538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976), 74-3467, Jagnandan v. Giles

Docket Nº74-3467.
Citation538 F.2d 1166
Party NameEdward R. JAGNANDAN et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. William L. GILES, President, Mississippi State University, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case DateSeptember 20, 1976
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 1166

538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976)

Edward R. JAGNANDAN et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

William L. GILES, President, Mississippi State University,

et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 74-3467.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

September 20, 1976

Page 1167

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1168

Mark Shenfield, Jackson, Miss., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Ed Davis Noble, Jr., Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, Miss., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Before BROWN, Chief Judge, and GOLDBERG and RONEY, Circuit Judges.

RONEY, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff Reverend W. L. Jagnandan, on behalf of himself and his two sons, brought a class action to challenge the constitutionality of a Mississippi statute which classified all alien students, even Mississippi residents,

Page 1169

as nonresidents for tuition and fee purposes at state institutions of higher learning. A three-judge district court denied the class action request, declared the statute unconstitutional as being in contravention of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and granted injunctive relief. The court refused, however, to award plaintiffs reimbursement for the $3,495.00 in tuition and fees they had paid in excess of the amounts required of resident students, holding that such relief is barred by the Eleventh Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 94 S.Ct. 1347, 39 L.Ed.2d 662 (1974). Jagnandan v. Giles, 379 F.Supp. 1178 (N.D.Miss.1974). Plaintiffs appeal the denial of reimbursement for the excess tuition and fees paid pursuant to the unconstitutional statute. Plaintiffs do not appeal the denial of their class action request, nor do the defendants appeal from the grant of declaratory and injunctive relief as to the statute's unconstitutionality.

This appeal presents important questions involving (1) the scope of our jurisdiction to review decisions of three-judge district courts, and (2) the scope of the Eleventh Amendment's prohibition against reimbursement of overpayments collected under an unconstitutional statute. As to the first question, we conclude that we do have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. On the merits, we hold that the Eleventh Amendment bars suits in federal court to recover excess tuition paid pursuant to an unconstitutional statute, and affirm the three-judge district court.

The Jagnandans were citizens of the Republic of Guyana (formerly British Guiana in South America) lawfully admitted into this country as aliens with permanent resident classifications. 1 Since September 1969 they have lived in West Point, Mississippi, where Reverend Jagnandan is a minister of a local church. Reverend Jagnandan pays Mississippi income taxes and owns an automobile registered in Mississippi. All three plaintiffs hold Mississippi driver's licenses. Each testified without reservation or qualification that he had no present intention of leaving the state, his purpose being to reside indefinitely in Mississippi.

The two sons, Edward R. Jagnandan and Leonard Susil Jagnandan, enrolled as full time students at Mississippi State University in the fall of 1970. Reverend Jagnandan himself enrolled at the University in the spring of 1972 as a candidate for a master's degree. The three were required to pay nonresident tuition and fees pursuant to a Mississippi statute classifying all aliens as nonresidents for tuition and fee purposes at state institutions of higher learning. 2

In September 1970, contemporaneous with his sons' matriculations at Mississippi State, Reverend Jagnandan sought to establish with University officials his family's eligibility as state residents for tuition and fee purposes. Plaintiffs fully exhausted their opportunity for administrative relief and, upon being notified that they were ineligible for resident tuition rates, instituted this federal action.

JURISDICTION

Congress has provided that suits seeking injunctive relief against the enforcement of state statutes by state officers must be heard and determined in the first instance by a specifically constituted district court of three judges, at least one of whom must be a circuit judge. 28 U.S.C.A. § 2281. Appeals lie directly to the Supreme Court from orders of three-judge courts "granting or denying, . . . an interlocutory

Page 1170

or permanent injunction . . . ." 28 U.S.C.A. § 1253. 3 Courts of appeals have jurisdiction over all appeals excepting those where direct review may be had in the Supreme Court. 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 1291 and 1292(a)(1).

Although this statutory scheme is simple enough to describe, it has proved to be far from simple in its operation and has "given rise to bewildering problems in the area of appellate review." 9 J. Moore, Federal Practice P 110.03(3), at 70 (2d ed. 1975). Professor Wright has observed that the appellate rules relating to three-judge courts "are so complex as to be virtually beyond belief." C. Wright, Handbook of the Law of Federal Courts § 50, at 193 (2d ed. 1970). The Supreme Court itself has recognized that "(t) hese procedural statutes are very awkwardly drafted, and in struggling to make workable sense of them, the Court has not infrequently been induced to retrace its steps." Gonzalez v. Automatic Employees Credit Union, 419 U.S. 90, 95, 95 S.Ct. 289, 293, 42 L.Ed.2d 249 (1974) (footnotes omitted). This Court also has commented on the problems which arise when working in this area, noting that "the jurisdiction of three-judge courts and appellate jurisdiction arising from their decisions is a treacherous and fluid area of our jurisprudence." Wernick v. Mathews, 524 F.2d 543, 545 (5th Cir. 1975).

Last term the Supreme Court attempted to clarify the law in this confused area. In two cases, Gonzalez v. Automatic Employees Credit Union, supra, 419 U.S. 90, 95 S.Ct. 289, 42 L.Ed.2d 249 (1974), and MTM, Inc. v. Baxley, 420 U.S. 799, 95 S.Ct. 1278, 43 L.Ed.2d 636 (1975), the Court restricted the scope of Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1253 to situations involving denial of injunctions.

In Gonzalez, the Court unanimously held that jurisdiction over an appeal from an order of a three-judge court dismissing a complaint for lack of standing was vested in the courts of appeals. Although the Court explored the question of whether an order of a three-judge court "denies" an injunction, for purposes of 28 U.S.C.A. § 1253, where there is no adverse resolution of the constitutional claims presented, it reserved determination of that issue and rested its decision on a different ground. The decision was based, at least partially, on the reasoning that a three-judge court is not required and should not be convened when the district court lacked jurisdiction of the complaint or when the claim is not justifiably in the federal court. 419 U.S. at 100, 95 S.Ct. 289 citing Ex parte Poresky, 290 U.S. 30, 31, 54 S.Ct. 3, 78 L.Ed. 152 (1933). The Court noted that if a single judge had in fact issued the order of dismissal for lack of standing, no direct appeal to the Supreme Court would have been allowed. 4 Thus, it was "mere convenience or happenstance" that a three-judge court had ruled on the standing issue, and to avoid a fortuitous direct appeal, the Court held

that when a three-judge court denies a plaintiff injunctive relief on grounds which, if sound, would have justified dissolution of the court as to that plaintiff, or a refusal to request the convention of a three-judge court ab initio, review of the denial is available only in the court of appeals.

Gonzalez v. Automatic Employees Credit Union, supra, 419 U.S. at 101, 95 S.Ct. at 296.

Three months later, in MTM, Inc. v. Baxley, supra, 420 U.S. 799, 95 S.Ct. 1278, 43 L.Ed.2d 636 (1975), the Court again considered the reach of its jurisdiction under § 1253. Directly addressing the question it reserved in Gonzalez, the Court, with Justice White concurring only in the result and Justice Douglas dissenting, held that direct

Page 1171

appeal lies from a three-judge court order denying injunctive relief only when the order is based on the merits of the constitutional attack against the statute. Therefore, since in MTM, Inc. the three-judge court had dismissed the suit under the comity doctrine of Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669 (1971), and did not reach the merits of the case, the Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction over the direct appeal.

Although in each case the Supreme Court's decision was meant to limit its review under § 1253, the practical effect of the two cases may differ in particular situations.

Under Gonzalez, the question of Supreme Court appealability turns on the power possessed by a single district judge. If a three-judge court denies an injunction on a ground within the decisional province of a single judge, review of the three-judge denial must be in the court of appeals. By contrast, MTM focuses on whether the three-judge court's denial of an injunction was grounded in a decision on the constitutional merits.

The Supreme Court: 1974 Term, 89 Harv.L.Rev. 1, 187 (1975). These differing approaches raise the question of whether MTM, Inc. supplements Gonzalez, or subsumes it.

These two decisions undoubtedly will serve in most cases to make more certain the proper forum in which an appeal of an order of a three-judge court should be taken. In this particular case, however, we are unsure as to whether jurisdiction of the appeal lies in this Court or in the Supreme Court. Under the Gonzalez standard it would appear that we properly have jurisdiction of the case, since the appealed order denying reimbursement does not involve a question of injunctive relief and thus is not one which had to be made by a three-judge court. It can be argued, however, that the question of reimbursement was so integrally...

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122 practice notes
  • 670 F.Supp. 1379 (E.D.Tenn. 1987), Civ. 3-87-237, University of Tennessee v. United States Fidelity & Guar. Co.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Tennessee
    • 12 Junio 1987
    ...of Washington, 740 F.2d 686 (9th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1036, 105 S.Ct. 511, 83 L.Ed.2d 401 (1984); Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977) (Mississippi State University); Long v. Richardson, 525 F.2d 7......
  • 798 F.2d 736 (5th Cir. 1986), 85-1249, Clark v. Tarrant County, Tex.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • 27 Agosto 1986
    ...will not be paid out of state funds and, therefore, the Eleventh Amendment does not bar the suit. However, in Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir.1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977), we held that the fact that a payment could come from tuition fee......
  • 756 F.2d 1087 (5th Cir. 1985), 84-4109, Papasan v. United States
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • 5 Abril 1985
    ...524 F.2d 928, 929 (5th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 438 U.S. 904, 98 S.Ct. 3121, 57 L.Ed.2d 1146 (1978). 16 Cf. Jagnandon v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166, 1174 (5th Cir.1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977) (Mississippi State University is an arm of state). See also M......
  • 492 F.Supp. 265 (S.D.Tex. 1980), Civ. A. H-79-943, Zentgraf v. Texas A & M University
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 5th Circuit Southern District of Texas
    • 4 Junio 1980
    ...by state funds, the suit is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See, Quern v. Jordan, supra; Edelman v. Jordan, supra; Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 In order to ascertain whether the state is the real party in int......
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116 cases
  • 670 F.Supp. 1379 (E.D.Tenn. 1987), Civ. 3-87-237, University of Tennessee v. United States Fidelity & Guar. Co.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Tennessee
    • 12 Junio 1987
    ...of Washington, 740 F.2d 686 (9th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1036, 105 S.Ct. 511, 83 L.Ed.2d 401 (1984); Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977) (Mississippi State University); Long v. Richardson, 525 F.2d 7......
  • 798 F.2d 736 (5th Cir. 1986), 85-1249, Clark v. Tarrant County, Tex.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • 27 Agosto 1986
    ...will not be paid out of state funds and, therefore, the Eleventh Amendment does not bar the suit. However, in Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir.1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977), we held that the fact that a payment could come from tuition fee......
  • 756 F.2d 1087 (5th Cir. 1985), 84-4109, Papasan v. United States
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • 5 Abril 1985
    ...524 F.2d 928, 929 (5th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 438 U.S. 904, 98 S.Ct. 3121, 57 L.Ed.2d 1146 (1978). 16 Cf. Jagnandon v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166, 1174 (5th Cir.1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 (1977) (Mississippi State University is an arm of state). See also M......
  • 492 F.Supp. 265 (S.D.Tex. 1980), Civ. A. H-79-943, Zentgraf v. Texas A & M University
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 5th Circuit Southern District of Texas
    • 4 Junio 1980
    ...by state funds, the suit is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See, Quern v. Jordan, supra; Edelman v. Jordan, supra; Jagnandan v. Giles, 538 F.2d 1166 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910, 97 S.Ct. 2959, 53 L.Ed.2d 1083 In order to ascertain whether the state is the real party in int......
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