MISS JONES BAKING CO. was founded in August 2015 to provide consumers with a better way to bake. Hailed by the media as the millennial version of Betty Crocker, the company has garnered profiles in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, SF Chronicle, Vogue, Food and Wine, InStyle, and more. The company was first to market with organic ready-to-use frostings, and has gained distributed in over 2000 stores in less than one year. The current product line includes six varieties of organic ready-to-use frostings and six varieties of organic baking mixes.
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Sharon Maguire and written by Richard Curtis, Andrew Davies, and Helen Fielding. A co-production of the United Kingdom, United States and France, it is based on Fielding's 1996 novel of the same name, which is a reinterpretation of Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice. The adaptation stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, a 32-year-old British single woman, who writes a diary which focuses on the things she wishes to happen in her life. However, her life changes when two men vie for her affection, portrayed by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones appear in supporting roles. Production began in August 2000 and ended in November 2000, and took place largely on location in London and the home counties.
Zellweger's casting in late May 2000 concluded a two-year search. Producer Eric Fellner explained that she "brings enormous character and conviction to the part". Maguire said of Zellweger, "I saw in Renee a gift few people have, that she was able to straddle comedy and emotion." Zellweger worked on her accent with Barbara Berkery, who had helped Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love. She also gained 20 pounds (9 kg) for the part. To prepare for the role, Zellweger worked at the producers' request at London book publishers Picador as a trainee in the publicity department. Before the film was released, a considerable amount of controversy surrounded the casting of the American Zellweger as what some saw as a quintessentially British heroine. However, her performance, including her south-eastern English accent, is widely considered to be of a high standard.
In July 2000, the leading male roles were given to Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. The director of the film, Sharon Maguire, is one of Fielding's friends, on whom the film's character "Shazzer" (English slang for Sharon) was reportedly based. In the film, Shazzer is played by Sally Phillips.
Principal photography began on 1 August 2000 and concluded on 5 November 2000. The crew spent six weeks shooting in and around London. Locations used included Shad Thames where Bridget and Daniel have their first date, the Royal Courts of Justice, St Pancras railway station and Tower Bridge. Scenes were filmed at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire where Bridget and Daniel ventured to for their mini-break. Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire served as the Darcys' home. Stansted Airport doubled as JFK Airport in New York, while Syon House in Brentford featured as the venue for the anniversary party. The crew filmed for four days at Snowshill in Gloucestershire which featured as the home of Bridget Jones's family. After six weeks of shooting on location, the crew moved to Shepperton Studios in Surrey.
This cause is before the court on the motion of defendant Janet Autry to substitute the United States of America as a defendant pursuant to the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2675 and 2679, and to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff Brenda Jones has responded in opposition to the motion and has also filed a motion to remand this action to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, from which it was removed. Defendant Autry, in turn, has responded in opposition to plaintiff's motion, and the court, having considered the memoranda and submissions of the parties, concludes that defendant's motion to substitute and to dismiss is well taken and should be granted and that plaintiff's motion to remand is not well taken and should be denied.
According to her affidavit, on Wednesday, February 12, 1997, Autry was attempting to write a check at Wal-Mart when she realized that the wallet containing her credit cards and driver's license was missing from her purse. Although she initially thought that the wallet had fallen out of her purse at work and into her desk drawer, when she was unable to locate the wallet upon returning to work the next day, Autry began to suspect that it may have been stolen from her purse while she was away from her desk reviewing records on February 10. Autry *555 claims that she had possession of the wallet as late as Sunday afternoon, February 9, when she wrote a check and used her wallet for identification purposes. After that, though, she apparently returned home and did not leave again until she went to work the next day.
Subsequently, on April 5, 1999, the charges against plaintiff were dismissed for lack of speedy trial. A few months later, on November 9, 1999, plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, alleging that she had suffered great emotional and financial distress as a result of the negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, malicious and/or intentional false allegations made against her by Autry, Rack Room Shoes and John Does A and B. Plaintiff additionally claims to have suffered great humiliation, loss of liberty and embarrassment, for all of which she seeks to recover an unspecified amount of damages, *556 along with attorney's fees, interest and costs.
On December 22, 1999, Autry filed her notice of removal pursuant to the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988 (Westfall Act), 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d) (2), an amendment to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), basing federal jurisdiction upon the certification of scope of employment executed by the United States Attorney. On the same date, Autry filed the instant motion to substitute the United States of America in her stead as a defendant, also pursuant to the Westfall Act, and to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the FTCA, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2675(a) et seq. Plaintiff has responded by denying that Autry's actions were performed within the course and scope of her employment and seeking remand on that basis.
In her affidavit, Autry states that she notified the VA Police Service of the theft of her wallet because the theft occurred on VA premises and, in the annual mandatory training she had received at the VA, as well as in issues of "Straight Talk", the VA newsletter, she had been advised by the VA Police to notify them of any thefts occurring on VA premises. Regarding the charges brought against Jones with the Jackson Police Department, Autry further stated that VA Officer Williams advised her that he needed to take her downtown to the Jackson Police Department to file a report and that she rode with him in a VA Police emergency vehicle to do so. Officer Williams also accompanied Autry to the suppression hearing, again in a VA police vehicle. Additionally, all of Autry's activity concerning the reporting of the theft occurred during working hours. In support of her motion, Autry also submitted the affidavit of Richard P. Miller, the director of the Jackson Veterans Administration Medical Center (JVAMC), in which he confirms that Autry was acting in the course and scope of her employment when she reported the theft of her wallet to the VA Police Service. Miller additionally states that any employee of the JVAMC who witnesses or experiences the theft of any government or personal property while on JVAMC premises is expected to report such theft to the VA Police Service. According to Miller, "[t]he purpose of the VA Police Service is to provide a safe environment for the patients, visitors and employees who work at the JVAMC as well as to protect the life and property of the patients, visitors and employees;" thus, "any employee who witnesses or comes across any violation of the law on the VA premises would be remiss in not reporting it to the VA Police. The requirement of reporting such incidents is indeed a condition of employment at the VA." Miller furthermore affirms that Autry would have been expected to report the theft of her wallet to the VA Police Service, not the Jackson Police Department, and that she was not expected to take any personal leave in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case.
Based on the foregoing evidence, the court concludes that Autry was acting within the course and scope of her employment, both when she reported the theft of her wallet to the VA Police Service and when she filed a report with the Jackson Police Department at the behest of VA Officer Williams. According to the testimony of Miller, Johnson and Lynch, it is clear not only that Autry was authorized to report the criminal activity and to aid in its prosecution, but also that she had a duty to do so and that her actions were taken in furtherance of and to the benefit of JVAMC business in that they helped to bring about a safe and secure environment for both patients and employees. See Coleman v. United States, 91 F.3d 820, (6th Cir.1996) (recognizing, in a case reversing the lower court's decision to resubstitute defendant in the place of the United States, that "the duties of an employee include those that he or she is `expressly or impliedly' hired to perform" and noting that, although the employer's request that the employee file a criminal compliant against a co-worker was not an order from her employer, it nevertheless "suggests an intention on the part of the [employer] to bring the filing into the realm of [defendant's] job-related conduct"); see also Garcia v. Pizzolato, No. 99-CIV-0898 (RCC), 2000 WL 328818, at * 2 (S.D.N.Y. March 28, 2000) (granting defendant's cross-motion for certification that she was acting within the scope of her employment when filing a criminal complaint accusing co-worker of harassment and holding that defendant's actions advanced the interests of her employer, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), "in that it helped to ensure the expeditious removal of a potentially dangerous person working at the VAMC and amongst its clients"). 2b1af7f3a8