September 27, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. No.
1:16-cv-02431-JMS-DML - Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge.
Wood, Chief Judge, and Flaum and Kanne, Circuit Judges.
Doe, whose legal name is Jane Doe,  is a transgender man
residing in Marion County, Indiana. Though Doe is originally
from Mexico, the United States granted him asylum in 2015
because of the persecution he might face in Mexico for being
transgender. But this suit arises out of Doe's treatment
in the United States. He alleges that he faces harassment and
discrimination in the United States when he gives his legal
name or shows his identification bearing it to others.
Consequently, Doe seeks to legally change his name from Jane
to John so that his name conforms to his genderidentity and
physical appearance, which are male.
asserts that the Indiana statute governing name changes is
unconstitutional because it requires name-change petitioners
to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Ind. Code §
34-28-2-2.5(a)(5) (2016). As an asylee, Doe can't provide
such proof. He brought this case against the Governor and
Attorney General of Indiana, the Marion County Clerk of
Court, and the Executive Director of the Indiana Supreme
Court Division of State Court Administration in their
official capacities. He seeks a declaration that the
citizenship requirement violates his First and Fourteenth
Amendment rights and an injunction to prevent the defendants
from enforcing it.
district court dismissed Doe's case against all the
defendants for lack of standing after the defendants filed
motions to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Doe appeals. We review the district court's dismissal
de novo, accepting well-pleaded allegations as true
and drawing reasonable inferences in favor of Doe. See
Lewert v. P.F . Chang's China Bistro, Inc.,
819 F.3d 963, 966 (7th Cir. 2016); Evers v. Astrue,
536 F.3d 651, 656 (7th Cir. 2008). For the reasons discussed
below, we affirm.
courts have jurisdiction over certain cases and
controversies. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. Standing is
"the irreducible constitutional minimum" that
determines which cases and controversies "are of the
justiciable sort referred to in Article III." Lujan
v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). The
party invoking federal jurisdiction must establish the
elements of standing: (1) that he suffered an injury in fact,
(2) that the injury is causally connected to the challenged
conduct of the defendant, and (3) that the injury is likely
to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.
Id. at 560-61.
even if a plaintiff could otherwise establish that he has
standing to sue a state or a state official, the Eleventh
Amendment generally immunizes those defendants from suit in
federal court. A plaintiff can avoid this bar, however, by
naming a state official who has "some connection with
the enforcement" of an allegedly unconstitutional state
statute for the purpose of enjoining that enforcement. Ex
parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 157 (1908).
where a plaintiff sues a state official to enjoin the
enforcement of a state statute, the requirements of Ex
parte Young overlap significantly with the last two
standing requirements-causation and redressability. That is,
a plaintiff must show that the named state official plays
some role in enforcing the statute in order to avoid the
Eleventh Amendment. But, in order to satisfy the requirements
of causation and redressability, he must also establish that
his injury is causally connected to that enforcement and that
enjoining the enforcement is likely to redress his injury.
Doe sued three state officials-the Governor, the Attorney
General, and the Executive Director of the Indiana Supreme
Court Division of State Court Administration-and one county
official-the Marion County Clerk of Court. We take each
defendant in turn to address whether Doe can sue them in
federal court. He cannot.
The Eleventh Amendment bars Doe's suit against the named
not shown that any of the named state officials are connected
with the enforcement of the name-change statute, so the
Eleventh Amendment bars his suit against them.
mere fact that a governor is under a general duty to enforce
state laws does not make him a proper defendant in every
action attacking the constitutionality of a state
statute." Shell Oil Co. v. Noel, 608 F.2d 208,
211 (1st Cir. 1979). Instead, Doe must allege that the
Indiana Governor played some role in enforcing the
Doe's strongest argument, though it still fails, is that
the Governor plays a role in enforcing the name-change
statute as head of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
("BMV"). The BMV law provides that applications for
driver's licenses or state-issued IDs must include
"the full legal name of the applicant." Ind. Code
§ 9-24-9-2(1) (2016). And the BMV will not issue an ID
to an applicant that reflects a different full name than what
appears on the person's other legal documents unless the
applicant provides a court order approving a full name
change. See 140 Ind. Admin. Code 7-1.1-3(b)(1)(K)
(2017). Together, Indiana's name-change statute and the
BMV's requirements deny non-citizens the privilege of a
full-name change on their identification.
have been able to overcome the Eleventh Amendment had he sued
the Governor to enjoin the enforcement of the BMV's
requirements. Instead, Doe sued the Governor in his official
capacity to prevent him from enforcing the name-change
statute. But the Governor was not specifically charged with a
duty to enforce the name-change statute, see Ex parte
Young, 209 U.S. at 158, and he has not taken on any duty
to enforce it either, see Love v. Pence, 47
F.Supp.3d 805, 808 (S.D. Ind. 2014). In short, the Governor
doesn't do anything to enforce the name-change
statute; if Indiana's statute permitted non-citizens
to obtain a name change, then the BMV would, too.
Consequently, the Eleventh Amendment bars this suit against
the Indiana Governor. See Watford v. Quinn, No.
14-cv-00571-MJR, 2014 WL 3252201, at *2-3 (S.D. Ill. July 8,
2014) (noting that an Illinois statute prohibiting prisoners
from petitioning ...