Can the 11th Amendment defense be overcome to allow suit against a state agency?
When a state officer acts in excess of his authority, or under an authority not validly conferred or contrary to law, his illegal act may be restrained in an action against him individually, by appropriate injunctive process and he may not claim the immunity of the state from suit. When a state official's acts exceeds his legal authority or constitute an erroneous exercise of that authority, the interest in the protection of the plaintiff's right to be free from the consequences of such action outweighs the interest served by the sovereign immunity doctrine.
The precise manner of overcoming a sovereign immunity defense will depend on the facts and circumstances involved in each case. I am prohibited from gving legal advice, this service provides information of a general legal nature. For further discussion, please see the information at the following link:http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?52 Duke L. J. 1167