Dupree v. Owens, No. 21-12571 (11th Cir. 2024)Annotate this Case
In a case heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, plaintiffs Jennifer Dupree and Detrich Battle challenged the dismissal of their Title V claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the basis of sovereign immunity. Dupree, who worked for the Georgia Department of Human Services, and Battle, an employee of the Georgia Department of Corrections, had requested accommodations at their respective workplaces due to their health conditions. After their requests were denied and their employment terminated, they filed claims under Title V, alleging retaliation.
The court, however, found that sovereign immunity applies to Title V claims when brought in conjunction with Title I claims. This meant that the plaintiffs' claims could not proceed. Importantly, the court clarified that dismissals based on sovereign immunity, a jurisdictional issue, should be entered without prejudice. Not specifying this in the dismissal could lead to misunderstandings about the nature of the dismissal. Therefore, the court vacated and remanded the case for the limited purpose of allowing the district court to dismiss the case without prejudice.