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Rogers v. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

July 21, 2015

Charles H. Rogers, Jr., Plaintiff,
v.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, et al., Defendants

For CHARLES H. ROGERS, JR., Plaintiff: John Edward Williams, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF JOHN E. WILLIAMS, Esq., Alexandria, VA.

For AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION LOCAL 689, Defendant: Douglas Taylor, LEAD ATTORNEY, GROMFINE, TAYLOR & TYLER, Alexandria, VA.

For WMATA, Defendant: Gerard Joseph Stief, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Washington, DC.

Page 77

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Amit P. Mehta, United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689, AFL-CIO (" Local 689" ) moves to dismiss Plaintiff Charles Rogers' Complaint for a second time. The court denied Local 689's first motion to dismiss, when it extended the time for service and relieved Rogers of his failure to properly serve the union within 120 days, as required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4. With Rogers now having perfected service, Local 689 tries a different tact, arguing that Plaintiff's sole claim against it for breach of duty of fair representation is barred by the six-month statute of limitations. Local 689 argues that the limitations period that tolled when Rogers filed his lawsuit began to run again after the 120-day service period expired without service of the complaint. Because Rogers' proper service came more than six months after his claim began to accrue, Local 689 asserts that his claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

The court disagrees. The tolling of the limitations period that occurred when Rogers filed suit remained in effect during the additional time the court granted Rogers to perfect service. Thus, because Rogers

Page 78

filed suit within the six-month limitations period and completed service within the additional time afforded by the court, his claim is not time barred. Local 689's second motion to dismiss is therefore denied.

II. BACKGROUND

A full recitation of the background facts is set forth in Rogers v. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, 98 F.Supp.3d 1, 14-cv-1650, 2015 WL 1323348, at *1-2 (D.D.C. Mar. 23, 2015). The court, therefore, provides only an abbreviated version here. On August 28, 2014, Rogers filed his complaint in the District of Columbia Superior Court, alleging that his union, Local 689, breached its duty to fairly represent him during an arbitration with his employer, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (" WMATA" ). Rogers filed his suit within six months of the arbitration panel's adverse decision, which gave rise to his claim against Local 689. After WMATA removed the case to this court, see Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1, Local 689 moved to dismiss on the ground that Rogers had failed to serve it with process and instead had served a related entity with a different address.

On March 23, 2015, this court denied Local 689's motion to dismiss. See Rogers, 2015 WL 1323348, at *1. It ruled that Rogers had failed to serve the complaint within the 120 days allowed under Rule 4 and had not shown good cause to warrant his motion to extend time. Id. at *2-4. The court nevertheless exercised its discretion under Rule 4 and afforded Rogers an additional 14 days to serve the complaint, largely because dismissal of the complaint would have resulted in Rogers' claim becoming barred by the applicable six-month limitations period. Id. at *5-6. Four days later, ...


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