Doe v. Rainey et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants Randy Esphorst and Gasconade County's motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Counts IV, V, VII, and VIII of Plaintiff's amended complaint is DENIED. (Doc. No. 39 .) Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on May 24, 2016. (BRP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MARTIN RAINEY, et al.,
Case No. 4:15CV01484 AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This action was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law by Plaintiff
Jane Doe against Martin Rainey, a police officer for Gasconade County, Missouri;1
Randy Esphorst, Sheriff of Gasconade County, in his individual capacity; and Gasconade
County. Now before the Court is Esphorst and Gasconade County’s joint motion for
judgment on the pleadings as to the state law claims against them for intentional infliction
of emotional distress (Counts IV and VII, respectively) and negligent supervision (Counts
V and VIII, respectively). For the reasons set forth below, the motion shall be denied in
Plaintiff alleges as follows: On or about July 14, 2012, she called the Gasconade
County Sheriff’s Department to inquire as to whether an ex parte (protection) order had
March 28, 2016, a suggestion of Rainey’s death that occurred on March 26, 2016,
been served on her estranged husband. Rainey, a deputy sheriff, came into contact with
Plaintiff regarding the inquiry and obtained her address and cell information. Between
July 14, 2012, and August 6, 2012, Rainey called Plaintiff 87 times and sent her 1,288
text messages, many of which were sexually explicit. Sometime “[a]fter July 14, 2012,”
Rainey approached Plaintiff at her residence and made sexual advances towards her.
Rainey threatened to arrest Plaintiff’s husband in connection with an investigation Rainey
was supposedly undertaking, although Rainey knew the investigation and the arrest
warrant were fictitious. Rainey told Plaintiff that he would use his authority as a deputy
sheriff to “make this all go away” if Plaintiff would engage in sexual intercourse with
Plaintiff further alleges that on August 4, 2012, Rainey picked her up at her
apartment while wearing his deputy sheriff’s uniform, carrying a service-issued police
firearm, and driving a Gasconade County patrol vehicle, and continued on to a motel
where he had directed Plaintiff to reserve a motel room in a fictitious name. Once in the
motel, Rainey provided Plaintiff with an opened can of soda, which caused Plaintiff to
feel “drugged,” and he placed his service-issued police firearm on the nightstand next to
the bed, with the barrel of the firearm pointing towards where Plaintiff was laying, before
having nonconsensual sexual intercourse with her. Plaintiff asserts that she suffered
severe emotional injury as a result of Rainey’s intentional and outrageous acts and will
continue to suffer such emotional injury in the future. She alleges that Esphorst and
Gasconade County, as Rainey’s supervisor and employer, respectively, knew or should
have known that Rainey had regularly pursued inappropriate relationships with women
whom he met through his duties as a law enforcement officer.
These allegations underlie Plaintiff’s eight-count amended complaint. Counts I
and II are directed at Rainey claiming violation of Plaintiff’s federal constitutional rights
and intentional infliction of emotional distress, respectively. Counts III, IV, and V are
directed at Esphorst claiming failure to supervise under § 1983, intentional infliction of
emotional distress as Rainey’s supervisor and employer, and negligent supervision under
state tort law, respectively. Counts VI, VII, and VIII are directed at Gasconade County
claiming failure to supervise under §1983, intentional infliction of emotional distress as
Rainey’s supervisor and employer, and negligent supervision under state tort law,
The moving Defendants argue that Counts IV and VII for intentional infliction of
emotional distress are barred by the two year statute of limitations of § 516.140, Mo.
Rev. Stat., for sexual battery because the intentional infliction claims are based on the
alleged sexual battery on August 4, 2012, and are therefore not independent intentional
infliction claims governed by the five year statute of limitations of § 516.120(4). The
moving Defendants further argue that the conduct serving as the basis for these two
counts also serves as the basis of Counts III and VI for failure to supervise under § 1983
directed at Esphorst and Gasconade County, respectively, and thus Counts IV and VII
should be dismissed “lest they ‘swallow’ Plaintiff’s predicate tort claims.” (Doc. No. 40
at 5.) Lastly, the moving Defendants assert that Counts V and VIII for state law
negligent supervision are barred by the three year statute of limitations of
§ 516.130(1), Mo. Rev. Stat., for claims against “a sheriff, coroner or other officer, upon
a liability incurred by the doing of an act in his official capacity and in virtue of his
office, or by the omission of an official duty, including the nonpayment of money
collected upon an execution or otherwise. ”
Plaintiff responds that her intentional infliction claims against the moving
Defendants are not barred by the statute of limitations for battery claims because
Rainey’s conduct leading up to, but not including, the alleged battery on August 4, 2012,
is sufficient to state an independent claim for intentional infliction. Thus, the five year
statute of limitations of § 516.120(4) applies. Further, Plaintiff asserts that her intentional
infliction claims are not barred as duplicative because the conduct giving rise to these
claims occurred before, and is independent of, the battery that is the basis of her civil
rights claims in Counts III and VI.
Lastly Plaintiff argues that the three year statute of limitations of § 516.130(1)
does not apply to her state law negligent supervision claim against Esphorst in his
individual capacity; nor against Gasconade County because the county is not an “officer”
within the meaning of § 516.130(1), in that she is suing Gasconade County “as a whole”
for its policies and actions.
A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(c) is to be considered using the same standard as a motion to dismiss under
Rule12(b)(6). Gallagher v. City of Clayton, 699 F.3d 1013, 1016 (8th Cir. 2012). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556-70 (2007)).
The reviewing court must accept the plaintiff’s factual allegations as true and construe
them in plaintiff’s favor, but it is not required to accept the legal conclusions the plaintiff
draws from the facts alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Retro Television Network, Inc. v.
Luken Commc’ns, LLC, 696 F.3d 766, 768-69 (8th Cir. 2012).
Intentional Infliction Claims
By Order dated March 17, 2016, the Court rejected the same statute of limitations
argument raised now by Esphorst and Gasconade County that was raised then by Rainey
in a motion to dismiss Count II of the amended complaint. The Court accepted Plaintiff’s
argument that her emotional distress claim was based only upon Rainey’s actions leading
up to the sexual battery, and that thus the claim was not time barred. (Doc. No. 55.) For
similar reasons, the Court rejects this statute of limitations argument raised by Esphorst
and Gasconade County.
The Court also rejects the moving Defendants’ argument that Counts III and VI
asserting intentional infliction of emotional distress against Esphorst and Gasconade, as
Rainey’s supervisor and employer, are duplicative of the § 1983 civil rights failure-tosupervise claims against these two Defendants in Counts IV and VII. The two theories of
recovery are distinct, each requiring proof of different elements. The injuries asserted in
these two sets of counts – a deprivation of a constitutional right and severe emotional
distress – are also different.
Negligent Supervision Claims
Under Missouri law, “[a]n action against a sheriff, coroner or other officer, upon a
liability incurred by the doing of an act in his official capacity and in virtue of his office,
or by the omission of an official duty, including the nonpayment of money collected upon
an execution or otherwise” is time-barred after three years. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.130(1).
The statute of limitations for personal injuries is five years. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120(4).
As noted above, Plaintiff’s amended complaint names Esphorst in his individual
capacity. Therefore, Count V is not time-barred because it is governed by the five-year
statute of limitations for personal injuries found in § 516.120(4) rather than the three-year
statute of limitations found in § 516.130(1). See Gaulden v. City of Desloge, Mo., 2009
WL 1035346, at *14 (E.D. Mo. 2009) (“An action against an officer in his or her
individual capacity does not fall within the parameters of Section 516.130.”) (citing
Miller Cty. v. Groves, 801 S.W. 2d 777, 778-79 (Mo. Ct. App. 1991)). Gasconade
County has provided no authority for its argument that § 516.130(1) applies to a claim
against a county sued for negligence in, for example, failing to supervise its police
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants Randy Esphorst and Gasconade
County’s motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Counts IV, V, VII, and VIII of
Plaintiff’s amended complaint is DENIED. (Doc. No. 39.)
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 24th day of May, 2016.
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