Schwindel v. Meade County
, 113 S.W.3d 159, 163 (Ky. 2003). County immunity is not acreation of the courts like municipal immunity, so it may only be waived by the GeneralAssembly.
, 142 S.W.3d at 132 (citing
Monroe County v. Rouse
, 274 S.W.2d 477, 478(Ky. 1954)).The Plaintiffs in this case have sued the Nelson County Clerk in her official capacity,which is the equivalent of suing the clerk's employer, the county. Case law provides that while personal-capacity suits seek to impose personal liability upon a government official for actionshe takes under color of state law, individuals sued in their official capacities stand in the shoes of the entity they represent.
Alkire v. Irving
, 330 F.3d 802, 810 (6th Cir. 2003, (quoting
, 473 U.S. 159, 165, 105 S. Ct. 3099, 87 L. Ed. 2d 114 (1985))). Therefore, although thePlaintiffs have named Elaine Filiatreau in her official capacity, the suit is in fact a claim solelyagainst Nelson County. As noted above, under Kentucky law, counties are entitled to the same
sovereign immunity as the Commonwealth. As states are not identified as “persons” for purposes
of 42 U.S.C.S 1983, and Kentucky law recognizes that counties are afforded the sameimmunities as the Commonwealth, Nelson County is effectively immune from suit for a claimarising under 42 U.S.C.S. 1983. Therefore, based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity,Plaintiffs claims fail as a matter of law.
PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT FAILS TO ALLEGE ACTION ON BEHALF
OF THE DEFENDANT ELAINE FILIATREAU
A prima facie case under 42 USCS § 1983 has two elements: "(1) the defendant must beacting under the color of state law, and (2) the offending conduct must deprive the plaintiff of rights secured by federal law."
Bloch v. Ribar
, 156 F.3d 673, 677 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing Parrattv. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535, 101 S. Ct. 1908, 68 L. Ed. 2d 420 (1981)). Therefore, in order toestablish a violation of § 1983, the Plaintiffs must show that Defendant Filiatreau deprived them
Case 3:13-cv-00750-JGH Document 14 Filed 09/13/13 Page 3 of 7 PageID #: 192