Sovereign Immunity - Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama

Ex parte the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama, [Ms. 1170183, May 18, 2018] So. 3d (Ala. 2018). This unanimous decision by Justice Mendheim, issues a writ of mandamus, directing the Jefferson Circuit Court to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction an action filed against the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (“the Board”) by Paul F. Castellanos, M.D. The Board was one of six named defendants in the action, and the only defendant which moved to dismiss based upon Article I, § 14, Ala. Const. 1901 immunity. Ms. *3. The defendants, other than the Board, filed a motion to compel arbitration. That motion was based on an arbitration provision contained in an employment contract between Dr. Castellanos and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C. Ibid.

Even though the Board did not move to compel arbitration, the circuit court ordered the Board to arbitrate the claims asserted against it. The Court held that the Board, created by § 16-47-1, Ala. Code 1975, is entitled to § 14 immunity and directed the circuit court to vacate the order compelling the Board to arbitrate and to dismiss the Board from the action. Ms. *9-10.

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