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Marrero-Gutierrez v. Molina

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
491 F.3d 1 (2007)


Facts

Enid Marrero-Gutierrez and Alejandro Bou Santiago (public employees) (plaintiffs) were former employees of the Housing Department of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and active members of the New Progressive Party (NPP). The public employees brought suit against the housing department and a number of its employees (defendants) for political discrimination, various violations of the constitution, and state-law claims. The public employees alleged that both were terminated from their positions with the housing department after the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), the political adversary of the NPP, won control of the Puerto Rican government and overhauled the housing department. The housing department successfully moved to dismiss the claims against it on Eleventh Amendment grounds. The public employees did not appeal this ruling. Thereafter, upon motions filed by both parties, the district court granted the housing department’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, raising the defense of failure to state a claim. The public employees appealed, arguing that the district court erred in allowing the housing department’s motion for judgment on the pleadings because the housing department had waived the grounds upon which the district court relied, by failing to consolidate its defenses and raise them in the first motion to dismiss.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Young, J.)

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