resources for him to rent an apartment. He also finds work more easily during certain periods of the
year, causing his income to fluctuate from month to month.
Since April 1985, Cronen periodically has received food stamp benefits. He alleges, however,
that the Texas Department of Human Services improperly calculated his benefits. Cronen wished to
deduct the following expenses as shelter costs for purposes of computing his food stamp benefits:
building materials used to construct his shacks, storage rental, and his post office box. He also
desired to have his benefits calculated using income averaging and contended that he should be able
to deduct the cost of travel to the food stamp office. Cronen raised these claims in several
unsuccessful administrative appeals. Defendants Jean Roberts, Ann Valdez–Haines, and Donna Burns
conducted the hearings on Cronen's claims; defendant Socorro Alonzo served as the other
defendants' supervisor and Cronen's caseworker.
In February 1989, Cronen filed a pro se complaint alleging that defendants wrongfully denied
him food stamps to which he was entitled. He sought restoration of his past benefits, an injunction
against future violations of the Food Stamp Act (the "Act"), $25,000 for suffering as a result of lost
benefits, and costs and attorney's fees. His complaint alleged violations of numerous federal statutes,
the Constitution, and the common law.
On September 1, 1989, the district court dismissed Cronen's suit for want of prosecution
pursuant to its Local Rule 13(b). He appealed, and we vacated and remanded for further
proceedings. On January 15, 1991, defendants moved to dismiss on grounds of improper service,
limitations, sovereign immunity, qualified immunity, and quasi-judicial immunity. Cronen then filed
a supplement to his complaint alleging 42 U.S.C. § 2000d–7, 28 U.S.C. § 1337, and various sections
of the Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2011 et seq., as additional sources of jurisdiction and relief.
The district court treated the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment.
Defendants submitted no summary judgment evidence, relying solely upon Cronen's complaint. The
district court granted the motion, holding that the Eleventh Amendment barred the claims against
Texas and the Texas Department of Human Services and that the individual defendants were entitled