Jackson v. Ferguson-Florissant School District
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 14 MOTION for Reconsideration re 13 Order of Dismissal (case - Stipulation of Dismissal), 12 Memorandum & Order MOTION to Reopen Case filed by Plaintiff Keri Jackson ( Amended/Supplemental Pleadings due by 8/14/2017.), Case reopened.. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 7/14/17. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Case No. 4:16cv1412 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Pro se plaintiff Keri Jackson brought this action against her former employer, the
Ferguson-Florissant School District, for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (“ADA”). The Court granted
defendant’s unopposed motion to dismiss on February 21, 2017 (#12). On April 24,
2017, plaintiff filed a letter to the Court with the subject “Appeal to Re-open Case.”
(#14.) The Court will treat the letter as a motion for relief from an order under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1), which allows the court to “relieve a party…from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding for … mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect.” Defendant has not responded to the motion.
The Court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint because plaintiff did not file this lawsuit
within the 90-day statute of limitations period; rather, she filed her complaint six days
late. As this Court noted,
Although the 90-day limitation is not jurisdictional and is subject to
equitable tolling, courts “have generally reserved the remedy of equitable
tolling for circumstances which were truly beyond the control of the
plaintiff.” Hill v. John Chezik Imports, 869 F.2d 1122, 1124 (8th Cir.
1989). Here, plaintiff has not responded at all to the motion to dismiss.
(#12 at 3.)
Plaintiff now seeks relief from this Court’s dismissal of her case due to problems
plaintiff was having receiving her mail. The ADA requires that a claim be fired in federal
court within ninety (90) days of the plaintiff’s receipt of a right-to-sue letter from the
EEOC. See 42 U.S.C. § 200e-5(f)(l) (Title VII action must be brought within 90 days of
notification of right to sue); 42 U.S.C. § 121l7(a) (adopting Title VII limitations period
for the ADA). The Court’s presumption had been that plaintiff received the Right to Sue
Letter three days after its May 25, 2016 mailing date, which meant her filing deadline
was August 26, 2016. See Rich v. Bob Downes Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 831 F. Supp.
733, 735 (E.D. Mo. 1993); see also Sherlock v. Montefiore Med. Ctr., 84 F.3d 522, 525
(2d Cir. 1996); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d). Plaintiff now says that she received her
Right to Sue Letter on June 3, 2016, which would make her September 1, 2016 complaint
filing date timely. In support, plaintiff provides a letter from a customer service manager
at the post office branch for her home, which states that plaintiff “has had ongoing
problems with her delivery of service since May 2016,” when her mail was being
delivered by substitute mail carriers. Plaintiff did not obtain the letter from the post
office until April 13, 2017. She also suggests that, although she apparently received the
defendant’s December 2016 motion to dismiss and this Court’s February 21, 2017
dismissal, she did not respond to either document until the end of April because her
newborn daughter was hospitalized in December 2016 and in fragile health through much
of the winter. In addition, she was waiting to obtain the letter from the postal service
supporting that her mail had been delayed in May 2016. Absent any response from the
defendant, the Court concludes that plaintiff has shown that Rule 60(b) applies to allow
relief from this Court’s order dismissing plaintiff’s complaint and that equitable tolling
should apply such that plaintiff’s complaint was timely filed on September 1, 2016.
Plaintiff appears to acknowledge that, although this Court dismissed plaintiff’s
case only due to her failure to file her complaint within the 90-day deadline, the
defendant also argued that her complaint should be dismissed because she had not
adequately pleaded any violation of the ADA. Specifically, defendant pointed out that
plaintiff failed to state what her disability was and thus did not support she had a
“qualified disability” to support an ADA claim. (#11 at 5-6.) Plaintiff’s motion for relief
includes a response to the defendant’s motion to dismiss and provides more information
regarding her disability. She states she has myoclonic epilepsy and that she was
repeatedly verbally harassed, bullied, and intimidated by her immediate supervisor, and
that she was repeatedly verbally harassed, bullied, threatened, and physically assaulted by
her students. She says she reported this treatment but that the defendant did not follow
written disciplinary consequences set forth in the defendant’s Student Conduct Policy.
She further states she was retaliated against for her complaints and that she suffered
The Court notes that plaintiff’s statements in her motion for relief do not suffice to
amend her complaint to correct the deficiency raised by defendant. Plaintiff must file an
amended complaint. Recognizing that plaintiff is pro se, the Court will allow plaintiff to
file an amended complaint addressing the matters raised in the defendant’s motion to
Plaintiff’s motion for relief from the order dismissing her case will be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for relief from this Court’s
February 21, 2017 order is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that that this Court’s order dismissing plaintiff’s
complaint is VACATED.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that plaintiff shall have 30 days from the date of
this Order in which to file an amended complaint that addresses the defects raised in
defendant’s motion to dismiss. Should plaintiff require an extension of time in which to
meet this or any other deadline, plaintiff shall file a motion requesting such an extension.
Dated this 14th day of July, 2017.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?