United States District Court, Northern District of New York
January 10, 2000
MARY MCGINTY, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MAUREEN NASH, AND JAMES NASH, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
STATE OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM, AND NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kahn, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
In this action, plaintiffs allege violations of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
("ADEA"), as amended by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
of 1990 ("OWBPA"), Pub.L. 101-433, Title I, § 103, 104 Stat. 978
(Oct. 16, 1990). Previously, this Court granted defendants'
motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, based on the Court's
conclusion that plaintiff's claim, insofar as it was based on
alleged discrimination in the payment of death benefits, was
moot, and that plaintiffs did not have standing to bring a
collective action for discrimination in disability benefits.
Having dismissed the action, the Court also denied plaintiff's
various outstanding motions.
On appeal, the Second Circuit reversed. It concluded that the
action was not moot, and also rejected defendants' assertion that
they were immune to suit in federal court pursuant to the
Eleventh Amendment. It remanded for reconsideration of the
propriety of plaintiffs' disability benefits collective action
and of plaintiffs' motions.
However, an intervening Supreme Court decision, Kimel v.
Florida Board of Regents, et al., ___ U.S. ___, 120 S.Ct. 631,
145 L.Ed.2d 522 (2000), has critically changed the applicable
law. In Kimel, the Supreme Court held, contrary to the Second
Circuit's decision in the instant action, that the ADEA did not
effectively abrogate the States' sovereign immunity, and that
claims based on the ADEA may therefore not be raised against
States in federal court.
This immunity, which deprives this Court of subject matter
dispositive of the pending action. Further, there is no need to
await a formal motion to dismiss by the defendants, since
sovereign immunity may be raised by the courts sua sponte. Mixon
v. State of Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 396 (6th Cir. 1999).
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that the action is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction because of the defendants' sovereign immunity; and
it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk serve a copy of this order on all
parties by regular mail.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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