para. 32. The state defendants have moved to dismiss on two alternate grounds. First, to the extent that plaintiff seeks recovery of damages for wrongs allegedly committed by these defendants while acting in their official capacities, the action is barred by the eleventh amendment. If, instead, plaintiff is bringing suit against these defendants in their individual capacities, the defendants are protected by immunity.
Both defendants' theories supporting their motion to dismiss rest on solid ground. An action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
that purports to seek monetary recovery from government officials in their official capacities is to be construed as a suit against the state and, hence, is barred by the eleventh amendment. Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 105 S. Ct. 873, 878-79, 83 L. Ed. 2d 878 (1985). See also Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 338-45, 59 L. Ed. 2d 358, 99 S. Ct. 1139 (1979). If, on the other hand, the state defendants are being sued in their individual capacities, they are entitled to a qualified immunity for actions taken in good faith. See Butz v. Economou, 438 U.S. 478, 496-98, 57 L. Ed. 2d 895, 98 S. Ct. 2894 (1978). Even the most generous reading of plaintiff's submissions draws one to the conclusion that defendants' allegedly wrongful conduct fell well within the scope of a qualified immunity.
Quite apart from the validity of defendants' jurisdictional challenges, plaintiff has simply failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff misconstrued the meaning of the respondent Chief Judge's notice of nonappearance, believing that it barred any Oregon official from opposing plaintiff's petition. Such is clearly not the case; rather, the Chief Judge merely exercised his option under Sup. Ct. R. 27.2(b) not to file an appearance and instead to delegate litigation of the action to the State Attorney General's Office. See Or. Rev. Stat. § 180.060(1)(d). Defendants certainly did nothing wrongful in fulfilling that statutory duty.
B. Claims Against the Federal Defendants
While they have not filed an answer to the complaint,
the federal defendants are certainly entitled to the protections afforded by a qualified immunity. Butz, 438 U.S. 478 at 496-504, 57 L. Ed. 2d 895, 98 S. Ct. 2894. The Court can discern no wrongdoing of constitutional proportions with regard to the allegations that defendants mishandled plaintiff's petition. As for the vague charges of "conspiracy," plaintiff has "postulated events . . . of a wholly fanciful kind," that do not merit judicial attention. Crisafi v. Holland, 211 U.S. App. D.C. 75, 655 F.2d 1305, 1308 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
For the foregoing reasons, it is this 3rd day of December, 1985,
That the above-captioned action is dismissed with prejudice as to all defendants.