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Klonowski v. Jack Daniel's Distillery

June 2, 2008

JASON KLONOWSKI AND DONNIA MONROE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JACK DANIEL'S DISTILLERY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Mattice

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant John Bobo's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Court Doc. 19) and Defendants Jack Daniel's Distillery's and Brown Forman Corporation's Motion to Dismiss (Court Doc. 22). Both motions challenge the timeliness of Plaintiffs' Complaint and will be addressed simultaneously in this regard. For the reasons set forth below, the court will GRANT Defendants' motions.

I. STANDARD

A. Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) is to permit a defendant to test whether, as a matter of law, Plaintiff is entitled to relief even if everything alleged in the complaint is true. Mayer v. Mylod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993). To survive a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), Plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true." Assoc. of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007)). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. The Court must determine not whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether Plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence to support his claims. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). In making this determination, the Court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff and accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations. Mixon v. Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 400 (6th Cir. 1999). The Court need not accept as true mere legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. Id.

B. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

The standard of review applicable to a motion for "judgment on the pleadings" pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is the same as the standard of review applicable under Rule 12(b)(6). Grindstaff v. Green, 133 F.3d 416, 421 (6th Cir. 1998).

II. FACTS

The relevant facts, as pled by Plaintiffs, are as follows.

Plaintiffs assert causes of action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of their rights under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. (Court Doc. 1-3, Compl. ¶ 1.) Specifically, Plaintiffs take issue with conduct in meetings with the Lynchburg Historical Commission ("Commission") occurring on December 21, 2004; January 24, 2005; and February 15, 2005. (Id. ¶ 14.) Further, Plaintiffs complain that the Commission required them to install siding on the exterior of their log cabin after it was built. (Id.) Plaintiffs do not specify when the Commission imposed this requirement.

Plaintiffs claim that the imposition of these requirements led to "tremendous financial loss due to [construction] delays" as well as "serious and permanent personal injury . . . ." (Id. ¶ 21.) Plaintiffs claim that, "[a]dditionally, and unknown to the Plaintiff, Jason Klonowski, until he was diagnosed in June of 2007, Jason Klonowski is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [("PTSD")]." (Id.)

Plaintiffs filed the above-captioned action on July 11, 2007. (Id.)

III. ANALYSIS

Plaintiffs' only federal causes of action are brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For purposes of § 1983, state statutes of limitation apply to determine the timeliness of the claims asserted. Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 268-69 (1985). In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for § 1983 claims is one year. Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a)(3); Sharpe v. Cureton, 319 F.3d 259, 266 (6th Cir. 2003). Federal ...


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