of law. They contend, however, that there must be a purposeful and systematic policy of discrimination by public officers before a cause of action arises under the Act.
This argument seems to ignore the Supreme Court's holding in Monroe v. Pape, supra, where the Court specifically held, at p. 180, 81 S. Ct. at p. 480, that the 'federal right' exists whenever state laws are not enforced because of 'prejudice,' 'passion,' 'neglect,' 'intolerance' or 'otherwise' and a citizen's claim to privileges and immunities under the Fourteenth Amendment 'might be denied by the state agencies.' The Supreme Court has made 'neglect' a ground for bringing a federally derived claim as well as 'prejudice,' 'passion' and 'intolerance.' In addition to these grounds the Court made a blanket denunciation of all forms of conduct which deny Fourteenth Amendment rights by adding the phrase 'or otherwise' after the above-proscribed conduct.
The plaintiff's Complaint has alleged that the defendants have acted 'under color of law' and that the bench warrant was illegal. He fulfills the second requirement of a cause of action under the Civil Rights Act insofar as he claims that he was summarily imprisoned without a hearing under the allegedly illegal bench warrant. Cohen v. Norris, supra. No allegation of systematic prejudice is required. Monroe v. Pape, supra, 365 U.S. pp. 167-169, 81 S. Ct. pp. 473-474.
The public officer defendants further argue that there must be physical brutality, failure to furnish urgently needed medical aid or other extraordinary circumstances amounting to an actual denial of due process before a cause of action will be under the Civil Rights Act. In his Complaint the plaintiff has alleged that he was held incommunicado for six hours in City Hall and not permitted to call his family or an attorney. Then he was abruptly delivered to the Philadelphia County Prison and incarcerated for eight days before his release without a hearing. While we do not agree with the defendants' argument on this point, we could conceive of no more invidious form of totalitarian cruelty than the summary imprisonment of a citizen without a hearing. Due process of law requires that an accused at least receive a hearing before he is punished for his alleged contempt which was not committed in the presence of the Court. Weiss v. Jacobs, 405 Pa. 390, 175 A.2d 849 (1961).
The public officer defendants further contend that they are immune from civil liability under the Civil Rights Act. This contention has been specifically rejected by the Supreme Court in Monroe v. Pape, supra, and particularly in Egan v. City of Aurora, 365 U.S. 514, 81 S. Ct. 684, 5 L. Ed. 2d 741 (1960), wherein the Supreme Court reversed the Seventh Circuit which had held that following individuals to be immune from liability: City Commissioners, Counsel for the City, Police Chief, Police Officers, Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, states Attorney and Assistant States Attorney.
The individual defendants, a private attorney and his client, argue that they are immune from liability under the Civil Rights Act because the acts of private individuals are not within the purview of the Civil Rights Act § 1983. While the main purpose of the Civil Rights Act is to protect the Fourteenth Amendment rights of all citizens from encroachment by arbitrary state action, individuals who allegedly joined or cooperated with state officers who acted under color of state law, are subject to liability under the Civil Rights Act.
Picking v. Pennsylvania, R. Co., 151 F.2d 240 (3 Cir. 1945); Valle v. Stengel, 176 F.2d 697 (3 Cir. 1949).
In his Complaint at paragraph 28, the plaintiff states in part that his injury was '* * * caused by all of said defendants, acting individually, jointly or in concert.' Therefore, after considering his Complaint, with each and every allegation viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, we hold that the plaintiff has stated a valid claim.
And now, this 2nd day of December, 1963, the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint is denied.