Adams v. City of Park Ridge

Citation293 F.2d 585
Decision Date19 September 1961
Docket NumberNo. 13260.,13260.
PartiesDr. Wright R. ADAMS, Dr. George K. Fenn, Dr. Louis N. Katz, Dr. Oglesby Paul, Dr. Geza de Takats, Benjamin H. Weisbrod, and Chicago Heart Association, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellants. v. CITY OF PARK RIDGE, an Illinois municipal corporation, Raymond Hollis, Mayor, H. D. Morrow, City Treasurer, Paul S. Badger, City Clerk, Edgar C. Lundberg, Police Magistrate, Charles F. Christensen, Police Chief, Norman A. Brown, Fire Chief, James L. Galloway, City Manager, James M. Shedden, L. R. Chase, Charles V. Kelly, Jr., Norman R. Bond, Donald G. Rowley, James D. Cole, Lucille Oberly, Edward A. Mosher, Donald E. Goll, Donald B. Dickson, Robert L. Littick, and Russell J. Gustafson, aldermen and members of the city council, of Park Ridge, Illinois, Defendants-Appellees.
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)

Allen D. Holloway, William S. Jacob, John J. Yowell, Alvin V. Nygren, G. Kent Yowell, Chicago, Ill., for appellants.

Warren L. Swanson, Herbert R. Stoffels, Chicago, Ill., for appellees.

Before HASTINGS, Chief Judge, and SCHNACKENBERG and CASTLE, Circuit Judges.

SCHNACKENBERG, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiffs, Dr. Wright R. Adams, Dr. George K. Fenn, Dr. Louis N. Katz, Dr. Oglesby Paul, Dr. Geza de Takats, Benjamin H. Weisbrod, and Chicago Heart Association, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, have appealed from an order of the district court dismissing for want of jurisdiction their action against The City of Park Ridge, an Illinois municipal corporation; Raymond Hollis, Mayor; H. D. Morrow, City Treasurer; Paul S. Badger, City Clerk; Edgar C. Lundberg, Police Magistrate; Charles F. Christensen, Police Chief; Norman A. Brown, Fire Chief; James L. Galloway, City Manager; James M. Shedden, L. R. Chase, Charles V. Kelly, Jr., Norman R. Bond, Donald G. Rowley, James D. Cole, Lucille Oberly, Edward A. Mosher, Donald E. Goll, Donald B. Dickson, Robert L. Littick, and Russell J. Gustafson, aldermen and members of the city council of Park Ridge, Illinois. The case was tried without a jury, upon evidence submitted and a stipulation of facts.1

Plaintiffs assert that this civil action is authorized by 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983, which provides:

"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. R.S. § 1979."

They also rely upon 28 U.S.C.A. § 1343 (3)2 and § 2201.3

The individual plaintiffs sue as representatives of the numerous members of the corporate plaintiff Association.

Joined as defendants are the City of Park Ridge, Illinois, and its city officials and members of its city council.

Plaintiffs pray for a permanent injunction enjoining the enforcement of an ordinance of the city against plaintiffs and representatives and volunteer workers acting on behalf of plaintiffs and that the court by its judgment find that said ordinance is unconstitutional and void as applied to plaintiffs, as an unauthorized, discriminatory and illegal exercise of police power, under the constitution of the United States, and that a judgment be entered declaratory of the rights of plaintiffs and their agents to solicit funds in said city, and for general relief.

1. Defendants contend that a municipal corporation is not subject to suit under § 1983. They point out that the remaining defendants are joined only in their official capacities and that they have been dismissed from this action as individuals, that there is no evidence relevant to them as individuals and that certain present officials were substituted in lieu of their predecessors pendente lite.

We are aware that it was said in Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 187, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5 L.Ed.2d 492, that a city is not within the ambit of § 1983.4 However, in that case only damages were sought and were held recoverable from the individual defendants, who were police officers of a city. The facts in Monroe v. Pape suggests several inherent reasons for excluding municipalities from liability for damages, such as unauthorized misconduct of the officers, lack of power of city to indemnify plaintiffs for such misconduct, and a city's governmental immunity in the exercise of its police powers, from liability for injuries inflicted by policemen in the performance of their duties. However, the case at bar is not an action for damages for torts committed. It looks to the future only and asks for a declaratory judgment and an injunction against invasions of plaintiffs' federal constitutional rights contemplated by a municipality's ordinance. None of the reasons which support a city's immunity from an action for damages for tortious injuries already inflicted by its officers, agents or servants applies to this case. No reason is apparent why a city and its officials should not be restrained from prospectively violating plaintiffs' constitutional rights pursuant to its own legislative enactment, and an injunction not be granted as provided in § 1983.

In the case at bar, plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance under the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States. Cases supporting our conclusion that a city can be restrained in the circumstances in this case include Holmes v. City of Atlanta, 350 U.S. 879, 76 S.Ct. 141, 100 L.Ed. 776, vacating D.C., 124 F.Supp. 290 and 5 Cir., 223 F.2d 93; City of Greensboro v. Simkins, 4 Cir., 246 F.2d 425; Dawson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 4 Cir., 220 F.2d 386, affirmed 350 U.S. 877, 76 S.Ct. 133, 100 L.Ed. 774; W. F. Derrington and Harris County, Texas v. Plummer, 5 Cir., 240 F.2d 922, certiorari denied, 353 U.S. 924, 77 S.Ct. 680, 1 L.Ed.2d 719. Cf. Dept. of Conservation etc. v. Tate, 4 Cir., 231 F.2d 615, certiorari denied 352 U.S. 838, 77 S.Ct. 58, 1 L.Ed.2d 56.

We, therefore, hold that in this case an action for injunction, as well as for declaratory judgment, is a proper remedy.

2. Defendants argue that the term "other person", as used in § 1983, does not include a corporation. For our present purpose, we limit our inquiry to whether the words "other person" include a corporation which seeks to preserve its rights under the due process and equal protection clauses of section 1 of the fourteenth amendment, which are relied upon by the corporate plaintiff here. We hold in the affirmative. Grosjean v. American Press Company, 297 U. S. 233, 244, 56 S.Ct. 444, 80 L.Ed. 660. Cf. Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Glander, 337 U.S. 562, 574-576, 69 S.Ct. 1291, 93 L. Ed. 1544.

Inapplicable are cases such as Hague v. C. I. O., 307 U.S. 496, 59 S.Ct. 954, 83 L.Ed. 1423, relied upon by defendants, which involved the privileges or immunities of a citizen of the United States under section 1 of the fourteenth amendment, to be secure against state infringement. Only natural persons are entitled to such privileges and immunities. Hague v. C. I. O., supra, 307 U.S. 512, 514, 59 S.Ct. 954.5

3. We believe that the record, including the complaint and the court's findings of fact, sustain the representation by the individual plaintiffs of the members of the Association as a class.

4. Defendants contend that the district court did not have jurisdiction of this case because no showing was made by plaintiffs that the minimal jurisdictional amount was involved. However, inasmuch as the rights which plaintiffs seek to protect bring the case within the ambit of 28 U.S.C.A. § 1343(3), it was not necessary for them to allege or prove any jurisdictional amount. American Federation of Labor v. Watson, 327 U.S. 582, 590.

5. Defendants rely on Park Ridge city ordinances enacted in 1928 and 1949. Plaintiffs maintain that the 1928 ordinance of Park Ridge violates the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States.6 It provides, in part:

"1253a. General Provisions.
"No person, firm or corporation, charitable or otherwise, shall hereafter beg, collect, solicit, conduct any campaign or conduct what is commonly known as a `tag day\' in Park Ridge, Illinois, for the purpose of obtaining funds for charitable purposes without first having obtained the consent of the City Council. The solicitation and collection of funds for charitable purposes, except pursuant to the authority and under the direction of the City Council, are expressly prohibited.
"1253b. Community Chest.
"For one week during the spring of each year the Community Council may conduct its annual campaign for the purpose of obtaining funds for the `Community Chest.\' The funds obtained shall be disbursed for such charitable purposes as the Community Council shall deem advisable.
"1253c. Poppy Day.
"One day in each year shall be designated and set apart for the proper authorities to conduct what is commonly known as Poppy Day.
"1253d. Penalty.
"Any person, firm, corporation violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be fined not less than $5.00, and not more than $200.00, and each day the violation continues or exists shall be deemed a separate offense."

Plaintiffs contend that the "right to disseminate information about such organizations as the Chicago Heart Association and to solicit funds to carry on its purposes is a right of free speech and press. It is a right which must be kept free of prior restraints through administrative censorship."

They rely on Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 147, 60 S.Ct. 146, 84 L.Ed. 155, and Martin v. City of Struthers, 319 U.S. 141, 63 S.Ct. 862, 87 L.Ed. 1313.

They point out that the 1928 ordinance "in sweeping terms bans any kind of campaign, be it on behalf of...

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    ...maintainable against municipal corporations under § 1983. Schnell v. City of Chicago, 407 F.2d 1084 (7 Cir. 1968); Adams v. City of Park Ridge, 293 F.2d 585 (7 Cir. 1961). Recently, however, the Supreme Court corrected this approach by stating that § 1983 did not have a bifurcated applicati......
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1 books & journal articles
  • State and Local Regulation of Religious Solicitation of Funds: A Constitutional Perspective
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The No. 446-1, September 1979
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