Dykes v. Hosemann

In Dykes v. Hosemann, 776 F.2d 942, 946 (11th Cir.1985) (en banc), the Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, held that a judge who conspires to deny a party federal constitutional rights is immune from a damage action under section 1983. Dykes, 776 F.2d at 946. "Were we to follow Rankin v. Howard, 633 F.2d 844, 848-49 (9th Cir.1980), judges, on mere allegations of conspiracy or prior agreement, could be hauled into court and made to defend their judicial acts, the precise result judicial immunity was designed to avoid." Id. The court in Dykes also questioned Rankin's holding that a judge loses immunity, regardless of the existence of subject matter jurisdiction, by acting in the absence of personal jurisdiction. Id. at 948. "We view Rankin as contrary to Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit precedent as well as an unwise restriction of a time-tested doctrine." Id.