United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before me on the defendant, City of St. Louis's
(the “City”) motion to dismiss Counts II and
of the plaintiffs' claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). The plaintiffs bring a federal claim under the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), as well as two
related state law contract claims, stemming from the
plaintiffs' employment by the City. The plaintiffs'
claim they were not properly compensated for their overtime
work. The city is moving to dismiss the two state law claims.
following information is based on the complaint and construed
in the light most favorable to the Plaintiffs. Dennis
Tullock, Mark McLaughlin, and Bernard Crittenden all began
working for the City of St. Louis Water Division (the
“Water Division”) more than twenty years ago. The
city contracted with them to perform certain duties,
including installing, maintaining, and repairing water mains
and other components of the City's water distribution
system. They are compensated on an hourly basis and submit
their hours to their supervisors on a weekly or biweekly
plaintiffs are currently the only three water maintenance
supervisors employed by the city. They have routinely been
required to work in excess of 8-hours per day and 40-hours
per week. Additionally, they are required to be on call in
the evenings, in case there are water emergencies in the
city. Although the plaintiffs have been routinely required to
work overtime, they were not paid one and one-half times
their standard rate for these hours. Based on this failure,
the plaintiffs bring these claims for violation of FLSA,
quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment.
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to test the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. When considering a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, I must assume the factual allegations of the
complaint to be true and construe them in favor of the
plaintiff. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27
(1989). I am not, however, bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation. Bell Atlantic
Corporation v. Twombly, 555 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint
“must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.C.
662, 667, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (quoting Twombly, 555
U.S. at 570). Although “specific facts are not
necessary, ” the plaintiff must allege facts sufficient
to “give fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
City moves to dismiss the plaintiffs' state law claims
for quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. According
to the City, the plaintiffs failed to allege the existence of
a valid written contract between the parties as required by
Missouri law and the Charter of the City of St. Louis (the
Missouri law, contracts with municipalities must be in
writing. Specifically, the law states,
No county, city, town, village, school township, school
district or other municipal corporation shall make any
contract, unless the same shall be within the scope of its
powers or be expressly authorized by law, nor unless such
contract be made upon a consideration wholly to be performed
or executed subsequent to the making of the contract; and
such contract, including the consideration, shall be in
writing and dated when made, and shall be subscribed by the
parties thereto, or their agents authorized by law and duly
appointed and authorized in writing.
R.S.Mo § 432.070. “Moreover, equitable remedies
such as estoppel are not available to overcome the
requirements of § 432.070, even where the municipal
entity has received the benefit of the other party's
performance.” Ballman v. O'Fallon Fire Prot.
Dist., 459 S.W.3d 465, 467 (Mo.Ct.App. 2015) (internal
citations omitted). Therefore, in order to state a claim for
unjust enrichment or quantum meruit, the plaintiff
must plead that (1) there is a contract between the parties,
(2) that the contract is in writing and dated, (3) that the
contract is subscribed by the parties or their authorized
agents, (4), that the contract is within the scope of the
municipality's authority or expressly authorized by law,
and (5) that the contract was made solely based on
consideration to be performed after its execution. DeMar
v. Kansas City, MO., School Dist., 802 S.W.2d 537 (MO
Ct. App. 1991).
substantial compliance with R.S.Mo § 432.070 may be
sufficient to establish a valid contract. The doctrine of
substantial compliance applies when a formal contract is not
written, but the terms of the contract are memorialized in
another form that substantially complies with the statue.
SeePorter v. City of Lake Lotawana, 651
F.3d 894, 898 (8th Cir. 2011) First Nat'lBank of Stoutland v. Stoutland Sch. Dist. R2, 319
S.W.2d 570, 573 (Mo.1958). In order to establish substantial
compliance a party must, at a minimum, show that the
municipality had the authority to enter into the contract,
that there was valid ...