Cheatham v. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., No. 74-1243

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HAYNSWORTH, Chief Circuit Judge, and WINTER and CRAVEN; CRAVEN
Citation501 F.2d 1346
Parties21 Wage & Hour Cas. (BN 970, 74 Lab.Cas. P 33,103 Milton O. CHEATHAM, Appellant, v. VIRGINIA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 74-1243
Decision Date01 August 1974

Page 1346

501 F.2d 1346
21 Wage & Hour Cas. (BN 970, 74 Lab.Cas. P 33,103
Milton O. CHEATHAM, Appellant,
v.
VIRGINIA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD, Appellee.
No. 74-1243.
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.
Argued June 3, 1974.
Decided Aug. 1, 1974.

Edwin M. Young, Richmond, Va., for appellant.

Henry M. Massie, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen. of Virginia (Andrew P. Miller, Atty. Gen. of Virginia, on brief), for appellee.

Page 1347

Before HAYNSWORTH, Chief Circuit Judge, and WINTER and CRAVEN, circuit judges.

CRAVEN, Circuit Judge:

Milton O. Cheatham brought suit versus the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia alleging that his discharge from employment for failure to make reasonable provision for payment of his just debts was in violation of Section 304(a) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1674(a). 1 The district court dismissed the action on the ground that the Board, an agency of the state, was immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment in the absence of a showing that it had consented to suit. Cheatham has appealed.

While appellant raises interesting questions as to whether the state has waived either explicitly 2 or constructively 3 its Eleventh Amendment immunity and whether a private cause of action should be implied under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 4 we find decision of these questions unnecessary to the disposition of the case.

Even if we assume that the Act created a cause of action for private parties and the Board was amenable to suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment the complaint is defective on its face. Section 304(a) of the Act protects an employee from discharge where his earnings have been garnished 'for any one indebtedness.' It does not protect him where there have been, as here, multiple garnishments based on more than a single indebtedness. Nor does the Act purport to wipe the slate clean by defining 'garnishments' to mean 'garnishments after July 1, 1970.' 5 Brennan v. General Telephone Co. of Florida, 488 F.2d 157 (5th Cir. 1973). Since the complaint does not state a claim upon which relief could be granted, the district court's dismissal was proper.

Affirmed.

---------------

1 Section 304(a) provides:

No employer may discharge any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment for any one indebtedness.

2 See Va.Code 4-12, 2.1-223.1 and 8-752. See also...

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4 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Jewell, No. 74-2832
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 27, 1976
    ..."The government is not required to prove that the defendant actually knew the exact nature of the substance with which he was dealing." 501 F.2d at 1346. We restrict Davis to the principle that a defendant who has knowledge that he possesses a controlled substance may have the state of mind......
  • U.S. v. Lopez-Martinez, LOPEZ-MARTINE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 10, 1984
    ...The government is not required to prove that the defendant actually knew the exact nature of the substance with which he was dealing. (501 F.2d at 1346.) In United States v. Jewell, 9 Cir., in banc, 1976, 532 F.2d 697, 698, we said: "we are unanimously of the view" that Davis properly so he......
  • Dull v. Advance Mepco Cent. Lab, Inc., No. 88-2166
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • June 27, 1989
    ...See, e.g., Stewart v. Travelers Corporation, 503 F.2d 108, 113 (9th Cir.1974); Cheatham v. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 501 F.2d 1346, 1347 (4th Cir.1974). Dull, relying on Wandry v. Bull's Eye Credit, 129 Wis.2d 37, 384 N.W.2d 325 (1986), next argues that the trial court erre......
  • Mitchell v. Tower Auto. Operations USA I, LLC, CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:12CV403CWR-FKB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • February 12, 2014
    ...he has multiple garnishments, or instances of indebtedness. Docket No. 14, at 6 (citing Cheatham v. Va. Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., 501 F.2d 1346, 1347 (4th Cir. 1974)). The Fifth Circuit has concurred with this principle in Brennan v. Gen. Tel. Co. of Fla., 488 F.2d 157 (5th Cir. 1973)......
4 cases
  • U.S. v. Jewell, No. 74-2832
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 27, 1976
    ..."The government is not required to prove that the defendant actually knew the exact nature of the substance with which he was dealing." 501 F.2d at 1346. We restrict Davis to the principle that a defendant who has knowledge that he possesses a controlled substance may have the state of mind......
  • U.S. v. Lopez-Martinez, LOPEZ-MARTINE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 10, 1984
    ...The government is not required to prove that the defendant actually knew the exact nature of the substance with which he was dealing. (501 F.2d at 1346.) In United States v. Jewell, 9 Cir., in banc, 1976, 532 F.2d 697, 698, we said: "we are unanimously of the view" that Davis properly so he......
  • Dull v. Advance Mepco Cent. Lab, Inc., No. 88-2166
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • June 27, 1989
    ...See, e.g., Stewart v. Travelers Corporation, 503 F.2d 108, 113 (9th Cir.1974); Cheatham v. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 501 F.2d 1346, 1347 (4th Cir.1974). Dull, relying on Wandry v. Bull's Eye Credit, 129 Wis.2d 37, 384 N.W.2d 325 (1986), next argues that the trial court erre......
  • Mitchell v. Tower Auto. Operations USA I, LLC, CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:12CV403CWR-FKB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • February 12, 2014
    ...he has multiple garnishments, or instances of indebtedness. Docket No. 14, at 6 (citing Cheatham v. Va. Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., 501 F.2d 1346, 1347 (4th Cir. 1974)). The Fifth Circuit has concurred with this principle in Brennan v. Gen. Tel. Co. of Fla., 488 F.2d 157 (5th Cir. 1973)......

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