United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons below, the Court grants in part and denies in
part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint.
are former elected officials of the City of Lumberton,
Mississippi. They allege that the City refused to pay them
back wages owed from 2010 through 2013. They also allege that
the City failed to make payments into Mississippi's
Public Employees' Retirement System (“PERS”)
on their behalf. They filed this suit, asserting claims under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), as well as a breach of contract claim.
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss , which the Court now
Standard of Review
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).
argues that each claim asserted in the Amended Complaint is
barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
Counts I and II
I and II are Section 1983 claims. “The statute of
limitations for Section 1983 claims is the forum state's
personal-injury limitations period . . . .” Smith
v. Regional Transit Auth., 827 F.3d 412, 421 (5th Cir.
2016); see also Walker v. Epps, 550 F.3d 407, 415
(5th Cir. 2008). Therefore, Section 1983 claims must be filed
in Mississippi “within three (3) years next after the
cause of such action accrued, and not after.” Miss.
Code Ann. § 15-1-49. A Section 1983 claim accrues
“when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the
injury which is the basis of the action.”
Smith, 827 F.3d at 421. Therefore, “the
limitations period begins when the plaintiff is in possession
of the critical facts that he has been hurt and who has
inflicted the injury.” Id.
allege that the City failed to pay them wages owed from 2010
through 2013, but that “it was understood between the
parties that the City would fully compensate the Plaintiffs
once the funds became available.” Amended Complaint at
7, Dukes v. Lumberton, No. 2:17-CV-150-KS-MTP
(S.D.Miss. Oct. 26, 2017), ECF No. 12. However, according to
Plaintiffs, the City refused to honor this alleged agreement
in July 2017, although it paid other former City officials.
Id. at 2-3. Plaintiffs allege that the City's
breach of the alleged agreement is because “the
City's Board of Alderman has personal agendas with the
former board members . . . .” Id. at 3.
Plaintiffs also allege that the City failed to make proper
payments into PERS, that it refuses to correct the error, and
that they just learned of the PERS problems within the past
extent Plaintiffs' alleged injury is Defendant's
failure to pay owed wages from 2010 to 2013, their Section
1983 claims are barred by the applicable statute of
limitations. A plain reading of Plaintiffs' Amended
Complaint suggests that Plaintiffs knew at the time they were
not being paid what they were owed. “[T]he limitations
period begins when the plaintiff is in possession of the
critical facts that he has been hurt and who has inflicted
the injury.” Smith, 827 F.3d at 421. Plaintiff
initiated this action on August 25, 2017. Therefore, any
Section 1983 claim accruing from 2010 to 2013 would be barred
by the three-year statute of limitations.
to the extent Plaintiffs' alleged injury is the breach of
an agreement to pay them back wages at some point after 2013,
their Section 1983 claims are not barred by the applicable
statute of limitations. According to their pleading, they
learned of this alleged breach within the past several
months. Likewise, they learned of the City's failure to
make PERS payments within the past year. A Section 1983 claim
accrues “when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know
of the injury which is the basis of the action.”
Smith, 827 F.3d at 421. Therefore, Plaintiffs'
Section 1983 claims arising from ...