Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., Civ. A. No. 89-4487.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtVAN ANTWERPEN
Citation718 F. Supp. 10
PartiesLynn RANNELS v. MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 89-4487.
Decision Date08 August 1989

718 F. Supp. 10

Lynn RANNELS
v.
MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC.

Civ. A. No. 89-4487.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.

August 8, 1989.


718 F. Supp. 11

Lynn Rannels, Reinholds, Pa., pro se.

Daniel B. Huyett, Reading, Pa., for Meridian Bancorp, Inc.

OPINION AND ORDER

VAN ANTWERPEN, District Judge.

Plaintiff has filed a pro se complaint alleging that defendant's "Club 50" program, which provides discounts on various services to those who are 50 years of age or older, unconstitutionally discriminates against those who are under age 50. Specifically, plaintiff claims that the program violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the instant matter, defendant moves for dismissal or in the alternative for summary judgment. Defendant argues that the complaint fails to allege that Meridian's conduct constitutes state action, and even if there were state action, the conduct is rationally related to a legitimate purpose and thus does not violate the Constitution.1 We agree with defendant.

Because we will consider matters outside the pleadings, we will treat defendant's motion as a motion for summary judgment. See Castle v. Cohen, 840 F.2d 173, 179 (3d Cir.1988).2 Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) instructs a court to enter summary judgment when the record reveals that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." This rule provides the court with a useful tool when the critical facts are undisputed, facilitating the resolution of a pending controversy without the expense and delay of conducting a trial made unnecessary by the absence of factual dispute. Peterson v. Lehigh Valley District Council, 676 F.2d 81, 84 (3d Cir.1982); Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir.1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 97 S.Ct. 732, 50 L.Ed.2d 748 (1977). Summary judgment is inappropriate, however, where the evidence before the court reveals a genuine factual disagreement requiring submission to a jury. An issue is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). At the summary judgment stage, "the judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine

718 F. Supp. 12
issue for trial." Id. at 249, 106 S.Ct. at 2511

In a summary judgment action, the moving party bears the initial burden of identifying for the court those portions of the record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Following such a showing in a case where the non-moving party is the plaintiff and therefore bears the burden of proof, it must by affidavits or by the depositions and admissions on file "make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of every element essential to that party's case." Id. at 322, 106 S.Ct. at 2552. In making its ruling on a summary judgment motion, the court must view all inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 994, 8 L.Ed.2d 176 (1962); Continental Insurance So. v. Bodie, 682 F.2d 436 (3d Cir.1982), must resolve all doubts against the moving party, Gans v. Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 341 (3d Cir.1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1010, 106 S.Ct. 537, 88 L.Ed.2d 467 (1985), and must take as true all allegations of the non-moving party that conflict with those of the movant. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2513-2514.

The Fourteenth Amendment circumscribes "only such action as may fairly be said to be that of the States." Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, 13, 68 S.Ct. 836, 842, 92 L.Ed. 1161 (1948). The Fourteenth Amendment "erects no shield against merely private conduct, however discriminatory or wrongful." Id. In his complaint, plaintiff fails to allege any state action.3 In his response to defendant's motion, however, plaintiff asserts that

Club 50 financial services are in fact extensively regulated by both state and federal authorities. These very regulations promote consumer and depositor confidence tantamount to dealing with the state itself. A portion of the gross profits obtained through this consumer confidence as well as the defendant's dual pricing and interest rates is ultimately used to purchase FDIC insurance.... The defendant also functions as a key component for the Federal Reserve Board in its monetary control policies. The relationship between the defendant and state action is so extensive and direct that the plaintiff considered it unnecessary to provide extensive detail in his complaint.

We must now determine whether these assertions, assuming they were made part of the complaint, can establish state action.

In Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1004, 102 S.Ct. 2777, 2785-2786, 73 L.Ed.2d 534 (1982), the Court analyzed the question of state action by focusing on three factors. First, to establish state action, the plaintiff must show that "there is a sufficiently close nexus between the State and the...

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6 practice notes
  • Rannels v. Hargrove, Civ. A. No. 89-6155.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • February 20, 1990
    ...These questions are addressed below. As a threshold issue, though, Hargrove claims that the ruling in Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F.Supp. 10 (E.D. Pa.), aff'd mem., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir. 1989), controls here, precluding suit on the federal claims. In that action, Rannels sued th......
  • Wilson v. Beneficial Mortg. Co., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:16-CV-00217
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • January 18, 2017
    ...and participation in the federal reserve system and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation."); Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F. Supp. 10, 13 (E.D. Pa. 1989) ("[C]ourts have uniformly held that conduct by banks is not state action."), aff'd sub nom., Rannels v. Meridan......
  • Kahn v. Thompson, No. 2
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 30, 1995
    ...An equal protection challenge, of course, is not applicable to conduct between private parties. See Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F.Supp. 10 (E.D.Pa.), aff'd., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1017, 110 S.Ct. 1320, 108 L.Ed.2d 495 (1990) (bank's senior citizen pr......
  • Sargoy v. Resolution Trust Corp., No. B054757
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 12, 1992
    ...of providing senior citizens with special preferences was also recently considered in Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (E.D.Pa.1989) 718 F.Supp. 10, aff'd., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1017, 110 S.Ct. 1320, 108 L.Ed.2d 495. In Meridian, the same plaintiff as in Harg......
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6 cases
  • Rannels v. Hargrove, Civ. A. No. 89-6155.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • February 20, 1990
    ...These questions are addressed below. As a threshold issue, though, Hargrove claims that the ruling in Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F.Supp. 10 (E.D. Pa.), aff'd mem., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir. 1989), controls here, precluding suit on the federal claims. In that action, Rannels sued th......
  • Wilson v. Beneficial Mortg. Co., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:16-CV-00217
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • January 18, 2017
    ...and participation in the federal reserve system and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation."); Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F. Supp. 10, 13 (E.D. Pa. 1989) ("[C]ourts have uniformly held that conduct by banks is not state action."), aff'd sub nom., Rannels v. Meridan Bancorp Inc., ......
  • Kahn v. Thompson, No. 2
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 30, 1995
    ...An equal protection challenge, of course, is not applicable to conduct between private parties. See Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc., 718 F.Supp. 10 (E.D.Pa.), aff'd., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1017, 110 S.Ct. 1320, 108 L.Ed.2d 495 (1990) (bank's senior citizen pr......
  • Sargoy v. Resolution Trust Corp., No. B054757
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 12, 1992
    ...of providing senior citizens with special preferences was also recently considered in Rannels v. Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (E.D.Pa.1989) 718 F.Supp. 10, aff'd., 893 F.2d 1331 (3d Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1017, 110 S.Ct. 1320, 108 L.Ed.2d 495. In Meridian, the same plaintiff as in Harg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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