Thomas v. State of Illinois

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Eleventh Amendment
Case Number: 
No. 12-2095
Decision Date: 
September 27, 2012
Federal District: 
S.D. Ill.
Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing on 11th Amendment grounds plaintiff-prisoner's section 1983 action alleging that defendants-State of Illinois and State agency violated plaintiff's 8th Amendment rights by operating prison cell that had become infested with mice and cockroaches. Plaintiff could not sue defendants since Congress did not abrogate state's sovereign immunity under section 1983. Moreover, neither State nor its agencies are suable "persons" within meaning of section 1983. Ct. further observed that plaintiff could have avoided instant constitutional and/or statutory bar by naming individual prison officials as defendants.