. Safety v. Stringer, 748 So.2d 662, 665
(Miss. 1999)). But Plaintiffs hope to evade the notice
requirement by arguing that the Court has original
jurisdiction over their § 1983 claims and may exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the tort claims. See
Pls.' Mem.  at 4 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a)).
Thus, they seem to suggest that no notice was required.
offer no authority for this argument, and it is not
persuasive. Bringing federal and state-law causes of action
in the same federal suit may create supplemental jurisdiction
under § 1367(a), but it does not circumvent conditions
precedent to a state's consent to such suits. Cf.
Raygor v. Regents of Univ. of Minn., 534 U.S. 533,
541-42 (2002) (“[W]e cannot read § 1367(a) to
authorize district courts to exercise jurisdiction over
claims against nonconsenting States, even though nothing in
the statute expressly excludes such claims. Thus, consistent
with [Blatchfordv. Native Village of
Noatak, 501 U.S. 775 (1991)], we hold that §
1367(a)'s grant of jurisdiction does not extend to claims
against nonconsenting state defendants.”); see also
Montgomery v. Mississippi, 498 F.Supp.2d 892, 905
(S.D.Miss. 2007) (refusing to hear plaintiff's state-law
claims brought with federal claims under § 1367 and
concluding that “[b]ecause [plaintiff] failed to
provide any notice whatsoever, the Court finds that all state
law tort claims for ‘wrongful demotion' are