Schambach et al v. Mandeville City et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 11 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. The plaintiffs' claims against the State of Louisiana through its Department of Children and Family Services are hereby dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because it is entitled to sovereign immunity from suit. Signed by Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on 9/11/2020. (cwa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
FRANK SCHAMBACH, ET AL.
CITY OF MANDEVILLE, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
Local Rule 7.5 of the Eastern District of Louisiana requires
that memoranda in opposition to a motion be filed eight days prior
to the noticed submission date.
No memoranda in opposition to the
motion to dismiss by the State of Louisiana, through the Department
of Children and Family Services, which is noticed for submission
on September 16, 2020, has been submitted.
Accordingly, because the motion is unopposed, and further, it
appearing to the Court that the motion has merit, 1 IT IS ORDERED:
The plaintiffs, husband and wife, filed this civil rights lawsuit
seeking declaratory and injunctive relief along with monetary
damages against various defendants alleging that Mr. Schambach was
falsely arrested with and maliciously prosecuted for molestation
of his stepdaughter, who made the false allegation as a reaction
to parental discipline issues. One of the defendants, the State
of Louisiana, through its Department of Children and Family
Services, contends that dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) is
that the State of Louisiana’s motion to dismiss is hereby GRANTED
Louisiana through its Department of Children and Family Services
required because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over
the plaintiff’s claims. The Court agrees.
The Eleventh Amendment instructs that "[t]he Judicial Power
of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit
in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United
States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of
any foreign State." "Sovereign immunity is the privilege of the
sovereign not to be sued without its consent."
Va. Office for
Prot. & Advocacy v. Stewart, 131 S. Ct. 1632, 1637 (2011); Frew ex
rel. Frew v. Hawkins, 540 U.S. 431, 437 (2004)(citing Seminole
Tribe of Fla. v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 54 (1996)).
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction where the named
defendant is protected by Eleventh Amendment immunity.
Wagstaff v. U.S. Dep't of Educ., 509 F.3d 661, 664 (5th Cir.
2007)(per curiam). This jurisdictional bar applies regardless of
the nature of the relief sought and extends to a state’s agencies
and departments with identities sufficiently aligned with the
state. Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89,
100-01 (1984), superseded by statute on other grounds, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1367; Regents of the Univ. of California v. Doe, 519 U.S. 425,
429 (1997); Vogt v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Orleans Levee Dist., 294
F.3d 684, 688-89 (5th Cir. 2002)(“Even in cases where the State
itself is not named a defendant, the State’s Eleventh Amendment
immunity will extend to any state agency or other political entity
that is deemed the ‘alter ego’ or ‘arm’ of the State.”). There is
no dispute that the State’s Department of Children and Family
Services is an arm of the State.
Not only does the Eleventh Amendment preclude individuals
from suing a state in federal court for money damages, it also
bars injunctive and declaratory suits against the state, unless
the state consents to suit, or its immunity is otherwise overcome
by application of waiver, abrogation, or Ex parte Young doctrines.
See Halderman, 465 U.S. at 100-01; see also Cory v. White, 457
U.S. 85, 91 (1982). Here, the State does not consent to be sued
and declines to waive its sovereign immunity.
are hereby dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
because it is entitled to sovereign immunity from suit.
New Orleans, Louisiana, September 11, 2020
MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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