United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. BORDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is a motion to dismiss filed by Defendant City of
Montgomery, Alabama (the “City”) on July 31,
2017. Doc. 6. The parties have consented to the exercise of
full jurisdiction by the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge, and the matter is now fully briefed and ripe for
resolution by the court. Docs. 12 & 13. For the reasons
that follow, the court finds that the City's motion is
due to be DENIED, as set forth below.
Mary Wiggins filed a complaint against the City on July 5,
2017, alleging claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) for
unlawful discrimination and retaliation. Doc. 1. All of these
claims arise from the City's failure to promote Wiggins
to the position of revenue examiner. Doc. 1. On June 22,
2015, Wiggins filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
alleging that the City had denied her a promotion to revenue
examiner because of her age, disability, and other protected
activity (i.e., filing prior EEOC charges alleging
gender and disability discrimination and retaliation). Doc.
1-1. On April 10, 2017, the EEOC issued Wiggins a
notice-of-right-to-sue letter. Doc. 1-3. Wiggins alleges in
the complaint that she filed her claims in this court within
ninety days of receiving that notice, and no evidence or
argument has been presented suggesting otherwise. Doc. 1.
City argues in its motion to dismiss that all of Wiggins'
federal employment claims should be dismissed because they
were untimely filed. Doc. 6. Specifically, the City argues
that, because these claims were not filed within the two-year
statute of limitations provided by Alabama Code §
6-2-38(1), they are time-barred and should be dismissed as a
matter of law. Doc. 6. The court agrees with Wiggins that
this argument lacks any merit, as Alabama Code §
6-2-38(1) does not apply to the type of federal employment
claims presented here.
well settled that claims brought under Title VII, the ADA,
and the ADEA must go through the administrative process with
the EEOC, and plaintiffs asserting claims under these
statutes have ninety days to file suit in federal court after
receiving a notice-of-right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.
See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(c) (Title VII); 42
U.S.C. § 12117(a) (ADA); 29 U.S.C. § 626(e) (ADEA);
Abram v. Fulton Cnty. Gov't, 598 F. App'x
672, 674 (11th Cir. 2005) (explaining that plaintiffs raising
claims under Title I of the ADA must comply with the same
procedural requirements articulated in Title VII, including
filing suit within ninety days of receiving a
notice-of-right-to-sue letter); Edwards v. Shalala,
64 F.3d 601, 606 (11th Cir. 1995) (holding that Title
VII's statute of limitations applies to ADEA claims).
the City contends that “[t]he courts have routinely
looked to Alabama state law for the statute of limitations in
these [federal employment] cases and had [sic] found that it
is two years under the statute's residual statute of
limitations for personal injury actions, ” this is an
incorrect statement of the law. The authority the City offers
to support this proposition only confirms its inaccuracy.
Indeed, Lufkin v. McCallum, 956 F.2d 1104 (11th Cir.
1992), concerned the retroactivity of a Supreme Court case
that held that suits brought in federal court pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 borrow the residual statute of limitations
for personal injuries provided under the law of the state
where the court hearing the case sits. Id. at
1106-08. The residual statute of limitations for personal
injuries in Alabama is set out in Alabama Code §
6-2-38(1), but none of Wiggins' claims are brought
pursuant to § 1983.
Everett v. Cobb County School District, Smith v.
McFarland, and Horsley v. University of Alabama
all involved claims brought under Title II of the ADA, which
prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by
public entities. See Everett, 138 F.3d 1407, 1409-10
(11th Cir. 1998); Smith, 2008 WL 606986, at *2 (M.D.
Ala. Feb. 29, 2008); Horsley, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
191936, at *13-14 (N.D. Ala. June 27, 2013). Wiggins'
claims are brought pursuant to Title I of the ADA, which
prohibits discrimination by private employers on the basis of
disability for, among other things, hiring, advancement, and
discharge of employees. While Wiggins conflates these two
types of ADA claims, the distinction is significant since it
dictates the applicable statute of limitations. Title I ADA
claims are subject to the same procedural requirements as
Title VII claims, including the 90-day statute of limitations
for filing claims in federal court, while Title II ADA claims
are not. Compare 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a), with
Everett, 138 F.3d at 1047, and Horsley, 2013
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191936, at * 13-14.
these principles in mind, and taking the allegations in the
complaint as true-which the court must do at the
motion-to-dismiss stage-the court finds that Wiggins filed a
charge of discrimination on June 22, 2015; the EEOC issued
her a notice-of-right-to-sue letter on April 10, 2017; and
Wiggins filed her complaint on July 5, 2017, within 90 days
of receiving that letter. Doc. 1. Absent any ...