United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
JOSEPH GERHART, et al. PLAINTIFFS
RANKIN COUNTY, et al. DEFENDANTS
ORDER DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
T. WINGATE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
THIS COURT are the following motions: Rankin County
Defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment.
[Docket no. 223]; the Rankin County
Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Motion
for Summary Judgement [Docket no. 225]; and
the Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Supplemental Motion for
Summary Judgment [Docket no. 226]. This
court is convinced the Rankin County Defendants' Motion
for Leave to File Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgement
[Docket no. 225] is well-taken and is due to
be GRANTED. Further, this court is persuaded
that the Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Supplemental Motion
for Summary Judgment [Docket no. 226] is not
well-taken and is, therefore, due to be
court held a hearing in this matter on January 3, 2017, in
which the parties argued their respective
positions. This court requested a letter brief from
the parties in this matter regarding the issue of the
“relation-back” of Brett Gerhart's claims -
acting as an adult in his own capacity - in the fourth
amended complaint [Docket no. 206] to the original complaint
[Docket no.1]. The parties submitted their letter briefs to
this court on January 5, 2017, which are attached to this
Order as exhibits.
Rankin County Defendants cited no new case law in their
letter brief, but reiterated their points of law which were
encompassed by their brief on this matter. [Docket no. 224].
The Rankin County Defendants urge this court to treat the
amendment as an amendment changing the name of a “John
Doe” defendant in a complaint. Thus, say the
Defendants, Jacobsen v. Osborne, 133 F.3d 315
(5th Cir. 1998), applies.
Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment, the court only
addresses one aspect of the Fourth Amended Complaint, and
that is whether plaintiff Brett Gerhart can sue in his own
individual capacity. This lawsuit was originally brought by
his parents acting as next friend to Brett Gerhart (and his
siblings who were minors at the time of the incidents at
herein are: Johnny Barnes; Brett McAlpin; Brad McLendon;
Sheriff Ronnie Pennington; Rankin County, Mississippi; Ben
Schuler; Jamie Scouten; and the City of Pearl, Mississippi.
Defendants contend that at this late date, Brett Gerhart
cannot be substituted in his own adult, individual capacity.
the entire course of this litigation, the issue before this
court has been whether Brett Gerhart had been deprived of his
constitutional rights by the defendants during their alleged
search and seizure of his person and residence. The parties
have engaged in copious discovery to flesh out the details of
what occurred during the encounter between Brett Gerhart and
December 1, 2016, in plaintiffs' fourth amended complaint
[Docket no. 205], Brett Gerhart is suing in his own adult,
individual capacity. The defendants herein contend that his
[Brett Gerhart's] claims in his individual, adult
capacity are barred by the Mississippi statutes of
limitations codified at Miss. Code §§ 11-15-135 and
reasons stated infra, this court is convinced the
Rankin County Defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary
Judgment [Docket no. 223] is not well-taken
and therefore, is due to be DENIED.
Plaintiffs filed their lawsuit on September 20, 2011. [Docket
no. 1]. Before the complaint had been served, the Plaintiffs
filed their [First] Amended Complaint on November 17, 2011
[Docket no. 2]. The Rankin County Defendants filed their
answer to the amended complaint on December 12, 2011. [Docket
no. 19]. The City of Pearl Defendants filed their answer to
the amended complaint on December 21, 2011. [Docket no. 20].
Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint on February 21,
2012. [Docket no. 31]. The Defendants filed their answers on
February 27, 2012 [Docket no. 33], and March 2, 2012 [Docket
Plaintiffs filed their Third Amended Complaint on May 31,
2012. [Docket no. 85]. The defendants filed their answers on
June 6, 2012 [Docket no. 93], and June 20, 2012 [Docket no.
Rankin County Defendants filed a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment on July 29, 2016, alleging the misnomer of Brett
Gerhart. [Docket no. 162]. In all the complaints operative in
the lawsuit sub judice until the filing of the
Fourth Amended Complaint, Brett Gerhart was not named in his
own capacity by the Plaintiffs, but his parents Joseph
Gerhart and Amanda Jo Gerhart were named as next friend of
Brett Gerhart. As a result of the filing of the Rankin County
Defendants' Partial Motion for Summary Judgment, the
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint. [Docket no. ...