US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Kling v. Hebert
Opinion Date: February 17, 2023
Judge: James L. Dennis
Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law
After prevailing in state court on claims that he was fired in retaliation for exercising his state constitutional right to freedom of expression, Plaintiff filed a federal suit alleging the same set of facts but asserting for the first time a First Amendment claim. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s suit, finding that Defendants’ factual attack showed that the only remedy not barred by sovereign immunity was impossible to grant and that Kling’s claim was prescribed. On appeal, Plaintiff contends that a factual attack on a district court’s subject matter jurisdiction is improper at the pleadings stage and that his state lawsuit interrupted prescription on his newly asserted federal claim because both rely on the same set of operative facts.
The Fifth Circuit concluded that the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff’s official capacity claims as barred by sovereign immunity and accordingly affirmed that ruling in the district court’s decision. However, because there are no clear controlling precedents from the Louisiana Supreme Court as to whether prescription on Plaintiff’s federal claim was interrupted by his state action, the court certified to that court to answer the following:
In Louisiana, under what circumstances, if any, does the commencement of a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction and venue interrupt prescription as to causes of action, understood as legal claims rather than the facts giving rise to them, not asserted in that suit?
Louisiana Law Blog
Louisiana Law, News, Issues and Comments from Attorneys at the Shoultz Law Firm