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CIVIL PROCEDURE / IMMUNITY - EX PARTE DICKSON

In Ex parte Dickson, [Ms. 1090111, March 26, 2010] __ So.3d __ (Ala. 2010), the Alabama Supreme Court held that the state-agent members of the State Personnel Board were not immune from suit in an action by the Alabama State Employees' Association seeking to enjoin enforcement of a Board amendment to its regulations. The Court examined the three separate immunity defenses raised by the Board: legislative immunity, absolute immunity under ¤ 14 of the Alabama Constitution, and Cranman immunity, and refused to grant the Board members' petition for writ of mandamus on all three grounds. The Court reasoned that legislative immunity did not apply because the injunction sought to stop the enforcement of the regulation, not its creation, and, thus, it did not concern legislative functions. Additionally, the Court held that the Board members were not immune under ¤ 14 of the Alabama Constitution because an injunctive action may be maintained against a state official, in his official capacity, if the official is acting beyond the scope of his authority or acting illegally. Furthermore, the Court held that state-agent immunity did not apply because State officials cannot be sued for injunctive relief in their individual capacity, only their official capacity, thus, Cranman is inapplicable. The Court denied the Board members' petition.

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