United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ROBBIE L. MARSHALL, Plaintiff
STATE OF INDIANA, INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, WABASH VALLEY CORRECTIONAL, FACILITY, and STATE OF INDIANA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT Defendants
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Miller, Jr. Judge
Marshall, an internal investigator for the Indiana Department
of Correction, was fired in October 2016. He contends that
his termination was based on discrimination and retaliation
as a result of his sexual orientation and violated the
Fourteenth amendment. He brings the suit under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5, and 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the state of Indiana, the Indiana Department of
Correction, the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, and the
State of Indiana Personnel Department. The defendants move to
dismiss, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted, all claims other than the Title VII claim against
the Department of Correction. [Doc. No. 22]. For the reasons
that follow, the court grants that motion.
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court
construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, accepts all well-pleaded facts as true, and
draws all inferences in the nonmoving party's favor.
Reynolds v. CB Sports Bar, Inc., 623 F.3d 1143, 1146
(7th Cir. 2010). But Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) “demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim is
plausible if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Twombly and Iqbal “require the
plaintiff to ‘provid[e] some specific facts' to
support the legal claims asserted in the compliant.”
McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Brooks, 578 F.3d at 581)). The
plaintiff “must give enough details about the
subject-matter of the case to present a story that holds
together.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d
400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010).
Indiana Department of Correction and the State of Indiana
Personnel Department are agencies of the State of Indiana;
the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility is a complex of
buildings operated by the Department of Correction. They
can't be sued in federal court. The Eleventh Amendment
generally precludes a citizen from suing a state or one of
its agencies or departments in federal court. Wynn v.
Southward, 251 F.3d 588, 592 (7th Cir. 2001). There are
three exceptions to Eleventh Amendment immunity: (1) suits
directly against the State based on a cause of action where
Congress has abrogated the state's immunity from suit;
(2) suits directly against the State if the State waived its
sovereign immunity; and (3) suits against a State official
seeking prospective equitable relief for ongoing violations
of federal law. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Ill.
Commerce Comm'n, 183 F.3d 558, 563 (7th Cir. 1999).
None of these exceptions apply here. Congress didn't
abrogate the states' immunity through the enactment of
§1983. Joseph v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Wis.
Sys., 432 F.3d 746, 748 (7th Cir. 2005). Indiana
hasn't consented to this lawsuit, and Mr. Marshall is
only seeking monetary damages based on past events.
opposition, Mr. Marshall cites decisions of Indiana state
courts, but the Eleventh Amendment has no impact on a state
court's jurisdiction over the state and its agencies.
Mr. Marshall sue all of the defendants under Title VII. Only
the plaintiff's employer can be liable under Title VII.
See EEOC v. AIC Sec. Investigations, Ltd., 55 F.3d
1276, 1279-1282 (7th Cir. 1995). According to ¶¶
18-19 of the complaint, the Department of Correction employed
and terminated Mr. Marshall. Like many other departments of
state government, the Department of Correction is an agency
of the State of Indiana, but that doesn't make the State
of Indiana Mr. Marshall's employer. The State of Indiana
Personnel Department investigated the complaint against Mr.
Marshall, but didn't employ him. Because the State of
Indiana, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, and State of
Indiana Personnel Department didn't employ Mr. Marshall,
the complaint states no claim upon which relief can be
granted against those defendants.
the court GRANTS the defendants' partial motion to
dismiss. [Doc. No. 22]. Mr. Marshall's Title VII claim
against the Indiana Department of Correction may proceed, but