Marrero-Gutierrez v. Molina

491 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2007)



The standard of review for a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) is the same as that for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Courts of appeals review de novo a district court's decision to allow a motion to dismiss, taking as true the well-pleaded facts in the complaint and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.


Plaintiffs, former public employees, sued defendants, a state housing department and individuals, for political discrimination and violations of plaintiffs' constitutional rights, and for various state-law claims. One plaintiff's claim for wrongful demotion was properly dismissed as time-barred because there was no support for his argument that the date when he learned of his demotion should have been tolled until he learned of the discriminatory motives behind the discrete act.


Did the district court err in dismissing the claim for wrongful demotion?




The court affirmed the district court's ruling. The ruling squarely fit the exception in Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(2) to the general rule in Rule 12(g). Regarding the merits of plaintiff's claims, the process provided in a pre-termination hearing comported with due process guarantees by providing plaintiff notice and an opportunity to be heard, resulting in no need for a post-termination hearing. Plaintiff  failed to even implicate the test for an equal protection violation by failing to make any allegation that persons similarly situated were treated more favorably; and failed to set forth any basis for finding a causal connection between the demotion and defendants' alleged political animus.

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