Ex parte Young, Jr.; Martin; Lindley; and May.Annotate this Case
Tom Young, Jr., a former circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit; Ray Martin, a circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit; Chris May, the Randolph Circuit Clerk; and Marlene Lindley, a former employee in May's office, petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus directing the trial court to dismiss a complaint filed by Danny Foster, an inmate at the Ventress Correctional Facility, on grounds that they were immune from suit, that Foster lacked standing to sue, and that Foster's claims were precluded by the applicable statute of limitations. The Alabama Supreme Court found May and Lindley make no argument that, based on the face of Foster's complaint, they had a clear legal right to a summary judgment on the ground that the applicable statute of limitations barred Foster's claim against them. Moreover, Foster's complaint was devoid of any information from which the Supreme Court could determine that his claim against May and Lindley was untimely. He did not provide the dates on which he submitted his records requests. May and Lindley, therefore, "have not demonstrated that this case falls within the exception recognized in Hodge to the general rule against review by mandamus of the applicability of a statute-of-limitations defense." The Supreme Court granted the defendants' petition insofar as it sought a writ of mandamus directing the trial court to enter a summary judgment in favor of Judge Young and Judge Martin on grounds that all the claims asserted against them by Foster were barred by the doctrine of judicial immunity. The Court denied the petition, however, insofar as it sought a writ of mandamus instructing the trial court to enter a summary judgment in favor of May and Lindley regarding Foster's claim against them under the Open Records Act.