Scott v. Moore, Civ. A. No. B-75-26-CA.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
Writing for the CourtJOE J. FISHER
Citation461 F. Supp. 224
PartiesPaul E. SCOTT et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bill MOORE et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. B-75-26-CA.
Decision Date16 November 1978

461 F. Supp. 224

Paul E. SCOTT et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Bill MOORE et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. B-75-26-CA.

United States District Court, E. D. Texas, Beaumont Division.

November 16, 1978.


461 F. Supp. 225
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
461 F. Supp. 226
Robert Q. Keith, Mehaffy, Weber, Keith & Gonsoulin, Beaumont, Tex., for plaintiffs

Martin Dies, Jr., Marlin Thompson, Stephenson, Thompson & Dies, Orange, Tex., William N. Wheat, Beaumont, Tex., Joseph F. Archer, Combs, Archer & Peterson, Houston, Tex., for defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JOE J. FISHER, Chief Judge.

This is a case in which the Plaintiffs, Paul E. Scott, James T. Matthews, and others, while in the employment of another Plaintiff in this suit, A.A. Cross Construction Co., Inc., were attacked and beaten while constructing a pump station known as the Alligator Bayou Pump Station on the hurricane levee along Taylor's Bayou, near Port Arthur, in Jefferson County, Texas.

The evidence reflects that the attack evolved from a meeting held by the Executive Committee of the Sabine Area Building and Construction Trades Council on January 15, 1975, wherein a "citizen protest" was discussed and a time and place were chosen for such protest. The purpose of this demonstration was to voice concern over Cross Construction Company, Inc.'s bringing "outside" nonunion workers into a "union area." In addition, the evidence shows that the Plaintiffs were informed by several Defendants that if the Plaintiff, Cross Construction Co., Inc., continued to hire nonunion personnel for the work to be performed on the Alligator Bayou Station, there would be "serious trouble."

Unions represented and individuals present at the January 15, 1975 meeting included:

 Walter Flowers, Laborers Local # 870
                 H. H. Silkwood, Cement Masons Local # 884
                 Pete Ellis, Pipefitters Local # 195
                 Randy Wylie, Carpenters Local # 753
                 John D. Wallace, Jr. Carpenters Local # 610
                 W. H. Carr, Carpenters Local # 753
                 J. L. St. Clair, Painters Local # 243
                 Jesse Martin, Boilermakers Local # 277
                 J. C. Vaughn, Boilermakers Local # 587
                 L. P. Vaught, Ironworkers Local # 125
                 A. B. Wheeler, Carpenters District Council
                 of Sabine Area
                 Pete Bean, Sheet Metal Workers Local # 198
                 Walter Keneson, I.B.E.W. Local # 479
                

Thereafter, on January 17, 1975, a large group of individuals, including union members present at the January 15, 1975 meeting, amassed at the entrance to the Alligator Bayou Construction site. From this group, several truckloads of men emerged,

461 F. Supp. 227
drove onto the construction site, assaulted and beat the Plaintiffs, burned and destroyed the tools and equipment of Plaintiff, Cross Construction Co., Inc., and threatened to continue violent actions if the nonunion workers did not leave the area or concede to union policies and principles

A suit was then filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1985(3) with jurisdiction predicated upon 28 U.S.C. 1343 and 1331. Section 1985(3) states, in relevant part:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire ... for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws; ... (and) in any case of conspiracy set forth in this section, if one or more persons engaged therein do, or cause to be done, any act in furtherance of the object of such conspiracy, whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages, occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the conspirators.

To come within the purview of 42 U.S.C. 1985(3), a complaint is required to allege four matters:

(1) the defendants must conspire
(2) for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws; and
(3) the defendants must act in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy, whereby
(4) one was (a) injured in his person or property or (b) deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States.

Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 102-103, 91 S.Ct. 1790, 29 L.Ed.2d 338 (1971).

In addition, the Griffin Court interpreted the language requiring intent to deprive of equal protection or equal privileges and immunities, to mean that such intent must have at its foundation some racial or perhaps otherwise class-based invidiously discriminatory animus. However, the Supreme Court refrained from deciding whether a conspiracy motivated by such invidiously discriminatory intent, other than racial bias, would be actionable under Section 1985(3).

The Griffin decision demonstrated the Supreme Court's serious concern over the creation of a general federal tort law should Section 1985(3) be literally interpreted; and, as a result the Court stated,

The Constitutional shoals that would lie in the path of interpreting section 1985(3) as a general federal tort law can be avoided by giving full effect to the congressional purpose—by requiring, as an element of the cause of action, the kind of invidiously discriminatory motivation stressed by the sponsors of the limiting amendment (incorporated into the section) ...
The language requiring intent to deprive of equal protection, or equal privileges and immunities, means that there must be some racial, or perhaps otherwise class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus behind the conspirators' action. The conspiracy, in other words, must aim at a deprivation of the equal enjoyment of rights secured by the law to all.

Griffin, supra at 102, 91 S.Ct. at 1798.

The Seventh Circuit, in Dombrowski v. Dowling, 459 F.2d 190 at 195, in addressing the breadth of section 1985(3), found,

The breadth of the statute's coverage is yet to be determined, but three categories of protected rights have been plainly identified. Griffin gives express recognition to a black citizen's Thirteenth Amendment rights and to his federal right to travel interstate; the title of the statute expressly identifies the third category, namely, rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

The problem now before us does not involve an allegation of racial...

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9 practice notes
  • Scott v. Moore, No. 870
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1982
    ...infringement of constitutional rights, and the relationship between section 1985(3) and the labor relations laws. The district court, 461 F.Supp. 224, issued a permanent injunction against the defendants, including numerous labor organizations. It also awarded money damages for violations o......
  • Scott v. City of Overland Park, Civ. A. No. 83-2219.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • September 11, 1984
    ...Circuit had held that invidiously discriminatory intent other than racial bias would be actionable under § 1985(3). Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 229 (E.D.Tex.1978), aff'd in relevant part, 680 F.2d 979, 991 (5th Cir.1982). Although the majority in Scott did not reach the question, four ......
  • Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook Cty., No. 69 C 2145.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 24, 1979
    ...District No. 515, 523 F.2d 569, 576 (7th Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 425 U.S. 963, 96 S.Ct. 1748, 48 L.Ed.2d 208 (1976); Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 228 (E.D.Tex.1978), and admissions, see, e.g., United States v. Trowery, 542 F.2d 623, 626-27 (3d Cir. 1976) (dicta) (admissions admissible......
  • Women's Health Care Services v. Operation Rescue, No. 91-1303-K.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • August 7, 1991
    ...had held that invidious discrimination, other than racial, could satisfy the requirements for an action under § 1985(3). Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 229 (E.D.Tex.1978), aff'd in part, 680 F.2d 979, 991 (5th Cir.1982), rev'd, 463 U.S. at 825, 103 S.Ct. at 3352. The four dissenting Justi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Scott v. Moore, No. 870
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 1, 1982
    ...infringement of constitutional rights, and the relationship between section 1985(3) and the labor relations laws. The district court, 461 F.Supp. 224, issued a permanent injunction against the defendants, including numerous labor organizations. It also awarded money damages for violations o......
  • Scott v. City of Overland Park, Civ. A. No. 83-2219.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • September 11, 1984
    ...Circuit had held that invidiously discriminatory intent other than racial bias would be actionable under § 1985(3). Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 229 (E.D.Tex.1978), aff'd in relevant part, 680 F.2d 979, 991 (5th Cir.1982). Although the majority in Scott did not reach the question, four ......
  • Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook Cty., No. 69 C 2145.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 24, 1979
    ...District No. 515, 523 F.2d 569, 576 (7th Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 425 U.S. 963, 96 S.Ct. 1748, 48 L.Ed.2d 208 (1976); Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 228 (E.D.Tex.1978), and admissions, see, e.g., United States v. Trowery, 542 F.2d 623, 626-27 (3d Cir. 1976) (dicta) (admissions admissible......
  • Women's Health Care Services v. Operation Rescue, No. 91-1303-K.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • August 7, 1991
    ...had held that invidious discrimination, other than racial, could satisfy the requirements for an action under § 1985(3). Scott v. Moore, 461 F.Supp. 224, 229 (E.D.Tex.1978), aff'd in part, 680 F.2d 979, 991 (5th Cir.1982), rev'd, 463 U.S. at 825, 103 S.Ct. at 3352. The four dissenting Justi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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