Does the doctrine of sovereign immunity extend to state officials acting in their official capacities to serve the government? Or it doesn't and people can sue officials and the representatives of the government instead of suing the government itself? Let's assume that the country is the United States. I think that unless there's gross negligence from an official I am thinking you can't sue officials, but even then I am not sure if gross negligence allows the sovereign immunity to be waved against a particular individual. What does the law say on this?
Does the doctrine of sovereign immunity extend to state officials acting in their official capacities to serve the government? Or it doesn't and people can sue officials and the representatives of the government instead of suing the government itself?
The law isn't entirely uniform but generally a government official (state or federal) acting in their official capacity is immune to suits for money damages, but not for suits for injunctive relief involving their official actions, or declaratory relief regarding rights they are charged with enforcing.
The main exception is that government officials are liable for money damages for intentional violations of federal civil rights made under color of state law if the rights are "well established." Governmental entities are liable for civil rights violations only if they are committed by government officials duty to a policy (whether or not officially adopted) of the employing government.
There are some exceptions to sovereign immunity for official conduct, generally involving negligence in circumstances where private employees would also be liable (e.g. negligently driving a government car causing an accident).
There is almost never sovereign immunity from contactual liability, but individual government officials are almost never parties to government contracts, and instead are disclosed agents of the government acting on its behalf to agree to a contract.
State officials acting in their official capacity are also not immune from criminal liability under criminal laws related to misconduct by government officials, although the law expressly exempts from criminal liability many kinds of justified used of force by government officials.