The opinion of the court was delivered by: KRAFT
This Civil Rights Action (42 U.S.C.A. § 1983) was brought by plaintiffs, who are all members of the Fire Department of the City of Philadelphia. They have been suspended for ten days without pay by defendant Fire Commissioner and threatened with further more serious disciplinary action including dismissal because they have been found to be in violation of a "memorandum" and "special order"
issued by Fire Commissioner McCarey regulating the length and manner of grooming of sideburns, chin whiskers and mustaches worn by any officers and members of the Fire Department.
At the outset, plaintiffs also purported to sue the City of Philadelphia, which is a municipality and not considered a person within the meaning of the Civil Rights Act. Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 81 S. Ct. 473, 5 L. Ed. 2d 492 (1961). Consequently, their complaint will be dismissed insofar as it seeks relief from the City of Philadelphia.
Additionally, plaintiffs purport to bring this action for injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment, as representative of a "class", which is neither defined nor alleged to be "so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable." Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1). We have no idea whether the class includes parties who have "long sideburns" and/or "chin whiskers" and/or "mustaches" or only one of the hirsute adornments in issue. Accordingly, we conclude that intervention, liberally allowed, will sufficiently protect all persons who may purport to be similarly affected by the regulation.
It has been held that "[the] right to wear one's hair at any length or in any desired manner is an ingredient of personal freedom protected by the United States Constitution." Breen v. Kahl, 419 F.2d 1034 (7 Cir. 1969) cert. denied, 398 U.S. 937, 90 S. Ct. 1836, 26 L. Ed. 2d 268 (June 2, 1970). Any regulation which limits this right must be "sufficiently justified" as furthering an "important or substantial governmental interest", which "is unrelated to the suppression of free expression" and any "incidental restriction on the alleged First Amendment freedoms is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest." United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367, 377, 88 S. Ct. 1673, 1679, 20 L. Ed. 2d 672 (1968).
While the burden of justification for such a regulation is "substantial", there may be "different justifications" for the regulation of the hair styles of adults, such as firemen, than there are for students of a high school. Breen v. Kahl, supra, 419 F.2d at 1036.
The alleged justifications advanced in this case are that, for reasons of safety and internal discipline of the firemen, the regulations are necessary, reasonable and proper to insure the efficient operation of the fire department.
At this time, we refrain from consideration of the merits of these reasons, since we conclude that the plaintiffs have not sufficiently established any immediate irreparable injury which cannot be fully redressed by the utilization of available administrative remedies and state judicial review. Craycroft v. Ferrall, 408 F.2d 587, 598 (9 Cir. 1969). Our "deference to [City --] * * * administrative authorities comports with the basic policy of avoiding the unnecessary resolution of constitutional questions." Nelson v. Miller, 373 F.2d 474, 480 (3 Cir. 1967) cert. denied 387 U.S. 924, 87 S. Ct. 2042, 18 L. Ed. 2d 980 (1967).
Accordingly, we enter the following
Now, this 11th day of Aug., 1970, after consideration of defendants' motion to dismiss, it is ordered that:
1. the motion to dismiss the action against the City of Philadelphia is granted and the complaint against the defendant is dismissed;
2. this action is not a valid class action and henceforth shall proceed as an ordinary civil action, with ...