Ex parte Leon C. Wilson, in his official capacity as the former president of Alabama State University, and Quinton Ross, in his official capacity as the current president of Alabama State University
Leon C. Wilson, in his official capacity as the former president of Alabama State University, and Quinton Ross, in his official capacity as the current president of Alabama State University In re: Sharron Stevens and Tim Stevens
Montgomery Circuit Court, CV-18-13
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
respondents, Sharron Stevens and Tim Stevens, sued the
petitioners, Leon C. Wilson, in his official capacity as the
former president of Alabama State University, and Quinton
Ross, in his official capacity as the current president of
Alabama State University, in the Montgomery Circuit
Court.The petitioners filed a motion to dismiss
the claims against them on the basis that they are immune
from suit pursuant to Art. 1, § 14, Ala. Const. 1901.
The trial court denied the petitioners' motion to
dismiss, and the petitioners filed a petition for a writ of
mandamus requesting that this Court direct the trial court to
enter an order dismissing the claims asserted against them.
We grant the petition and issue the writ.
and Procedural History
complaint alleged that, on May 25, 2017, the Stevenses
attended their daughter's graduation ceremony that was
held at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome ("the Acadome") on
the campus of Alabama State University. The complaint also
alleged that, after the ceremony, the Stevenses were exiting
the Acadome "through an exit provided for that purpose;
that, as they were leaving, Sharron fell; and that Sharron
suffered injuries and damages as a result of the fall. The
complaint alleged that "the exit was negligently
designed and negligently maintained so that it was unsafe for
the purpose for which it was designed and used." Count I
of the complaint alleged a negligence claim against the
petitioners. Count II alleged that the petitioners had
violated their duty to warn the Stevenses of dangerous
conditions on the premises. Count III asserted that the
petitioners had breached their duty to provide the Stevenses
with a reasonably safe exit from the Acadome. Count IV
asserted a claim for punitive damages. Finally, in Count V,
Tim asserted a claim for loss of consortium.
February 6, 2018, the petitioners filed a motion to dismiss
the claims against them, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Ala. R.
Civ. P. In their motion, the petitioners asserted that they
are immune from suit pursuant to Art. I, § 14, Ala.
Const. 1901. On June 13, 2018, the trial court entered an
order denying the motion to dismiss. The petitioners then
filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in this Court.
"'"The writ of mandamus is an extraordinary
legal remedy. Ex parte Mobile Fixture & Equip.
Co., 630 So.2d 358, 360 (Ala. 1993). Therefore, this
Court will not grant mandamus relief unless the petitioner
shows: (1) a clear legal right to the order sought; (2) an
imperative duty upon the trial court to perform, accompanied
by its refusal to do so; (3) the lack of another adequate
remedy; and (4) the properly invoked jurisdiction of the
Court. See Ex parte Wood, 852 So.2d 705, 708 (Ala.
"'Ex parte Davis, 930 So.2d 497, 499 (Ala.
2005). A "petition for a writ of mandamus is an
appropriate means for seeking review of an order denying a
claim of immunity." Ex parte Butts, 775 So.2d
173, 176 (Ala. 2000).
"'"In reviewing the denial of a motion to
dismiss by means of a mandamus petition, we do not change our
standard of review." Ex parte Haralson, 853
So.2d 928, 931 (Ala. 2003).
"'"In Nance v. Matthews, 622 So.2d 297
(Ala. 1993), this Court stated the standard of review
applicable to a ruling on a motion to dismiss:
"'"'On appeal, a dismissal is not entitled
to a p r e s umption of correctness. The appropriate standard
of review under Rule 12(b)(6)[, Ala. R. Civ. P., ] is
whether, when the allegations of the complaint are viewed
most strongly in the pleader's favor, it appears that the
pleader could prove any set of circumstances that would
entitle [it] to relief. In making this determination, this
Court does not consider whether the plaintiff will ultimately
prevail, but only whether [it] may possibly prevail. We note
that a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper only when it appears
beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in
support of the claim that would entitle the plaintiff to
"'"622 So.2d at 299 (citations omitted)."
"'Knox v. Western World Ins. Co., 893 So.2d
321, 322 (Ala. ...