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State Employees Granted Sovereign Immunity Under Eleventh Amendment

In the case of Bradly v. Ohio Ethics Comm’n, S.D.Ohio No. 2:23-cv-00024 (Aug. 22, 2023), a federal district court held that the government employees had sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment in their official capacities when the government employees prevented the candidate from running for office and for prosecuting the candidate for a violation of R.C. 102.02.

In this case, the candidate argued that the government employees subjected the candidate to undue harassment when the government employees prosecuted the candidate for violating R.C. 102.02. In response, the government employees argued that the government employees were acting as agents of the state, and could therefore not be sued in federal court by a citizen of the state. The federal district court agreed with the government employees.

In support of its decision in favor of the government employees, the federal district court explained that the Eleventh Amendment prevents citizens from suing the state in federal court. The federal district court further explained that the complaint only referenced actions taken by the government employees as a part of their job, so the government employees were only sued in their official capacities, not in individual capacities.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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