Taylor v. Diznoff, Civ. A. No. 86-194.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtGERALD J. WEBER
Citation633 F. Supp. 640
PartiesCarole L. TAYLOR, Plaintiff, v. Laurel DIZNOFF, Defendant.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 86-194.
Decision Date25 April 1986

633 F. Supp. 640

Carole L. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
Laurel DIZNOFF, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 86-194.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania.

April 25, 1986.


633 F. Supp. 641

Carole L. Taylor, pro se.

Arnold M. Friedman, Pittsburgh, Pa., for defendant.

OPINION

GERALD J. WEBER, District Judge.

Plaintiff filed this action pro se. The caption of her Complaint contains the heading "Civil Rights Violation and Freedom of Information Act Violation."1 Presently pending is defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, to which plaintiff has responded.

At the outset we recognize that pro se pleadings must be construed liberally. "Courts must proceed painstakingly in an effort to discern the nature of plaintiff's claim and to insure that his lack of familiarity with legal proceedings does not result in his forfeiting a valid claim. On the other hand, a judge may not become the surrogate attorney for a party, even one who is proceeding pro se. A pro se plaintiff must abide by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and when confronted by motions to dismiss must articulate reasons why the motions should not be granted." Mazur v. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 507 F.Supp. 3, 4 (E.D.PA 1980), aff'd 649 F.2d 860 (3d Cir.1981), cert. den. 452 U.S. 962, 101 S.Ct. 3111, 69 L.Ed.2d 973 (1981); Henderson v. Fisher, 631 F.2d 1115, 1117 (3d Cir.1980).

Plaintiff's complaint arises out of a divorce case. Defendant is her husband's attorney. Defendant subpoenaed plaintiff's personnel file at her place of employment as part of that action. Plaintiff believes that defendant's copying of certain documents in the file and discussion of the

633 F. Supp. 642
contents with others, without notice and an opportunity to be present, violates her civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983

In deciding the applicability of Section 1983 the court must first determine whether the acts complained of were performed "under color of any statute, ordinance, or regulation, custom or usage of any State or Territory." See Henderson, 631 F.2d at 1118. It is well established that an individual cannot sue a private attorney as a state actor under Section 1983 for conduct in a prior criminal trial. Black v. Bayer, 672 F.2d 309 (3d Cir.1982), cert. den. 459 U.S. 916, 103 S.Ct. 230, 74 L.Ed.2d 182 (1982); Henderson, 631 F.2d 1115; Gay v. Watkins, 579 F.Supp. 1019 (E.D.Pa. 1984). This rule is subject to the exception that joint action with a state official may convert the private party's conduct into the...

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4 practice notes
  • Church of Scientology Int'l v. Kolts, No. CV 93-1390-RSWL (EEx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • February 16, 1994
    ...District of Minnesota addressing attorney discipline do not confer subject matter jurisdiction on federal courts); Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F.Supp. 640, 642 (W.D.Pa.1986) (holding that the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers does not confer subject matter jurisdiction on the feder......
  • Nanya-Nashut, ex rel Hand v. Bankone, National Association Trustee, CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-4022 (E.D. Pa. 9/9/2003), CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-4022.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • September 9, 2003
    ..."On the other hand, a judge may not become a surrogate attorney for the party, even one who is proceeding pro se. Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F. Supp. 640, 641 (W.D. Pa. 1986)(quoting Mazur v. Pa. Dept. of Transp., 507 F. Supp. 3, 4 (E.D. Pa. 1980), aff'd 649 F.2d 860 (3d Cir. 1981)). "A pro se ......
  • Rumfola v. Murovich, No. C.A. 88-2618.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 8, 1992
    ...and did not act under color of state law, his alleged wrongdoings fall without the purview of Section 1983. See Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F.Supp. 640 The dismissal of defendant Murovich from this action is deemed by this member of the Court to be the law of the case; Murovich's dismissal will ......
  • INDEPENDENT FEDERATION OF FLIGHT ATTEND. v. Davis, Civ. A. No. 86-0877-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • April 25, 1986
    ...exists between a labor union members' right under section 7 of the NLRA to engage in peaceful picketing and an employer's private 633 F. Supp. 640 property rights, an accommodation must be reached between the two with as little destruction to one as is consistent with maintenance of the oth......
4 cases
  • Church of Scientology Int'l v. Kolts, No. CV 93-1390-RSWL (EEx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • February 16, 1994
    ...District of Minnesota addressing attorney discipline do not confer subject matter jurisdiction on federal courts); Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F.Supp. 640, 642 (W.D.Pa.1986) (holding that the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers does not confer subject matter jurisdiction on the feder......
  • Nanya-Nashut, ex rel Hand v. Bankone, National Association Trustee, CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-4022 (E.D. Pa. 9/9/2003), CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-4022.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • September 9, 2003
    ..."On the other hand, a judge may not become a surrogate attorney for the party, even one who is proceeding pro se. Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F. Supp. 640, 641 (W.D. Pa. 1986)(quoting Mazur v. Pa. Dept. of Transp., 507 F. Supp. 3, 4 (E.D. Pa. 1980), aff'd 649 F.2d 860 (3d Cir. 1981)). "A pro se ......
  • Rumfola v. Murovich, No. C.A. 88-2618.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 8, 1992
    ...and did not act under color of state law, his alleged wrongdoings fall without the purview of Section 1983. See Taylor v. Diznoff, 633 F.Supp. 640 The dismissal of defendant Murovich from this action is deemed by this member of the Court to be the law of the case; Murovich's dismissal will ......
  • INDEPENDENT FEDERATION OF FLIGHT ATTEND. v. Davis, Civ. A. No. 86-0877-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • April 25, 1986
    ...exists between a labor union members' right under section 7 of the NLRA to engage in peaceful picketing and an employer's private 633 F. Supp. 640 property rights, an accommodation must be reached between the two with as little destruction to one as is consistent with maintenance of the oth......

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