Ballenger v. Riley et al (INMATE 2)
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 7/3/2013. (wcl, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WILLIAM L. BALLENGER, #257 525, )
GOVERNOR BOB RILEY, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 2:10-CV-844-TFM
In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, Plaintiff, a state inmate, alleges that rights, privileges,
or immunities afforded him under the Constitution or law of the United States have been
abridged by Defendants.
The defendants are identified as former Governor Bob Riley,
former Attorney General Troy King, former Director of Public Safety - J. Christopher
Murphy, former Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections - Richard Allen,
Director of Central Records - Kathy Holt, and Director of Classification - Carolyn Golson.
Plaintiff requests trial by jury, damages, declaratory relief, preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief, and costs. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) and M.D. Ala. LR 73.1, the
parties have consented to a United States Magistrate Judge conducting all proceedings in this
case and ordering the entry of final judgment.
Defendants filed an answer, special report, supplemental special report, and relevant
supporting evidentiary materials addressing Plaintiff’s claims for relief. The court informed
Plaintiff that Defendants’ special report may, at any time, be treated as a motion for
summary judgment, and the court explained to Plaintiff the proper manner in which to
respond to a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff responded to the special report and
supplemental special report filed by Defendants.
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
Thus, this case is now pending on
Upon consideration of the motion, the
evidentiary materials filed in support thereof, and the Plaintiff’s opposition, the court
concludes that Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is due to be granted.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
“Summary judgment is appropriate ‘if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no
genuine [dispute] as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.’” Greenberg v. BellSouth Telecomm., Inc., 498 F.3d 1258, 1263 (11 th Cir.
2007) (per curiam) (citation to former rule omitted); Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 56(a) (“The court
shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”).1 The party moving
Effective December 1, 2010, Rule 56 was “revised to improve the procedures for presenting and
deciding summary-judgment motions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 Advisory Committee Notes. Under this revision,
“[s]ubdivision (a) carries forward the summary-judgment standard expressed in former subdivision (c),
changing only one word -- genuine ‘issue’ becomes genuine ‘dispute.’ ‘Dispute’ better reflects the focus of
a summary-judgment determination.“ Id. “‘Shall’ is also restored to express the direction to grant summary
judgment.” Id. Thus, although Rule 56 underwent stylistic changes, its substance remains the same and,
therefore, all cases citing the prior versions of the rule remain equally applicable to the current rule.
for summary judgment “always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court
of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the [record, including pleadings,
discovery materials and affidavits], which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue [- now dispute -] of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
The movant may meet this burden by presenting evidence indicating there is no dispute of
material fact or by showing that the nonmoving party has failed to present evidence in
support of some element of its case on which it bears the ultimate burden of proof. Id. at
Defendants have met their evidentiary burden and demonstrated the absence of any
genuine dispute of material fact with respect to the claims properly before this court. Thus,
the burden shifts to Plaintiff to establish, with appropriate evidence beyond the pleadings,
that a genuine dispute material to his case exists. Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604,
608 (11th Cir. 1991); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3) (“If a party fails to
properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another party’s assertion of
fact by [citing to materials in the record including affidavits, relevant documents or other
materials] the court may ... grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials -including the facts considered undisputed -- show that the movant is entitled to it.”) A
genuine dispute of material fact exists when the nonmoving party produces evidence that
would allow a reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict in its favor. Greenberg, 498 F.3d at
In civil actions filed by inmates, federal courts
must distinguish between evidence of disputed facts and disputed matters of
professional judgment. In respect to the latter, our inferences must accord
deference to the views of prison authorities. Unless a prisoner can point to
sufficient evidence regarding such issues of judgment to allow him to prevail
on the merits, he cannot prevail at the summary judgment stage.
Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 530 (2006) (internal citation omitted). Consequently, to
survive Defendants’ properly supported motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff is required
to produce “sufficient [favorable] evidence” which would be admissible at trial supporting
his claim(s) for relief. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Rule
56(e), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “If the evidence [on which the nonmoving party
relies] is merely colorable ... or is not significantly probative ... summary judgment may be
granted.” Id. at 249-250.
A plaintiff’s conclusory allegations do not provide sufficient evidence to oppose a
motion for summary judgment. Harris v. Ostrout, 65 F.3d 912 (11 th Cir. 1995); Fullman v.
Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 556-57 (11th Cir. 1984). Consequently, when a party fails to make
a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party’s case, and
on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial, summary judgment is due to be
granted in favor of the moving party. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322; Barnes v. Southwest
Forest Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607 (11th Cir. 1987). Where all the materials before the
court indicate that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that the party moving for
summary judgment is entitled to it as a matter of law, summary judgment is proper. Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 322; Everett v. Napper, 833 F.2d 1507, 1510 (11 th Cir. 1987).
Although factual inferences must be viewed in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and pro se complaints are entitled to liberal interpretation by the courts, a pro
se litigant does not escape the burden of establishing a genuine dispute of material fact.
Beard, 548 U.S. at 525; Brown v. Crawford, 906 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir. 1990). Thus,
Plaintiff’s pro se status alone does not mandate this court’s disregard of elementary
principles of production and proof in a civil case. In this case, Plaintiff fails to demonstrate
a requisite genuine dispute of material fact in order to preclude summary judgment.
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Elmore Correctional Facility in Elmore,
Alabama. The documents before the court reflect that he is serving a fifteen year sentence
for his first degree rape conviction entered against him by the Circuit Court for Cullman
County, Alabama. Plaintiff’s projected release date is November 11, 2022. (Doc. Nos. 1,
In the present action, Plaintiff alleges that the Alabama Community Notification Act
[“the Act” or “ACNA”], Ala. Code 1975 § 15-20-1 et seq. (1975, as amended), is
unconstitutional as applied to him. In support of the complaint, Plaintiff makes a variety of
allegations claiming abuse, harassment, discrimination, and general hardship based on
application to him of the ACNA. Plaintiff also asserts the following federal claims for
relief: 1) Defendants enactment, application, and enforcement of the ACNA violates his
substantive rights, privileges and immunities protected by the Constitution; 2) Defendants
enactment, application, and enforcement of the ACNA violates the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act [CRIPA], 42 U.S.C. § 1997, et seq.; 3) Defendants enactment,
application, and enforcement of the ACNA violates the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act [RLUIPA], 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc(1)(a), et seq.; 4) Defendants
enactment, application, and enforcement of the ACNA violates the Americans with
Disabilities Act [ ADA], 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.; and 5) Defendants enactment,
application, and enforcement of the ACNA violates the Alabama Religious Freedom
Amendment [ARFA], under art. I, § 3.01 of the Alabama Constitution. (Doc. No. 1.) In an
amendment to the complaint, Plaintiff complains that the State of Alabama does not provide
a classification system for sex offenders on its public registry which would allow them to be
grouped according to an individual assessment of dangerousness and risk of re-offending.
(Doc. No. 19.)
A. Suit Against Defendants in Their Official Capacity
To the extent Plaintiff seeks to sue Defendants in their official capacities, they are
immune from monetary damages. Official capacity lawsuits are “in all respects other than
name, . . . treated as a suit against the entity.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U. S. 159, 166
(1985). “A state official may not be sued in his official capacity unless the state has waived
its Eleventh Amendment immunity, see Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman,
465 U.S. 89, 100, 104 S.Ct. 900, 908, 79 L.Ed.2d 67 (1984), or Congress has abrogated the
state’s immunity, see Seminole Tribe v. Florida, [517 U.S. 44, 59], 116 S.Ct. 1114, 1125, 134
L.Ed.2d 252 (1996). Alabama has not waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity, see Carr
v. City of Florence, 916 F.2d 1521, 1525 (11th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted), and Congress
has not abrogated Alabama’s immunity. Therefore, Alabama state officials are immune from
claims brought against them in their official capacities.” Lancaster v. Monroe Cnty., 116
F.3d 1419, 1429 (11th Cir. 1997).
In light of the foregoing, it is clear that the defendants are state actors entitled to
sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment for claims seeking monetary damages
from them in their official capacities. Lancaster, 116 F.3d at 1429; Harbert Int’l, Inc. v.
James, 157 F.3d 1271, 1277 (11th Cir. 1998) (state officials sued in their official capacities
are protected from suit for damages under the Eleventh Amendment); Edwards v. Wallace
Cmty. Coll., 49 F.3d 1517, 1524 (11th Cir. 1995) (damages are unavailable from state official
sued in his official capacity).
B. The ACNA Claims
The Alabama Community Notification Act became effective in 1996. On July 1, 2011,
the Act was repealed by the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification
Act, Alabama Act No. 2011–640, § 49, Ala. Code § 15–20A–1, et seq., [“ASORCNA”].
ASORCNA now governs the legal registration and community notification requirements
applicable to adult sex offenders as defined in § 15-20A-4(1) and is “applicable to every
adult sex offender convicted of a sex offense as defined in Section 15-20A-5, without regard
to when his or her crime or crimes were committed or his or her duty to register arose.” Ala.
Code § 15-20A-3. Plaintiff’s first degree rape conviction subjects him to the provisions of
ASORCNA upon his release from incarceration.
As the ACNA was repealed by the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and
Community Notification Act. Ala. Code § 15–20A–1, et seq., the court must decide whether
repeal of the ACNA renders Plaintiff’s challenges to the statute moot. If repeal of the ACNA
has rendered Plaintiff’s challenges thereto moot, then such claims must be dismissed for lack
As explained, Plaintiff is currently imprisoned on his conviction for first degree rape.
Any past or current challenges Plaintiff seeks to make regarding the validity of the ACNA
and its applicability to his rape conviction and/or the Act’s potential future application to him
or enforcement against him are now moot due to repeal of the statute.
Article III of the United States Constitution confers jurisdiction on the district courts
to hear and determine “cases” or “controversies.” U.S. Const. Art. III, 2. Federal courts are
not permitted to rule upon questions which are hypothetical in nature or which do not affect
the rights of the parties in the case before the court. Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494
US. 472, 477 (1990).
This is because courts do not sit to render advisory opinions. North
Carolina v. Rice, 404 U. S. 244, 246 (1971). An actual controversy must exist at all times
when the case is pending. Steffel v. Thompson, 415 U. S. 452, 459 n.10 (1974).
A claim becomes moot when the controversy between the parties is no longer alive
because one party has no further concern in the outcome. Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S.
147 (1975); Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 95 (1968) (“Where the question sought to be
adjudicated has been mooted by developments subsequent to filing of the complaint, no
justiciable controversy is presented.”). “Article III requires that a plaintiff's claim be live not
just when he first brings suit, but throughout the litigation.” Tucker v. Phyfer, 819 F.2d 1030,
1034 (11th Cir. 1987). Because mootness is jurisdictional, dismissal is required when an
action is moot, as a decision in a moot action would be an impermissible advisory opinion.
Al Najjar v. Ashcroft, 273 F.3d 1330, 1336 (11 th Cir. 2001).
In Saladin v. Milledgeville, 812 F.2d 687, 693 (11th Cir. 1987), the Eleventh Circuit
Court of Appeals determined:
A case is moot when the issues presented are no longer “live” or the parties
lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome of the litigation, such as
where there is no reasonable expectation that the violation will occur again or
where interim relief or events have eradicated the effects of the alleged
“Generally, a challenge to the constitutionality of a statute is mooted by repeal of the
statute.” Coral Springs St. Sys., Inc. v. City of Sunrise, 371 F.3d 1320, 1329 (11 th Cir. 2004);
National Advertising Co. v. City of Miami, 402 F.3d 1329, 1332 (11th Cir. 2005) (“the repeal
or amendment of an allegedly unconstitutional statute moots legal challenges to the
legitimacy of the repealed legislation.”); Kremens v. Bartley, 431 U.S. 119, 128-29 (1977)
(holding moot a constitutional challenge to a state statute governing the involuntary
commitment of mentally ill minors, because the law had been replaced with a different
statute). Here, repeal of the ACNA has rendered Plaintiff’s requests for injunctive and
declaratory relief in relation thereto moot and deprives the court of jurisdiction.
The repeal of a challenged law does not necessarily moot a claim for damages by a
plaintiff alleging a past violation of his rights. Outdoor Media Group, Inc., v. City of
Beaumont, 506 F.3d 895, 902 (9th Cir. 2007). In this regard, however, the court must first
consider whether Plaintiff suffered any injury with respect to his challenges concerning
application to him of the ACNA as presented in the complaint. Artway v. Attorney General
of State of N.J., 81 F.3d 1235, 1246 (3rd Cir. 1996). The mere speculative threat of injury
is insufficient for Article III purposes. See Babbitt v. United Farm Workers Nat’l Union, 442
U.S. 289, 298, 99 S.Ct. 2301, 60 L.Ed.2d 895 (1979) (plaintiff who challenges state statute
must demonstrate realistic danger of sustaining direct injury due to enforcement of the statute
against him); Conner v. Sticher, 801 F.2d 1266, 1268 (11 th Cir. 1986) (plaintiffs’ subjective
belief harm may occur fails to implicate a constitutionally protected interest); Cotterall v.
Paul, 755 F.2d 777, 780 (11th Cir. 1985) (jurisdiction cannot be premised upon mere
Here, the record before the court fails to demonstrate that the provisions of the ACNA
were ever applied to Plaintiff. Plaintiff appears to base his claim for damages on the
potential threat of application of various provisions of the now-repealed statute. Plaintiff
may not, however, bring a prospective damage claims under § 1983. See Tanner Advertising
Group v. Fayette County, 451 F.3d 777, 786 (11th Cir. 2006). As explained, damages are
reserved for constitutional deprivations that have occurred, not those that are merely
speculative. Id. Accordingly, because there is no present case or controversy to support the
court’s jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s challenges to application of various provisions of the
ACNA to him, such claims shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
C. The Remaining Federal Causes of Action
Plaintiff maintains that by enacting, applying and enforcing the ACNA Defendants
willfully subjected him to and/or conspired to subject him to alleged violations of his
substantive rights, privileges and immunities protected by the Constitution, including various
rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well
rights protected under Art. 1, § 9, the Constitutional Rights of Incarcerated Persons Act
[“CRIPA”], 42 U.S.C. § 1997, et seq., the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act of 2000 [“RLUIPA”], 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc(1)(a), et seq., the Americans with Disabilities
Act [“ADA”], 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment
[“ARFA”], Art. I, § 3.01 of the Alabama Constitution. To the extent these allegations are not
subject to dismissal for the reasons previously set forth in this opinion, see infra pp. 7-11,
and to the extent Plaintiff may bring a cause of action under the amendments and/or Acts
delineated above, his contentions are merely broad assertions of constitutional violations
without any facts to support his asseverations that Defendants violated or conspired to violate
his rights under the Constitution and stated statutory provisions through enactment,
application and/or enforcement of the ACNA.2 See Fullman v. Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 55657 (11th Cir. 1984) (holding that a conspiracy allegation that is vague and conclusory fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted and is subject to dismissal). That is, Plaintiff’s
complaint fails to identify any specific facts that allow the court to make a plausible inference
that any of the conduct or actions he attributes to the named defendants amounted to a
violation of his constitutional rights. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937,
1949 (2009) (“[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in
a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
With respect to Plaintiff’s challenge to Defendants “enactment” of the ACNA, none of the named
Defendants are or were responsible for enacting state laws. Even if Plaintiff had named a proper defendant,
the Supreme Court has “recognized that state legislators enjoy common-law immunity from liability for their
legislative acts” and that this immunity can shield officials against suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
seeking damages, declaratory relief, or injunctive relief. Supreme Court of Va. v. Consumers Union of the
U.S., Inc., 446 U.S. 719, 732 (1980) (citing Tenney v. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367 (1951)); see also Yeldell v.
Cooper Green Hosp., Inc., 956 F.2d 1056, 1062 (11th Cir. 1992) (legislative immunity applies to “those acts
which are ‘necessary to preserve the integrity of the legislative process.’”) (quoting United States v.
Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 517 (1972)). In Scott v. Taylor, 405 F.3d 1251, 1257 (11th Cir. 2005), the Eleventh
Circuit concluded that state legislators who act in their legislative capacities are entitled to absolute
legislative immunity whether a suit seeks damages or prospective relief and regardless of whether the state
legislators are named in their individual or official capacity.
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”); see also Marsh
v. Butler County, 268 F.3d 1014, 1036 n.16 (11th Cir. 2001) (“[U]nsupported conclusions of
law or of mixed fact and law have long been recognized not to prevent a Rule 12(b)(6)
dismissal.”). “[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’ A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp., v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 555, 556 (2007)). Plaintiff cannot rely on subjective
suspicions and unsupported speculation but must provide sufficient facts to show how the
conduct or actions of a defendant amounted to a violation of his constitutional rights. Id.
Further, “[b]ecause vicarious liability is inapplicable to ... [section] 1983 suits, a plaintiff
must plead that each Government official defendant, through the official’s own individual
actions, has violated the Constitution.” Id. at 1948 (emphasis added). A plaintiff must plead
that a defendant acted with “purpose rather than knowledge” to satisfy this standard. Id. at
Here, Plaintiff fails to specify the injury or harm caused by any of Defendants’
allegedly unconstitutional conduct and only makes conclusory suppositions as to the potential
impact he believed the “sex offender laws” would have on him following his release from
prison. (See Doc. No. 1, Ballenger Affidavit.) Plaintiff’s allegations of injury are speculative
at best, however, and coupled with his broad and unsubstantiated assertions of constitutional
violations against the named defendants without any factual development to support his
claims against them is insufficient to defeat their motion for summary judgment. The court,
therefore, concludes that Defendants’ dispositive motion shall be granted with respect to the
allegations set forth above to the extent they are not otherwise subject to dismissal for lack
of jurisdiction.3 Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Harris, 65 F.3d at 916.
D. The Sex Offender Registry Classification Claim
In an amendment to the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants should institute
a tiered classification system based on a convicted sex offender’s individual dangerousness.
Plaintiff argues that the failure of the State of Alabama to have such a classification system
on its website registry of sex offenders violates his constitutional rights. That is, Plaintiff
maintains that without providing information on the registry of sex offenders as to a
registrant’s dangerousness, those presumably not dangerous must endure the stigma of the
general public erroneously thinking otherwise. (Doc. No. 19.)
The court notes Plaintiff’s assertion that Defendants conspired to violate his rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1985, as well as under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Under § 1985, Plaintiff must establish (a) the existence of a
conspiracy; (b) that Defendants intended to deny Plaintiff of his equal protection of laws, or equal privileges
and immunities under the laws; (c) injury or deprivation of a federally-protected right; (d) an overt act in
furtherance of the object of the conspiracy; and (e) some racial or otherwise class-based invidiously
discriminatory animus behind the conspirator’s action. See Arnold v. Board of Education of Escambia
County, Alabama, 880 F.2d 305, 317-318 (11th Cir. 1989), overruled on other grounds by Leatherman v.
Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163 (1993). As the court has already
determined, Plaintiff’s allegations of a conspiracy between Defendants are conclusory, vague, and general
which is insufficient. Bendiburg v. Dempsey, 909 F.2d 463, 468 (11th Cir.1990); Fullman, 739 F.2d at 556-57.
Additionally, Plaintiff has not alleged that Defendants’ conduct was motivated by race or any other classbased invidiously discriminatory animus. Consequently, Plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief under § 1985.
In Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1, 123 S.Ct. 1160, 155
L.Ed.2d 98 (2003), the Court addressed a Fourteenth Amendment Due Process challenge to
Connecticut’s sex offender registration and notification law on grounds that it did not provide
registrants a pre-deprivation hearing to determine whether they were currently dangerous.
Reasoning that “due process does not require the opportunity to prove a fact that is not
material to the State’s statutory scheme,” Id. at 4, and that Connecticut’s registration
requirement was “based on the fact of previous conviction, not the fact of current
dangerousness,” the Supreme Court found that “due process does not entitle [a defendant]
to a hearing....” Id. at 4, 7.
Here, Plaintiff’s contention that he has a constitutional right not to be stigmatized due
to omission of a registrant’s dangerousness on Alabama’s sex offender registry and website
listings entitles him to no relief. Although Plaintiff does not assert violation of a specific
federal constitutional right with regard to this claim, the court understands him as implicating
the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause. The law is well-settled, however, that
damage to reputation alone does not implicate a protected liberty or property interest. See
Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 701 (1976). In order for a defamation claim to be viable under
§ 1983, Plaintiff must show that the “governmental action taken ... deprived [him] of a right
previously held under state law.” Id. at 708. That is, in addition to showing reputational
harm, Plaintiff must also show an alteration or extinguishment of an interest protected by the
Constitution or state law. Id. at 708-09. This is known as the “stigma-plus” test. Id. at 711.
The Doe Court applied the “stigma-plus” test in context of the challenge to
Connecticut’s sex offender registry law. As noted, the Court determined that because the
basis of Connecticut’s registration requirement is the fact of conviction alone, dangerousness
and the opportunity to be heard on the issue of dangerousness are simply not material issues.
See Doe, at 7-8. Alabama’s current sex offender website registry is based upon the fact of
an offender’s conviction. There is no indicator or statement regarding the dangerousness of
the persons listed on the registry. See Alabama Department of Public Safety Community
Information Center, available at http://dps.alabama.gov. See Ala. Code § 15-20A-8.4
Further, there is no indicator on the website that the State has made an individual
determination regarding a registrant’s dangerousness and cautions persons viewing the site
that “the information contained on th[e] site may not reflect the current residence, status, or
other information regarding the offender.” See Id. Thus, similar to the Connecticut Dept.
of Public Safety v. Doe Court, the State “has decided that the registry of information of all
sex offenders - currently dangerous or not - must be publicly disclosed” and “states are not
barred by principles of ‘procedural due process’ from drawing such classifications.” Id. 538
U.S. at 11 (emphasis in original). Based on the foregoing, Defendants are entitled to
summary judgment on Plaintiff’s sex offender registry classification claim.
Ala. Code § 15-20A-8 concerns registration information for the public registry website and
delineates the information which is to be provided.
E. The Exercise of Supplemental Jurisdiction
Plaintiff seeks to invoke the supplemental jurisdiction of this court with respect to his
claims arising under state law. In the posture of this case, however, the exercise of such
jurisdiction is inappropriate.
For a federal court “[t]o exercise [supplemental] jurisdiction over state law claims not
otherwise cognizable in federal court, ‘the court must have jurisdiction over a substantial
federal claim and the federal and state claims must derive from a “common nucleus of
operative fact.”’” L.A. Draper and Son v. Wheelabrator Frye, Inc., 735 F.2d 414, 427 (11 th
Cir. 1984). The exercise of supplemental jurisdiction is discretionary. United Mine Workers
v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715 (1966). “If the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial, Gibbs
strongly encourages or even requires dismissal of the state claims.” L.A. Draper and Son,
735 F.2d at 428. In view of this court's resolution of the federal claims presented in the
complaint, Plaintiff’s supplemental state law claims shall be dismissed. Gibbs, 383 U.S. at
726 (if the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial, the state claims should be dismissed as
well); see also Ray v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 677 F.2d 818 (11th Cir. 1982).
A separate Order follows.
Done, this 3rd day of July 2013.
/s/Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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