Murphy v. Villanova University, Civ. A. No. 80-4581.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Citation520 F. Supp. 560
Decision Date20 August 1981
PartiesJohn F. MURPHY v. VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 80-4581.

520 F. Supp. 560

John F. MURPHY
v.
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY.

Civ. A. No. 80-4581.

United States District Court, E. D. Pa.

July 7, 1981.

On Second Motion to Amend August 20, 1981.


520 F. Supp. 561

John F. Murphy, pro se.

Raymond T. Cullen, Michael R. Lastowski, for defendants; Morgan, Lewis & Bockiss, Philadelphia, Pa., of counsel.

MEMORANDUM

LOUIS H. POLLAK, District Judge.

John Murphy, a law student formerly enrolled in Villanova University's work-study program, has brought suit pro se, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Villanova and certain Villanova employees alleging that the defendants wrongfully terminated his employment and/or refused to hire him, in contravention of his civil rights. Mr. Murphy now moves to amend his complaint to include allegations arising under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985(3), 1986 and 1988.

Our Court of Appeals has recently discussed the scope of section 1985(3) and the relationship of that provision to section 1986:

Section 1985(3) establishes a cause of action against any person who enters into a private conspiracy for the purpose of depriving the claimant of the equal protection of the laws. Section 1986 is a companion to § 1985(3) and provides the claimant with a cause of action against any person who, knowing that a violation of § 1985 is about to be committed and possessing power to prevent its occurrence, fails to take action to frustrate its execution. Because transgressions of § 1986 by definition depend on a pre-existing violation of § 1985, if the claimant does not set forth a cause of action under the latter, its claim under the former necessarily must fall also.
The Supreme Court's most thorough discussion of these sections was in Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 91 S.Ct. 1790, 29 L.Ed.2d 338 (1971). There, several black persons brought suit under § 1985(3) alleging that the defendants, a group of white Mississippians, conspired and acted to deprive the plaintiffs of their equal rights by beating and threatening to kill them. The Court rejected the defendants' argument that the statute required state action, and interpreted it as covering purely private conspiracies as well. To effect Congress' intent not to embrace all tortious conspiratorial interferences with the rights of others, however, the Court held that § 1985(3) applied only to private conspiracies predicated on "racial, or perhaps otherwise class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus."
520 F. Supp. 562

Rogin v. Bensalem Township, 616 F.2d 680, 696 (3d Cir. 1980) (notes omitted).

Since Griffin, the Supreme Court has not had occasion to determine the question there expressly reserved — "whether a conspiracy motivated by invidiously discriminatory intent other than racial bias would be actionable under the equal protection portion of § 1985(3) ..." 403 U.S. at 102 n.9, 91 S.Ct. at 1798 n.9. Nor has our Court of Appeals had occasion to determine this question. Rogin, supra, 616 F.2d at 697. Other courts of appeals have, however, found section 1985(3) applicable to protect persons "who are victims of a conspiracy due to their sex," or "who are victims of a conspiracy because of their political beliefs or associations." Kimble v. D. J. McDuffy, Inc., 623 F.2d 1060, 1066, vacated, 629 F.2d 1159 (5th Cir. 1980), en banc opinion, 648 F.2d 340 (1981).1 But, assuming the correctness of the decisions referred to in the panel's decision in Kimble, supra, they offer no support for the proposition that the class of which Mr. Murphy is a member — students enrolled in a university work-study program who wish thereafter to qualify for university employment compensated by non-work-study funds — is cognizable under the statute.

While § 1985(3) has been liberated from the now anachronistic historical circumstances of reconstruction America, we may not uproot § 1985(3) from the principle underlying its adoption: the Governmental determination that some groups require and warrant special federal assistance in protecting their civil rights. This underlying principle must continue to determine the coverage of § 1985(3).

DeSantis v. Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., Inc., 608 F.2d 327, 333 (9th Cir. 1979). Mr. Murphy's proffered class of former work-study students cannot pretend to be the subject of such a...

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3 practice notes
  • Mcfadyen v. Duke Univ., No. 1:07CV953.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • March 31, 2011
    ...(holding that a class of students does not qualify as a class entitled to § 1985(3) protection); Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 561–62 (E.D.Pa.1981) (same); Crain v. Martinez, No. 93–942–CIV–ORL–22, 1994 WL 391672, at *1 (M.D.Fla. July 12, 1994) (same); Naglak v. Berlin, No. 87......
  • Finish Engineering Co. v. ZERPA INDUSTRIES, Civ. A. No. 84-202 ERIE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 27, 1985
    ...for the judgment was not raised by the movant with sufficient precision for the nonmovant to respond. See Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 612 F. Supp. 307 563-64 (E.D.Pa.1981). ... Ford's memorandum in support of its motion discussed the Swiss patent only as support for Ford's a......
  • Cooper v. Ford Motor Co., No. 84-1016
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • November 23, 1984
    ...for the judgment was not raised by the movant with sufficient precision for the nonmovant to respond. See Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 563-64 (E.D.Pa.1981) (denying summary judgment because plaintiff failed to assert elements of asserted cause of action and did not marshal un......
3 cases
  • Mcfadyen v. Duke Univ., No. 1:07CV953.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • March 31, 2011
    ...(holding that a class of students does not qualify as a class entitled to § 1985(3) protection); Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 561–62 (E.D.Pa.1981) (same); Crain v. Martinez, No. 93–942–CIV–ORL–22, 1994 WL 391672, at *1 (M.D.Fla. July 12, 1994) (same); Naglak v. Berlin, No. 87......
  • Finish Engineering Co. v. ZERPA INDUSTRIES, Civ. A. No. 84-202 ERIE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 27, 1985
    ...for the judgment was not raised by the movant with sufficient precision for the nonmovant to respond. See Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 612 F. Supp. 307 563-64 (E.D.Pa.1981). ... Ford's memorandum in support of its motion discussed the Swiss patent only as support for Ford's a......
  • Cooper v. Ford Motor Co., No. 84-1016
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • November 23, 1984
    ...for the judgment was not raised by the movant with sufficient precision for the nonmovant to respond. See Murphy v. Villanova Univ., 520 F.Supp. 560, 563-64 (E.D.Pa.1981) (denying summary judgment because plaintiff failed to assert elements of asserted cause of action and did not marshal un......

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