Document Type


Publication Date



Defendant-appellant the New York State Office of Real Property Services ("ORPS") and defendants-appellants Frank B. Cernese, John M. Bacheller, Thomas G. Griffin, and Ifigenia T. Brown (the "Individual Defendants") appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Brieant, J.) denying their motion, based on Eleventh Amendment immunity, for judgment on the pleadings in a declaratory judgment action brought by plaintiff-appellee CSX Transportation, Inc. ("CSX"). CSX brought the action to enjoin ORPS and the Individual Defendants (collectively, the "State Defendants") from assessing, levying, or collecting ad valorem taxes on CSX's rail transportation property 90*90 in New York State for the 2001 tax year. CSX alleges in its complaint that the State Defendants' methods for assessing, levying, and collecting taxes on its property violates the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (the "4-R Act" or the "Act"), 49 U.S.C. § 11501. In denying the State Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, the district court concluded that the 4-R Act was "remedial legislation" designed to abrogate Eleventh Amendment immunity of the states pursuant to Congress' powers under the Fourteenth Amendment and that, additionally, jurisdiction over the Individual Defendants could be maintained under the doctrine established in Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 28 S.Ct. 441, 52 L.Ed. 714 (1908).

For the reasons that follow, we join the three circuit courts of appeal that have considered this issue, and conclude: (1) that in passing the 4-R Act Congress abrogated the states' Eleventh Amendment immunity pursuant to its Fourteenth Amendment equal protection powers, and (2) that jurisdiction over the Individual Defendants is properly invoked under Ex Parte Young.


306 F.3d 87 (2002)

CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF REAL PROPERTY SERVICES, Frank B. Cernese, John M. Bacheller, in their official capacities as members of the New York State Board of Real Property Services and their successors in office, Thomas G. Griffin, in his official capacity as executive director and secretary to the State Office of Real Property Services and his successors in office, and Ifigenia T. Brown, Defendants-Appellants, City of New York, City of Rochester, East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District, North Rockland Central School District, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, Onondaga County, Monroe County, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Cheektowaga, Town of Stony Point and Village of Herkimer, in their own behalf and as representatives of a defendant's class, Defendants, The United States of America, Intervenor.

Docket No. 01-7966.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Argued: April 29, 2002.

Decided: September 25, 2002.

New York Law School location: File #3036, Box #144