Raad v. Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, 060498 AKDC, F97-0068-CV (HRH)

Docket Nº:F97-0068-CV (HRH)
Opinion Judge:H. Russel Holland, Judge
Party Name:Nada Raad, Plaintiff, v. Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Et Al., Defendants.
Case Date:June 04, 1998
Court:District Court of Alaska

Nada Raad, Plaintiff,


Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Et Al., Defendants.

No. F97-0068-CV (HRH)

District Court of Alaska, For The District of Alaska

June 4, 1998



H. Russel Holland, Judge

Motion to Dismiss

Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 1983 1 claims. 2 This motion is opposed. 3 Oral argument has been heard.


Plaintiff, Nada Raad, is a Muslim woman of Lebanese descent, who worked as a substitute teacher and who sought and was denied a permanent teaching position with the defendant, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Defendant received 65.5% of its funding from the state of Alaska during the 1997-1998 school year. For the 1999-2000 year, state funding is expected to be approximately 62%. Although the percentage of state funding has varied over the years, state funding for the defendant school district has been running in the mid-60% range for many years.

When defendant receives funds from the state, it is com-mingled in the "school general fund" with local property tax funds. This fund is used to operate schools and core programs.

Defendant moves to dismiss Raad's Section 1981 and 1983 claims, asserting that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because defendant is an arm of the state entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity.


Defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As the party asserting jurisdiction, the burden of proof is on Raad to demonstrate that this court does in fact have jurisdiction. Thornhill Publishing Co. v. General Tel. & Electronics Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979). In a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6):

All allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. A complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.

SmileCare Dental Group v. Delta Dental Plan of California, Inc., 88 F.3d 780, 782-83 (9th Cir. 1996), cert. denied, U.S., 117 S.Ct. 583 (1996) (citations omitted).


The issue before the court is whether, as defendant con-tends, it is an instrumentality of the state of Alaska entitling it to immunity under the Eleventh Amendment, or, as Raad submits, it is a division of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, a municipal corporation, and suable as a person and subject to suit in federal court.

Although by its terms the Eleventh Amendment grants states immunity only from suits brought by citizens of other states, it has been interpreted to extend immunity to suits by a state's own citizens as well. Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-99 (1984). A state's immunity from suit in federal court does not apply just to a lawsuit directly against the state, but also to suits against state agencies. Pennhurst, 465 U.S. at 100. Immunity does not, however, extend to cities, counties, or other local governmental entities which are suable as persons under 42 U.S.C. 1983, Monell v. Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), or 42 U.S.C. 1981, Jett v. Dallas Indep. School Dist., 491 U.S. 701 (1989).

To determine if a governmental entity is an arm of the state for Eleventh Amendment purposes, the court must consider the following factors:

(1) whether a money judgment would be satisfied out of state funds, (2) whether the entity per-forms central governmental functions, (3) whether the entity may sue or be sued, (4) whether the entity has the power to take property in its own name or only the name of the state, and (5) the corporate status of the entity.

Mitchell v. Los Angeles Community College Dist., 861 F.2d 198, 201 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1081 (1989) (citing Jackson v. Hayakawa...

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