ACLU v. Finch

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In ACLU v. Finch, 638 F.2d 1336 (5th Cir. 1981), Judge Wisdom for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that:

The plaintiffs/appellants brought this § 1983 action based on alleged violations of their first amendment and other constitutional rights. They sued the defendant state officials in their official capacities for declaratory and injunctive relief and in their individual capacities for damages. The district judge, relying on the doctrine of sovereign immunity, dismissed this case entirely on his own motion, without the benefit of briefs or argument. He made three rulings. We reverse all three and hold that this case was erroneously dismissed.

Am. Civil Liberties Union, Inc. v. Finch, 638 F.2d 1336, 1338 (5th Cir. 1981).