SHAUF vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 90314, November 27, 1990

Facts:

Petitioner Loida Q. Shauf, a Filipino by origin and married to an American who is a member of the United States Air Force, applied for the vacant position of Guidance Counselor, in the Base Education Office at Clark Air Base, for which she is eminently qualified. By reason of her non-selection to the position, petitioner Loida Q. Shauf filed an equal employment opportunity complaint against private respondents, for alleged discrimination against the former by reason of her nationality and sex. On or about October 1976, the position of Guidance Counselor, GS 1710-9, became vacant in the Base Education Office, Clark Air Base. On November 11, 1976, the application of Loida Q. Shauf was referred to Mr. Persi and after review of the applications of Loida Q. Shauf, Mr. Persi felt that her application was quite complete except for a reply to an inquiry form attached to the application. This inquiry form stated that the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri, was unable to find an official personnel folder for Loida Q. Shauf. Mr. Persi said that as a result of the National Personnel Records Center, GSA, not being able to find any records on Loida Q. Shauf, this raised some questions in his mind as to the validity of her work experience. As a result of his reservations on Loida Q. Shauf’s work experience and his conclusions that the two other applications listed minimum qualifications, Mr. Persi decided to solicit additional names for consideration. Mr. Persi was informed by CORRO, through the Civilian Personnel Office in their December 15, 1976 message that a Mr. Edward B. Isakson from Loring AFB, Maine, was selected for the position. Mr. Persi stated, when informed of CORRO’s selection, that he had heard of Mr. Isakson and, from what he had heard, Mr. Isakson was highly qualified for the position; therefore, he wished to have the selection stand. This statement was denied by Mr. Persi. Mr. Isakson was placed on the rolls at Clark Air Base on January 24, 1977.

Contrary to her expectations, petitioner Loida Q. Shauf was never appointed to the position. Feeling aggrieved by what she considered a shabby treatment accorded her, petitioner Loida Q. Shauf wrote the U.S. Civil Service Commission questioning the qualifications of Edward Isakson. petitioner Loida Q. Shauf filed a complaint for damages, against private respondents Don Detwiler and Anthony Persi before the Regional Trial Court, for the alleged discriminatory acts of herein private respondents in maliciously denying her application for the position.

Thereafter, on March 8, 1988, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of herein petitioner Loida Q. Shauf, Both parties appealed from the aforecited decision to respondent Court of Appeals who reversed the decision of the trial court, dismissed herein petitioners’complaint and denied their motion for reconsideration. Hence this petition.

Issue:

Where the respondent who are officials of the another state is Immune from suit

Held:

No, While the doctrine appears to prohibit only suits against the state without its consent, it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties. The rule is that if the judgment against such officials will require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages awarded against them, the suit must be regarded as against the state itself although it has been formally impleaded. It must be noted, however, that the rule is not also all-encompassing as to be applicable under all circumstances. It is a different matter where the public official is made to account in his capacity as such for acts contrary to law and injurious to the rights of plaintiff. Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers, unauthorized acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts, for the protection of his rights, is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit. In the same tenor, it has been said that an action at law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department on the ground that, while claiming to act for the State, he violates or invades the personal and property rights of the plaintiff, under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption of authority which he does not have, is not a suit against the State within the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its consent.

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