NAACP v. State of Cal.

Decision Date03 April 1981
Docket NumberCiv.No. S-79-857 MLS.
Citation511 F. Supp. 1244
PartiesNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR the ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE, a Corporation; Lukrieta Littlejohn, a Minor, by and through Carol Littlejohn, her Guardian Ad Litem; Angela Burford, a Minor, by and through Mattie Burford, her Guardian Ad Litem; Jack and Betty Lewis, individually and as parents and Guardians Ad Litem of Jack Lewis, Jr., and Felicia Lewis, Minors; Robert and Stella Parker, Individually and as parents and Guardians Ad Litem of Nancy Parker; Jose and Juanita Desousa, individually and as parents and Guardians Ad Litem of Dana Desousa, a Minor; Ken Thomas, individually and as parent and Guardian Ad Litem of Lamar Thomas and Kevin Thomas, Minors, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of the State of California; Senator James R. Mills and Assemblyman Leo T. McCarthy, as principal officers of the Legislative Body of the State of California; George Deukmejian, Attorney General of the State of California; Wilson Riles, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Michael Kirst, Marian Drinker, William Gilbert, Louis Honig, Jr., Mary McLuhan, Lorenza Schmidt, Lenora Wax, Lewis P. Bohler, Jr., Ann Leavenworth, and Allen Seid, each as members of the California State Board of Education; Superior Courts of the State of California in and for the Counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and San Joaquin, and all persons acting on concert with and at the discretion of the above-named officials, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of California

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Nancy B. Reardan, Sacramento, Cal., Peter Cohn, Eva Paterson, San Francisco, Cal., for plaintiffs.

George Deukmejian, Atty. Gen., Richard D. Martland, Asst. Atty. Gen., Geoffrey L. Graybill, Deputy Atty. Gen., Sacramento, Cal., Alan K. Marks, County Counsel, San Bernardino, Cal., Donald L. Clark, County Counsel, San Diego, Cal., Keith C. Sorenson, Dist. Atty., George F. Camerlengo, Deputy Dist. Atty., Redwood City, Cal., Gerald A. Sherwin, County Counsel, County of San Joaquin, George H. Cunningham, Deputy County Counsel, Stockton, Cal., for defendants.

AMENDED OPINION

MILTON L. SCHWARTZ, District Judge.

Plaintiffs herein seek declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to Article I, § 7(a)1 of the California Constitution. Plaintiffs allege that this constitutional provision, which was enacted pursuant to a vote of the state's citizens, is racially discriminatory and that it therefore abridges the rights of plaintiffs to equal protection of the laws and equal educational opportunities. Plaintiffs pray for an order declaring Article I, § 7(a) unconstitutional under both the federal and state constitutions, and enjoining the defendants and their agents from implementing or giving effect thereto.

This matter has been before the court once before pursuant to motions to dismiss plaintiffs' first amended complaint. By order filed herein on July 25, 1980, the court dismissed the action without prejudice, for want of any Article III "case or controversy," as to defendants George Deukmejian, Attorney General of the State of California, March Fong Eu, Secretary of State of the State of California, Senator James R. Mills, then President Pro Tem of the California State Senate, Assemblyman Leo T. McCarthy, then Speaker of the California State Assembly, Wilson Riles, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michael Karst, Clarence Avant, Marian Drinker, William Gilbert, Lilly Louis Honig, Mary McLuhan, Lorenza Schmidt, Anthony Sierra, Nancy Reeves, and Lenora Was, members of the California State Board of Education, and the San Diego, San Bernardino, and San Joaquin County Superior Courts. The court refused to dismiss the action on abstention grounds as to the State of California and Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of the State of California. As a result of the court's July 25th order there remained as defendants in the action the State of California, Governor Brown, and the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara County Superior Courts.

On August 22, 1980 plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint wherein they assert the equal protection claims noted above. Said claims are brought pursuant to the Housing Act of 1949, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1441, et seq., and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1871, 1964 and 1968, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2000a et seq. and 3601, et seq.2 Plaintiffs name as defendants in the second amended complaint the State of California, Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of the State of California, George Deukmejian, Attorney General of the State of California, Senator James R. Mills, President Pro Tem of the California State Senate, Assemblyman Leo T. McCarthy, past Speaker of the California State Assembly, Wilson Riles, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michael Kirst,3 Marian Drinker, William Gilbert, Louis Honig, Jr., Mary McLuhan, Lorenza Schmidt, Lenora Wax,4 Lewis P. Bohler, Jr., Ann Leavenworth, and Allen Seid, members of the California State Board of Education, and the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara and San Joaquin County Superior Courts.

A number of the defendants now move to dismiss plaintiffs' second amended complaint. Defendants State of California, Governor Brown and Attorney General Deukmejian move for an order of dismissal on the grounds that 1) the action is barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, 2) there is no Article III "case or controversy" with respect to them, and 3) this is an appropriate case for the application of abstention doctrines. Defendant San Mateo County Superior Court joins in the State of California's motion to dismiss. Defendants San Joaquin and San Bernardino County Superior Courts move for an order of dismissal on Eleventh Amendment and abstention grounds. Defendant San Diego County Superior Court moves for such an order on Article III "case or controversy" and abstention grounds.

Defendants State of California, Governor Brown and Attorney General Deukmejian also move for a more definite statement. And finally, both the plaintiffs and defendants State of California, Governor Brown and Attorney General Deukmejian move for reconsideration of the court's July 25th order.

The court will consider first the impact of the Eleventh Amendment on the case sub judice. Thereafter, it will examine the second amended complaint and the papers filed in support thereof to determine whether plaintiffs have established the existence of an Article III "case or controversy" with respect to the defendants named herein. Finally, should it be necessary to do so, the court will consider whether any of the abstention doctrines counsel it to dismiss or stay the subject action.

THE ELEVENTH AMENDMENT

"Any step through the looking glass of the Eleventh Amendment leads to a wonderland of judicially created and perpetuated fiction and paradox." Spicer v. Hilton, 618 F.2d 232, 235 (3d Cir. 1980). The fiction commences at a rudimentary level. By its terms the Eleventh Amendment precludes the federal courts from entertaining "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." U.S.Const. Amend. XI (emphasis added). However, by judicial construction, the bar imposed by the Eleventh Amendment has been extended to suits brought against the states by their own citizens. Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 662, 94 S.Ct. 1347, 1355, 39 L.Ed.2d 662 (1974); Riggle v. State of California, 577 F.2d 579, 581 (9th Cir. 1978); Jacobson v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agcy., 566 F.2d 1353 (9th Cir. 1977), aff'd in part rev'd in part sub nom. Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Reg. Plan., 440 U.S. 391, 99 S.Ct. 1171, 59 L.Ed.2d 401 (1979).

The Eleventh Amendment "partakes of the nature of a jurisdictional bar." Jordan v. Gilligan, 500 F.2d 701, 710 (6th Cir. 1974), citing Edelman v. Jordan, supra. See also Mills Music, Inc. v. State of Arizona, 591 F.2d 1278, 1282 (9th Cir. 1979); Jacobson v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agcy., supra. Accordingly, the court will examine not only the Eleventh Amendment immunity claims made by defendants State of California, Governor Brown, Attorney General Deukmejian, and San Mateo, San Joaquin and San Bernardino County Superior Courts, but it will also consider whether the Eleventh Amendment precludes plaintiffs from proceeding against any of the other defendants named herein.5

The State of California

While there has never been any doubt that absent its consent a state may not be sued for damages in the federal courts, there has on occasion been some confusion as to whether the Eleventh Amendment also precludes the federal courts from entertaining actions against the states wherein declaratory and/or injunctive relief is sought. See, e. g., Yuan Jen Cuk v. Lackner, 448 F.Supp. 4 (N.D.Cal.1977). This confusion with respect to equitable actions has arisen as a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 28 S.Ct. 441, 52 L.Ed. 714 (1908), wherein the Court, while recognizing that the Eleventh Amendment is a bar to suits against state officers wherein money damages are sought against such officers in their official capacities, ruled that the amendment is not a bar to suits seeking declaratory and/or injunctive relief against state officers. The "fiction" spun by the Supreme Court in Ex parte Young, see Great Western Corp. v. Kidwell, 577 F.2d 1256, 1265 (5th Cir. 1978), rev'd on other grnds., 443 U.S. 173, 99 S.Ct. 2710, 61 L.Ed.2d 464 (1979), hinges upon the premise that the sovereign states are incapable of authorizing unconstitutional conduct. It follows therefrom that an officer of a state engaging in unconstitutional conduct is no longer acting as an agent of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
29 cases
  • Carcaño v. Cooper
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of North Carolina
    • 30 d0 Setembro d0 2018
    ...to the governor who signed the bill into law but was not "sufficiently responsible for [its] administration"); NAACP v. California, 511 F.Supp. 1244, 1261–62 (E.D. Cal. 1981), aff'd, 711 F.2d 121 (9th Cir. 1983) (finding that a challenged constitutional amendment was not traceable to the go......
  • Daisernia v. State of NY, 83-CV-699.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of New York
    • 22 d4 Março d4 1984
    ...or on the authority of one of the aforementioned cases, or on essentially no apposite authority, e.g., NAACP v. State of California, 511 F.Supp. 1244, 1250 (E.D.Cal.1981); Ganguly v. N.Y.S. Dept. of Mental Hygiene, etc., 511 F.Supp. 420, 424 (S.D.N.Y.1981); Henry v. Texas Tech Univ., 466 F.......
  • Back v. Carter
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Indiana
    • 30 d4 Maio d4 1996
    ...Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc., 438 U.S. 59, 72, 98 S.Ct. 2620, 2629-30, 57 L.Ed.2d 595 (1978); NAACP v. California, 511 F.Supp. 1244, 1261 (E.D.Cal.1981), aff'd, 711 F.2d 121 (9th Cir.1983). A federal court cannot act against a defendant to redress injuries that resulted f......
  • Harris v. Arizona Bd. of Regents
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Arizona
    • 23 d3 Dezembro d3 1981
    ...94 S.Ct. 1347, 39 L.Ed.2d 662 (1974); see Mills Music, Inc. v. Arizona, 591 F.2d 1278, 1282 (9th Cir. 1979); N.A.A.C.P. v. California, 511 F.Supp. 1244, 1249 (E.D.Cal. 1981). The Eleventh Amendment by its express terms covers suits against a State by citizens of another State or country.6 B......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT