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Rozar v. Mullis

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 21472
Nos. 95-8227, 85 F.3d 556/42 ERC 2049/(11th Cir., 06/17/1996)

The court holds that a neighborhood association's federal civil-rights claims that a county discriminated in siting and permitting a solid waste landfill in their neighborhood accrued from the date the county's board of commissioners selected the site, rather than the date the county acquired an interest in the site, and are thus barred by Georgia's two-year personal-injury statute of limitations. The court first holds that Georgia's two-year personal-injury statute of limitations applies to federal civil-rights claims brought under 42 U.S.C. §2000d as well as to those brought under §§1983 and 1985. The court then holds that the association's due process and equal protection claims against the county are time barred. The board's allegedly racially motivated vote, which occurred more than two years before the association's complaint was filed, was the operative decision amounting to the alleged constitutional injury. The court next holds that summary judgment on the association's federal civil-rights claims against the state based on the statute of limitations was not warranted because the state only became significantly involved later during the permitting process. The court, however, affirms the district court's grant of summary judgment on the alternative ground that the association clearly failed to demonstrate the existence of any viable claim against the state. The evidence presented by the association was insufficient to support a finding that the state engaged in intentional racial discrimination including the pattern or practice of discrimination in the siting of landfills asserted as to the county. Moreover, the association abandoned any such claim by concession during oral argument before the court. Lastly, the court holds that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the association's motion to preliminarily enjoin construction of the landfill.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Lonzy F. Edwards
Edwards & Youmans
2717 Millerfield Rd., Macon GA 31201
(912) 745-4380

Counsel for Defendants
Robert S. Bomar, Sr. Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
40 Capitol Sq. SW, Atlanta GA 30334
(404) 656-3300

Before TJOFLAT, Chief Judge, and RONEY and CAMPBELL*, Senior Circuit Judges.