438 U.S. 781 (1978), 77-1107, Alabama v. Pugh

Docket Nº:No. 77-1107
Citation:438 U.S. 781, 98 S.Ct. 3057, 57 L.Ed.2d 1114
Party Name:Alabama v. Pugh
Case Date:July 03, 1978
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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438 U.S. 781 (1978)

98 S.Ct. 3057, 57 L.Ed.2d 1114

Alabama

v.

Pugh

No. 77-1107

United States Supreme Court

July 3, 1978

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

In respondent present and former prison inmates' suit against petitioners (the State of Alabama, the Alabama Board of Corrections, and several prison officials), the District Court issued an injunction prescribing measures to eradicate cruel and unusual punishment in the Alabama prison system. The Court of Appeals affirmed with some modifications.

Held: The District Court's injunction, insofar as it was issued against the State and the Board of Corrections, violates the State's Eleventh Amendment immunity absent the State's consent to suit.

Certiorari granted; 559 F.2d 283, reversed in part and remanded.

Per curiam opinion.

PER CURIAM.

Respondents, inmates or former inmates of the Alabama prison system, sued petitioners, who include the State of Alabama and the Alabama Board of Corrections as well as a number of Alabama officials responsible for the administration of its prisons, alleging that conditions in Alabama prisons constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The United States District Court agreed, and issued an order prescribing measures designed to eradicate cruel and unusual punishment in the Alabama prison system. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, but modified some aspects of the order which it believed exceeded the limits of the appropriate exercise of the court's remedial powers. 559 F.2d 283.

Among the claims raised here by petitioners is that the issuance of a mandatory injunction against the State of Alabama and the Alabama Board of Corrections is unconstitutional because the Eleventh Amendment prohibits federal courts from entertaining suits by private parties against States and their agencies. The Court of Appeals did not address this contention, perhaps because it was of the view that, in light of

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the numerous individual defendants in the case, dismissal as to these two defendants would not affect the scope of the injunction. There can be no doubt, however, that suit against the State and its Board of Corrections is barred by the Eleventh Amendment, unless Alabama has consented to the filing of such a suit. Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651 (1974); Ford Motor Co. v. Department of Treasury, 323 U.S. 459 (1945); [98 S.Ct. 30...

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