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Dean Stone, Michael Kraycinovich, and Tracy Jones v. John T. Pepmeyer et al

April 28, 2011

DEAN STONE, MICHAEL KRAYCINOVICH, AND TRACY JONES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JOHN T. PEPMEYER ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore United States Magistrate Judge

Thursday, 28 April, 2011 04:09:01 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

BEFORE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE BYRON CUDMORE:

ORDER

The remaining parties in this case-Plaintiffs and Defendants John T. Pepmeyer and Knox County-have filed an agreed motion to name the State of Illinois as a necessary party pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19. However, the State does not so agree, and Eleventh Amendment immunity protects it from being compelled to do so. Accordingly, the motion will be denied.

ANALYSIS

The parties assert that the State has refused to participate in settlement discussions because it is not a party to this lawsuit, which "may impede the Plaintiffs' ability to obtain complete relief and may leave John Pepmeyer and Knox County at risk of incurring double and/or inconsistent obligations due to the two other proceedings currently pending based on the same set of facts." (d/e 97, p. 1).*fn1 They argue that the State is a necessary party because under state law "it should indemnify any judgment in this case and/or may be otherwise financially responsible." Id. They contend that settlement attempts have been unsuccessful in part because of the State's refusal to participate. (d/e 97, p. 3).

These difficulties, though, cannot get the parties around the State's Eleventh Amendment immunity. The State has already been dismissed as a party in part because of that immunity. (d/e 26, Judge Mihm's Order adopting this Court's Report and Recommendation, p. 10). And, Plaintiffs have already conceded that the Eleventh Amendment bars their § 1983 claims against the State. (d/e 19, p.10).

The parties assert that Eleventh Amendment immunity does not bar injunctive or prospective relief against the State, which is true as a general statement of law, but they do not explain what injunctive or prospective relief they seek against the State. Plaintiffs do not seek prospective relief against the State. They want to bring the State's purse to the table to pay a settlement or judgment, which directly implicates the Eleventh Amendment. *fn2 See Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 663 (1974)("a suit by private parties seeking to impose a liability which must be paid from public funds in the state treasury is barred by the Eleventh Amendment."); Porco v. Trustees of Indiana University, 453 F.3d 390, 395 (7th Cir. 2006) (suit against state for monetary compensation barred by Eleventh Amendment). The parties hypothesize that the State ...


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