Tripcony v. Ark. Sch. for the DeafAnnotate this Case
The Arkansas School for the Deaf's Board of Trustees terminated Appellant Darleen Tripcony from her employment with the School as part of a reduction in force (RIF). The Arkansas State Employee Grievance Appeal Panel (SEGAP) upheld the Board's RIF of Tripcony's position. Tripcony subsequently filed a complaint in circuit court requesting judicial review of the decision by SEGAP upholding the denial of her appeal and further sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the School. The circuit court dismissed the complaint on the basis that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction and that Tripcony's claim against the School's Board of Trustees was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The court also dismissed Tripcony's claims against several members of the Board in their individual capacities based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to conduct a judicial review of the termination of a state employee; and (2) it necessarily followed that the Court also lacked jurisdiction to decide the appeal issues relating to the immunity issues.