Jinks v. Richland County, South Carolina

RESPONDENT:Richland County, South Carolnia
LOCATION:United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

DOCKET NO.: 02-258
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: South Carolina Supreme Court

CITATION: 53 US 456 (2003)
ARGUED: Mar 05, 2003
DECIDED: Apr 22, 2003

Andrew F. Lindemann – for the respondent
Jeffrey A. Lamken – Department of Justice, for the United States as intervenor, by special leave of the Court
Robert S. Peck – for the petitioner

Facts of the case

If a federal court with jurisdiction over a civil action declines to exercise supplement jurisdiction over other related claims, the claims will be dismissed and must be refiled in state court. To prevent the limitations period on those claims from expiring, 28 USC section 1367(d) requires state courts to toll the period while a supplemental claim is pending in federal court. In 1994, Susan Jinks filed a federal-court action against Richland County, South Carolina. The District Court granted the county summary judgment and declined to exercise jurisdiction over Jinks’s state-law claims. Jinks then filed the supplemental claims in state court and won. In reversing, the Supreme Court of South Carolina found the state-law claims time-barred. Although they would not have been barred under section 1367(d)’s tolling rule, the court held section 1367(d) unconstitutional as applied to claims brought in state court against a State’s political subdivisions.


Is 28 USC section 1367(d), which requires state statute of limitations to be tolled for the period during which a plaintiff’s cause of action had previously been pending in federal court, constitutional as applied to lawsuits brought against a State’s political subdivisions?

Media for Jinks v. Richland County, South Carolina

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 05, 2003 in Jinks v. Richland County, South Carolina

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – April 22, 2003 in Jinks v. Richland County, South Carolina

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the court number 02-258, Jinks against Richland County will be announced by Justice Scalia.

Antonin Scalia:

This case is here on certiorari to the Supreme Court of South Carolina.

For the reasons set forth in an opinion filed with the Clerk of the Court today, we reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of South Carolina and remand for proceedings not inconsistent with our opinion.

The Court’s decision is unanimous.

Justice Souter has filed a concurring opinion.