United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
TAYLOR CARLISLE, ET AL.
NEWELL NORMAND, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court sua sponte raised the issue of its jurisdiction to
entertain Plaintiff's official capacity claims against
Defendants Kristen Becnel, Tracey Mussal, Kevin Theriot, and
Joe McNair. Having received and considered briefing on the
subject, the Court finds that these claims must be DISMISSED.
challenge the manner in which the Jefferson Parish Drug Court
is conducted. The allegations of Plaintiffs' Complaints
have been detailed at length in the Court's earlier order
and Reasons and need not be repeated here. In that Order,
however, the Court directed the parties to file briefs
addressing whether this Court has jurisdiction to entertain
official capacity claims against Drug Court Administrator
Kristen Becnel, Program Supervisor Tracy Mussal, Probation
Coordinator Kevin Theriot, and Director of counseling Joe
McNair. For the following reasons, the official capacity
claims are dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
earlier order, the Court noted that Plaintiffs appeared to
seek relief against Becnel, Mussal, Theriot, and McNair in
their official capacities. The Court sua sponte raised the
issue of its jurisdiction to entertain such claims. These
suits are directed at these individuals based on their role
within the Drug Court system. Official capacity claims merely
represent an alternative means of pleading a cause of action
against the entity of which the individual is a member-here,
the Jefferson Parish Drug Court. Despite Plaintiffs'
arguments to the contrary, it is apparent from the statute
authorizing the Drug Court that it exists under the auspices
of the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Jefferson. These official capacity claims, therefore, are
actually suits against the 24th Judicial District Court
itself. Any such suit is precluded by the immunity provisions
of the Eleventh Amendment. Indeed, “Courts in this and
other circuits routinely hold that state courts are immune
from suit under the Eleventh Amendment.”
foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs' official capacity suits
against Drug Court Administrator Kristen Becnel, Program
Supervisor Tracy Mussal, Probation Coordinator Kevin Theriot,
and Director of counseling Joe McNair are DISMISSED for lack
 Doc. 110.
 Burge v. Par. of St. Tammany,
187 F.3d 452, 466 (5th Cir. 1999) (“Official capacity
suits generally represent another way of pleading an action
against an entity of which an officer is an
Cain v. City of New Orleans,
No. CV 15-4479, 2016 WL 2742374, at *1 (E.D. La. May 11,
2016) (“See, e.g., Jefferson v. La. State Supreme
Court,46 Fed.Appx. 732, *1 (5th Cir. 2002) ("The
Eleventh Amendment clearly bars [plaintiffs] § 1983
claims against the Louisiana Supreme Court, which is a branch
of Louisiana's state government."); Bourgeois v.
Par. of Jefferson,20 F.3d 465, *1 (5th Cir. 1994)
(holding that the Orleans Parish Civil District Court is
"an agency of the state" entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity); Summers v. Louisiana, No.
13-4573, 2013 WL 3818560, at *4 (E.D. La. July 22, 2013)
(holding that an official capacity claim against a state
court judge "would in reality be a claim against the
state itself, and...would be barred by the Eleventh
Amendment"); Wilkerson v. 17th Judicial Dist.
Court, No. 08-1196, 2009 WL 249737, at *4 (E.D. La. Jan.
30, 2009) ("It is clear that the Eleventh Amendment bars
§ 1983 claims against a state court."); Rackley
v. Louisiana, No. 07-504, 2007 WL 1792524, at *3 (E.D.
La. June 21, 2007) ("[T]he Eleventh Amendment likewise
bars § 1983 claims against a state court.");
see generally Mumford v. Basinski,105 F.3d 264, 267
(6th Cir. 1997) (noting that state courts are not
"persons" under section 1983 and are otherwise
immune from suit as an arm of the state government);
Harris v. Champion,51 F.3d 901, 905-06 (10th Cir.
1995) (holding that Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is
immune from suit under Eleventh Amendment as "a
governmental entity that is an arm of the state");
Landers Seed Co., Inc. v. Champaign Nat'lBank,15 F.3d 729, 731-32 (7th Cir. 1994) ("The Eleventh