United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
civil rights action is before the Court on the motion to
dismiss filed by Marshall Fisher, Jerry Williams, Earnest
Lee, Timothy Morris, Brenda Cox, Tara Roland, and Ella
Foster. Doc. #50.
10, 2016, James Arthur Judd, as a wrongful death beneficiary
and administrator of the estate of Kevin Bowens, filed a
complaint in this Court against numerous persons and
entities, including the State of Mississippi and the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”).
Doc. #1. The complaint alleged the defendants acted with
negligence and violated the constitutional rights of Bowens,
a former inmate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, by
failing to protect Bowens from a June 2013 attack by a fellow
inmate resulting in Bowens' death. Id.
February 7, 2017, the State and MDOC filed a joint answer
asserting various affirmative defenses, including sovereign
immunity. Doc. #10. The same day, the State and MDOC filed a
motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Doc. #11.
March 23, 2017, Judd, with leave of the Court, filed an
amended complaint. Doc. #17. The amended complaint includes
the same general allegations but adds as defendants the
following past and former employees of MDOC: Christopher
Epps, Marshall L. Fisher, Archie Longley, Jerry Williams,
Earnest Lee, Timothy Morris, Brenda Cox, Tara Roland, Ella
Foster, Jeran Turner, Tavarius Walls, and Kimberly Williams.
See id. at ¶ 5.
Cox, Fisher, Lee, Morris, Roland, the State, and Jerry
Williams answered the amended complaint on April 25, 2017.
Doc. #31. Foster filed a separate answer on May 9, 2017. Doc.
10, 2017, this Court granted the State and MDOC's motion
to dismiss. Doc. #36. Twelve days later, Cox, Fisher, Foster,
Lee, Morris, Roland, and Jerry Williams (“moving
defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss the official
capacity claims brought against them. Doc. #37. Judd did not
respond to the motion. On July 5, 2017, the moving defendants
filed a motion to dismiss the individual capacity claims
asserted against them. Doc. #45. Judd did not respond to this
October 6, 2017, the Court entered an order granting the
motion to dismiss the official capacity claims. Doc. #48.
Approximately one month later, the Court granted the moving
defendants' motion to the extent it sought dismissal of
the federal claims. Doc. #49. However, citing inadequate
briefing, the Court denied the motion to the extent it sought
dismissal of the state law claims. Id. at 4-5.
November 6, 2017, the moving defendants filed a motion to
dismiss the state law claims brought against them. Doc. #50.
Judd did not respond to this motion.
moving defendants seek dismissal of the state law claims
brought against them in their individual capacities under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and dismissal of
the state law claims brought against them in their official
capacities under Rule 12(b)(1). Because this Court has
already dismissed the state law claims brought against the
moving defendants, the Rule 12(b)(1) motion will be denied as
general matter, 12(b)(6) relief is unavailable where a moving
party has filed a responsive pleading, such as an answer.
Young v. City of Houston, 599 F. App'x 553, 554
(5th Cir. 2015). However, because “[t]he standard for
dismissal under Rule 12(c) is the same as that for dismissal
for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), ”
Edionwe v. Bailey, 860 F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir.
2017), a district court may treat a post-answer ...