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 (In re: Sharron Stevens and Tim Stevens
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).
Denied April 19, 2019.
Circuit Court, CV-18-13
FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
William A. Scott, Jr. , of Scott, Sullivan, Streetman &
Fox, P.C., Birmingham; and Kenneth L. Thomas and Ramadanah S.
Jones , Office of General Counsel, Alabama State University,
Montgomery, for petitioners.
William Eugene Rutledge of The Rutledge Law Firm, LLC,
Birmingham, for respondents.
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