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Beentjes v. Placer County Air Pollution Control Dist.

ELR Citation: 35 ELR 20028
Nos. No. 03-15598, (9th Cir., 02/04/2005)

The Ninth Circuit held that California's air pollution control districts are not arms of the state and therefore are not entitled to sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. To determine whether an entity is an arm of the state, the Ninth Circuit uses a five-point test that looks at whether a money judgment would be satisfied out of state funds, whether the entity performs central governmental functions, whether the entity may sue or be sued, whether the entity has the power to take property in its own name or only in the name of the state, and the corporate status of the entity. All five factors of this test lead to the conclusion that the districts are not instrumentalities of the state. Consequently, a former employee of an air pollution control district may go forward with his Americans With Disabilities Act suit against that district.