McKitt v. Alabama Department of Transportation, et al
ORDER that Defendants' 6 Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as further set out in the order. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 8/24/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(dmn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
REGINALD J. McKITT,
ALABAMA DEP’T OF
TRANSPORTATION, et al.,
) CASE NO. 2:11-CV-1041-WKW
Before the court is Defendants Alabama Department of Transportation
(“ALDOT”) and John Cooper’s Motion to Dismiss, filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)
and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Docs. # 6–7.) Defendants
present three grounds for dismissal of specified claims alleging race discrimination
and retaliation, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. First, Defendants contend
that Plaintiff’s § 1981/§ 1983 claims (Counts I and II) are due to be dismissed on
Eleventh Amendment immunity grounds. Second, Defendants assert that Plaintiff’s
§ 1983 Fourteenth Amendment claim (Count II) is due to be dismissed for failure to
state a claim. Third, Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s Title VII claim (Count III)
against Mr. Cooper is due to be dismissed because ALDOT is named and, as
Plaintiff’s employer, is the proper defendant.
Plaintiff responds that as to Mr. Cooper, Count I is brought against him only in
his official capacity for declaratory and injunctive relief. (Pl.’s Resp. 2 (Doc. # 11);
see also Compl. ¶ 7 (alleging that Mr. Cooper “is named only in his official capacity”
as ALDOT’s director).) He also suggests, but without citation to authority, that
ALDOT is a proper defendant in Count I for prospective equitable relief. The court
agrees that a state defendant sued in his or her official capacity for prospective
declaratory or injunctive relief is not immune from suit under the Eleventh
See Fla. Ass’n of Rehab. Facilities v. Fla. Dep’t of Health &
Rehabilitative Serv., 225 F.3d 1208, 1220 (11th Cir. 2000).
To this extent,
Defendants’ motion to dismiss the claim in Count I against Mr. Cooper in his official
capacity for prospective equitable relief is due to be denied. However, pursuant to the
Eleventh Amendment, ALDOT “cannot be sued for prospective injunctive relief in
federal court.” R.E. Grills Constr. Co. v. Ala. Dep’t of Transp., 198 F. Supp. 2d 1297,
1300 (N.D. Ala. 2002); see also Powers v. CSX Transp., Inc., 105 F. Supp. 2d 1295,
1299–1301 (S.D. Ala. 2000) (deciding that ALDOT is an arm of the state that is
protected by the Eleventh Amendment). Accordingly, the § 1981/§ 1983 claim in
Count I against ALDOT is due to be dismissed.
Plaintiff further responds that he “voluntarily agrees to the dismissal of [Count
II]” and that he agrees that Mr. Cooper “is not a proper defendant.” (Pl.’s Resp. 4.)
Based upon Plaintiff’s representations, these claims are due to be dismissed.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that Defendants’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED
in part and DENIED in part as follows:
GRANTED to the extent that the § 1981/§1983 claim in Count I against
ALDOT is DISMISSED based upon the Eleventh Amendment;
DENIED as to the claim in Count I against Mr. Cooper in his official
capacity for prospective declaratory and injunctive relief, but GRANTED to the extent
that Count I asserts an official capacity claim against Mr. Cooper for monetary
GRANTED to the extent that Count II is DISMISSED; and
GRANTED to the extent that the Title VII claim in Count III against Mr.
Cooper is DISMISSED.
DONE this 24th day of August, 2012.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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