Ex parte Courtyard Citiflats, LLC, and Action Property Management LLC.Annotate this Case
Defendants Courtyard Citiflats, LLC, and Action Property Management, L.L.C. (collectively, "Citiflats"), petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to direct the Circuit Court to dismiss the complaint of the plaintiff Coretta Arrington as untimely filed. On July 18, 2014, Arrington filed, both individually and in her capacity as the administrator of the estate of her deceased minor child, a complaint against Citiflats. Arrington's complaint alleged tort-based claims in connection with the death of Arrington's child as the result of injuries allegedly sustained in 2012, on premises owned and managed by Citiflats. Arrington's complaint was accompanied by an "Affidavit of Substantial Hardship," alleging that Arrington was unable to pay the corresponding filing fee. At the time it was filed, the hardship statement had not been approved by the trial court as required by statute. Arrington's complaint was also accompanied by the summonses necessary for service on the named defendants, which were stamped "filed" by the clerk of the trial court on the filing date. On August 18, 2014, after the July 24, 2014 expiration of the applicable two-year statute of limitations, the trial court entered an order approving the hardship statement. On August 19, 2014, the clerk of the trial court issued the previously filed summonses for service. Citiflats filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion seeking to dismiss Arrington's complaint on the ground that the statutory limitations period had expired without the payment of a filing fee or the approval of a hardship statement. The Circuit Court denied Citiflats' motion. Because the Supreme Court held that the trial court erred in refusing to dismiss Arrington's complaint as untimely, it concluded that Citiflats made the requisite showing of a clear legal right to the relief sought.