85 F.3d 51 (2nd Cir. 1996), 1328, Leeds v. Meltz

Docket Nº:1328, Docket 95-9041.
Citation:85 F.3d 51
Party Name:Jackson LEEDS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Jonathan S. MELTZ, Anthony Mansfield, Susan Ferraro, Merrick T. Rossein, Unknown John and Jane Does, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:May 21, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 51

85 F.3d 51 (2nd Cir. 1996)

Jackson LEEDS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Jonathan S. MELTZ, Anthony Mansfield, Susan Ferraro, Merrick

T. Rossein, Unknown John and Jane Does,

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 1328, Docket 95-9041.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

May 21, 1996

Argued April 12, 1996.

Page 52

Jackson Leeds, Pro se.

Jonathan S. Meltz, Susan Ferraro and Anthony Mansfield, Pro se.

Before: KEARSE and ALTIMARI, Circuit Judges, and MORAN, Senior District Judge. 1

MORAN, Senior District Judge:

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff-appellant Jackson Leeds (Leeds) filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 (§ 1983) against the acting dean (Merrick Rossein) of the City University of New York (CUNY) Law School, and the

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three co-editors-in-chief (Jonathan Meltz, Anthony Mansfield, and Susan Ferraro) of CUNY Law School's monthly paper, "The Brief". Leeds alleges that the student editors violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free expression by failing to publish his paid advertisement. The district court granted defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss because plaintiff's "wholly conclusory allegations fail[ed] to support any plausible inference of state action." Leeds v. Meltz, 898 F.Supp. 146, 151 (E.D.N.Y.1995). We affirm.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review the district court's dismissal of a complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) de novo. See, e.g., Grimes v. Ohio Edison Co., 992 F.2d 455, 456 (2d Cir.) (citations omitted), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 114 S.Ct. 467, 126 L.Ed.2d 419 (1993). We take all well-plead factual allegations as true, and all reasonable inferences are drawn and viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiffs. See, e.g., Gant v. Wallingford Bd. of Educ., 69 F.3d 669, 673 (2d Cir.1995) (quoting Hernandez v. Coughlin, 18 F.3d 133, 136 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 115 S.Ct. 117, 130 L.Ed.2d 63 (1994)). While the pleading standard is a liberal one, bald assertions and conclusions of law will not suffice. See, e.g., Albert v. Carovano, 851 F.2d 561, 572-573 (2d Cir.1988) (en banc ) (§ 1981 and intentional discrimination); Martin v. N.Y. State Dept. of Mental Hygiene, 588 F.2d 371, 372 (2d Cir.1978) (per curiam ). A § 1983 suit may be dismissed if the defendants' conduct did not occur under the color of state law. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983; Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 838, 102 S.Ct. 2764, 2769, 73 L.Ed.2d 418 (1982).

DISCUSSION

The relevant facts are set out in the district court opinion, Leeds, supra, 898 F.Supp. 146, so we repeat only those necessary to our disposition. The Brief is the...

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