Raygor v. Regents of Univ. of Minn., 534 U.S. 533 (2002)

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certiorari to the supreme court of minnesota

No. 00-1514. Argued November 26, 2001—Decided February 27, 2002

Petitioners each filed complaints in Federal District Court against respondent university (hereinafter respondent), an arm of the State of Minnesota, alleging a federal cause of action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and a state law discrimination action under the federal supplemental jurisdiction statute, 28 U. S. C. 1367, which purports to toll the limitations period for supplemental claims while they are pending in federal court and for 30 days after they are dismissed, 1367(d). Respondent's answers included the affirmative defense that the suits were barred by the State's Eleventh Amendment immunity. The District Court subsequently dismissed the claims, and petitioners withdrew their federal appeal after this Court held that the ADEA does not abrogate the States' sovereign immunity, see Kimel v. Florida Bd. of Regents, 528 U. S. 62, 92. In the meantime, petitioners had refiled their state law claims in state court. Respondent contended that the claims were barred by the applicable state statute of limitations and that the federal supplemental jurisdiction statute did not toll the limitations period on those claims because the Federal District Court never had subject matter jurisdiction over the ADEA claims. Agreeing, the State District Court dismissed the suit, but the Minnesota Appeals Court reversed. Reversing, in turn, the State Supreme Court held 1367(d) unconstitutional when applied to claims against nonconsenting state defendants, such as respondent.

Held: Section 1367(d) does not toll the limitations period for state law claims asserted against nonconsenting state defendants that are dismissed on Eleventh Amendment grounds. Pp. 539-548.

(a) Petitioners sought to have their state law claims heard in federal court as supplemental claims under 1367(a). That grant of jurisdiction does not extend to claims against nonconsenting state defendants, see Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501 U. S. 775, but the question remains whether 1367(d) tolls the limitations period for state law claims asserted under 1367(a) but subsequently dismissed on Eleventh Amendment grounds. Pp. 539-542.

(b) Because 1367(d), on its face, purports to apply to dismissals of "any claim asserted under subsection (a)," it could be broadly read to apply to any such claim regardless of the reason for dismissal. But


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