Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Anthony v. Lamar County

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

October 19, 2017

ERIC ANTHONY PLAINTIFF
v.
LAMAR COUNTY, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KEITH STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         For the reasons below, the Court grants Defendants' Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings [6, 8].

         I. Background

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants forced him to work on a Lamar County garbage truck without training or remuneration while he was a pretrial detainee. In his words, he “was used as an indentured servant . . . .” He alleges that an automobile struck and severely injured him while he was working, causing the amputation of a leg, pain and suffering, lost wage-earning capacity, lost wages, and medical bills. Finally, he alleges that Defendants advised him while he was hospitalized that he was no longer in their custody, and that they refused to pay for or provide medical care.

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against Lamar County and Sheriff Danny Rigel in his individual and official capacities. He asserted claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights. He may have also asserted claims under state law, insofar as he alleged that Defendants violated specific Mississippi statutes. Defendants filed two Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings [6, 8]. Plaintiff did not respond to the motions, and they are ripe for the Court's review.

         II. Standard of Review

          A “motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is subject to the same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).” Doe v. MySpace, Inc., 528 F.3d 413, 418 (5th Cir. 2008). To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC v. La. State, 624 F.3d 201, 210 (5th Cir. 2010) (punctuation omitted). “To be plausible, the complaint's factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. (punctuation omitted). The Court must “accept all well-pleaded facts as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Id. But the Court will not accept as true “conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences, or legal conclusions.” Id. Likewise, “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” PSKS, Inc. v. Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc., 615 F.3d 412, 417 (5th Cir. 2010) (punctuation omitted). “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

         III. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings as to State-Law Claims [6]

         Defendants argue that any state-law tort claims asserted by Plaintiff are barred by the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (“MTCA”). The MTCA codified the common-law sovereign immunity of Mississippi and its political subdivisions. Miss. Code Ann. § 11-46-3(1). It “provides the exclusive remedy against a governmental entity or its employees” under Mississippi law. Covington County Sch. Dist. v. Magee, 29 So.3d 1, 4 (Miss. 2010). But the MTCA's waiver of sovereign immunity is subject to certain conditions, restrictions, and limitations.

         A. Claims against Lamar County and Rigel in His Official Capacity

         1. Notice of Claim

         First, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's tort claims are barred because he failed to provide notice as required by the MTCA. The statute provides that “any person having a claim under this chapter shall proceed as he might in any action at law or in equity, except that at least ninety (90) days before instituting suit, the person must file a notice of claim with the chief executive officer of the governmental entity.” Miss. Code Ann. § 11-46-11(1). The Mississippi Supreme Court “strictly applies the ninety-day-notice requirement . . . .” Gorton v. Rance, 52 So.3d 351, 358 (Miss. 2011). It “is a hard-edged, mandatory rule, ” id., that applies “equally to cases in which no notice is filed, notice is filed after the complaint, or the complaint is filed sooner than ninety days after filing notice.” Brown v. Southwest Miss. Reg'l Med. Ctr., 989 So.2d 933, 936 (Miss. Ct. App. 2008).

         Here, Defendants represented in briefing that Plaintiff provided a notice of claim on May 11, 2017.[1] Therefore, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 11-46-11(1), he was not allowed to file suit until August 9, 2017. However, he filed the Complaint on August 2, 2017 - before the ninety-day period had expired. Therefore, his state tort claims against Lamar County and Sheriff Rigel in his official capacity are barred because he failed to comply with the MTCA's notice requirement.

         2.Inmate ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.